With its pungent fragrance and rich, complex flavours, Indian cuisine is a favourite for many people, and it's not as difficult to make as you might think. Whatever your favourite Indian dish, from samosas to tandoori to curry (however hot you like it!), you can create those incredible flavours at home. Try these simple tips to get you started in the kitchen:
- Get the basics: there's a vast number of herbs and spices used in Indian cooking, but don't be intimidated, just start with the basics. Buy a few ingredients to start with and you can gradually build your collection. Here are a few essentials to start with:
- Cumin seeds: these intensify the flavour of many dishes, such as chutneys, vegetables and yogurts, and they're also used in curries. For a better flavour, use whole cumin seeds rather than ground.
- Coriander seeds: an important ingredient in curry, coriander seeds are used in many Indian dishes.
- Turmeric: with it's slightly spicy fragrance and golden yellow hue, turmeric is used extensively in Indian cooking.
- Cardamom: a key ingredient in curry powder and garam masala, cardamon has a unique, slightly peppery aroma, and can be used in many dishes, such as meat, rice, desserts and even tea.
- Curry powder: a mixture of spices used as a seasoning and to add flavour and colour to a dish.
- Oils ain't oils: your recipe should advise the appropriate oil to be used for that dish, as some oils are flavourless, such as sunflower, while others will change the flavour of a dish, for example mustard oil. Ghee, a type of clarified butter, is commonly used in place of oil in Indian cooking, and has a high smoking point and a fragrant and rich nutty flavour.
- Spice up your life: Indian food has a reputation for packing a spicy punch, but this doesn't mean you have to ramp up the spice content if you don't enjoy it. If an ingredient is listed on a recipe you should include it, but if you're nervous about the flavours being too intense, just reduce the quantity of the spices added, especially chilli.
Ready to start cooking? Stock up your kitchen at Monga Indian Groceries
, your one-stop shop for authentic Indian ingredients.