Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Indian Food: A Beginners Guide

If you are a fan on Indian food, then you know just how tough it can be to cook it authentically. Once you have tasted authentic Indian food, there is no going back. Now is as good of a time as any to get started on learning how! Diverse, delicious and not as difficult to cook as you might think, Indian is among the leading cuisines of the world. With every state, city and even every home having it’s own recipes for thousands of dishes, you can image the variety of ways to cook it is mind-boggling. Contrary to the stereotypes, Indian food is not just about curry, chilies and oil. There is probably no other cuisine in the world that includes as many healthy and diverse vegetables and spices. At the same time, Indian cuisine is not just for vegetarians.

In India, cooking is considered an art and mothers usually begin to teach their daughters and pass down family recipes by show-and-tell, fairly young in life. In most Indian homes, even in this day and age when most women work outside the home, if one is not cooking or eating a meal, one family member is planning what to cook next. Over the course of history, various invaders have passed through India and left their stamp behind on it cuisine. There was Aryan, Persian, Arab, British, and Portuguese to name just a few.

To get started, here is a list of ingredients you should have stocked in your pantry to prepare Indian food:

Daals (lentils)
  • ·      Masoor (split red lentils)
  • ·      Moong (split yellow lentil
  • ·      Urad (black gram)
  • ·      Chana (large split yellow lentil

Aata (to make chapatis, parathas and other Indian breads)
  • ·      Coriander seeds
  • ·      Cumin seeds
  • ·      Dry red chilies
  • ·      Fresh green chilies
  • ·      Turmeric
  • ·      Garam masala
  • ·      Cinnamon
  • ·      Cardamom
  • ·      Cloves
  • ·      Peppercorns
  • ·      Bay leaves
  • ·      Poppy seeds
  • ·      Mustard seeds
  • ·      Fenugreek seeds
  • ·      Aniseed/Fennel seeds
  • ·      Asafetida
  • ·      Thymol
  • ·      Saffron
  • ·      Tamarind
  • ·      Raw mango powder
  • ·      Ginger
  • ·      Garlic
  • ·      Oil
  • ·      Coriander leaves
  • ·      Mint leaves

Once you have these items stocked, recipes will only require fresh meats, vegetables, coconut milk, etc. to complete. Here is a list of the top 10 Indian food dishes for beginner cooks for you to try out! We hope you enjoy bringing a little bit of the world’s cuisine to your table- happy cooking!

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