10 things you should learn from the Indian Cuisine

From ‘Gulab jamun’ to ‘Samosa’, from ‘dosas’ to ‘Aloo Tikki’, from ‘jalebi’ to ‘pakoras’, from ‘Roti’ to ‘karate ka saag’ and from many other Indian snacks to the never ending list— India is a hub of such a wide range of culinary art. It’s all about sound recipes, about quality cooking and that too at home!

So, let’s grasp some of the Indian manners of cooking that one must learn to achieve eminence.

Get inspired!

samosha

  1. Side dishes? A lot!

Have a look at Indian Cuisine, and you’ll never be short on sides. Chutneys, rice, curry, raita are to name a few. Indian kitchens are full of side dishes to serve you the best fare of the day. While naan and ‘the play’ work best with bhaji, different recipes for well- nourished daal will whet your health-conscious appetite.

So, in an Indian cookroom, one thing you can be sure about is a ton of side dishes, and it’s probably the best part of it.

  1. Spices, seasonings, and spices!

Have you ever wondered that why is the Indian food so piquant? Psst….The dark secret is –SPICES.

Indian land yields wads of spices, and that makes their galley full of coriander, aniseed, basil seeds, black cinnamon, savior loves, tamarind and what not! These add the savory meal that you can’t keep yourself away. Not just the delicacy, Indian cantina can relieve many of your probs with the help of these spices only.

  1. Healthy-cum-yummy

This is the feature that I love about Indian cuisine. A very diet-concious person can find his/her place on Indian table. Spicy, salty, sweet, raw or cooked, you can get all of it here. No other cuisine gives you the variety that the Indian one gives. Pulses merged with toothsome spices

indian

Share

Indian Food is too spicy: Stereotype or truth?

Indian cuisine is said to be the most diverse cuisine in the world with its exotic ingredients, unique use of herbs and spices, mouth watering and tongue tickling flavours and a large assortment of dishes. Indians take great pride in their food because almost every province has its distinctive cuisine. Sadly, the perception in foreign lands about this country’s food is that it’s just spicy ‘curry’ or food full of ‘masala’ (spices). Indeed spices do form an integral part of this world-famous cuisine, but they are not the only definable aspect of it.

indian-dishes2

Most of the ‘Indian’ food eaten by people outside of India has mainly originated from the northern part of the country which is an agrarian land and thus the produce is naturally gorgeous. The red hot gravies and piquant Biryani are usually prepared on special occasions only in Indian households. The food that most Indians eat on a daily basis is very basic and does not have a high spice quotient. Their staple food consists of some preparation of lentil (dal), stir fry vegetables with mild spices and flatbread (roti) or rice, not thick gravies and Masala Tikkas/Kebabs. It is true that Indians use a lot of spices and condiments in their food, but not all of them are hot and spicy, most of them are added for intense flavours and unique fragrance. Indian restaurants outside of India tend to serve the same monotonous dishes because of the opinion that ‘what is familiar sells the best’ and thus people abroad are not exposed to the diversity in Indian cuisine. This is the primary cause behind the re-enforcement of such stereotypes. Just like Italian cuisine does not comprise only pizza and pasta, Indian cuisine also is not just spice and curries.

A large number of Indians are Lacto-vegetarians, so milk and its by-products form a huge part of the cuisine. It’s the Indian palate which combines sweet and savoury in a unique way. A dairy product such as ‘paneer’ (Indian variety of cottage cheese) is mixed with stewed vegetables and mild spices in different ways to get a broad menu of vegetarian and not so spicy dishes. Indian food boasts of the largest collection of vegetarian dishes and not all of them are yellow curries and red gravies.

indian-dishes

Cuisines of a region are always in the state of evolution; the classics are replaced with new flavours. Indian cuisine combines fairly basic and cheap ingredients to make great dishes. The nation’s spices and their proper use are exclusive to it. Their kitchen comprises a whole palette of flavours – sour, sweet and spicy all at once – which increases the desire to eat. The Indian menu card is very extensive with so many appetisers, breakfast items, Tiffin items, snacks, main course meals, chutneys, yoghurts, pickles, drinks, desserts that this food heritage incomparable. Indian food is not just one type of food. Whenever you pay a visit to India, you’ll realise that Indian cuisine is an amalgamation of so many cultures and their intense flavours. Indian cuisine has something for everyone. So whether you like spicy red hot curries or its mild variants, this cuisine has a lot in store for you!

Share

6 Indian Chicken Recipes you must try

The most commonly used base ingredient in non-vegetarian dishes around the world in Chicken. Though India is a home to a majority of vegetarians but its cuisine still has a lot to offer to the meat eating population as well. In India, chicken is used in making hot and spicy curries, hearty kebabs, delectable Biryanis and what not. The spark of Indian herbs and spices, tender textures, intense flavours and mouth-watering aromatics – there’s a lot to look forward to. You’ll fall in love with the versatility Indian cuisine offers for chicken dishes. A perfect Indian chicken recipe in its full glory is nothing short of a masterpiece. Here are six Indian Chicken Recipes to pamper your taste buds with-

  • Chicken Biryani – This dish is a rice preparation, and for a more authentic taste, Indian Basmati rice can be used. It has a long preparation, but the work is worth it. To get the chicken perfectly tender and succulent, raw meat is marinated overnight and directly dum-cooked to trap the steam. It has a very exotic and complex flavour because of the spices used such as cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, saffron etc. You can substitute the whole spices with a ‘masala’ ( mixture of spices) packet available in local stores.
  • Butter Chicken – The famous gravy dish from India is a favourite among non-vegetarians around the world. It’s prepared by soaking the chicken overnight in a mixture of yoghurt and selected Indian spices and then cooking it in tomato gravy with herbs, spices and cream. It’s a delicious and flavourful dish and it is recommended to serve it with ‘naan’ (Indian flatbread) or a Basmati rice preparation.
  • Tandoori Chicken – This dish is an Indian version of everyone’s favourite BBQ chicken. Chicken drumsticks are marinated in yoghurt, lime juice and a whole lot of herbs and spices such as cumin, dried coriander powder, paprika and red chilli. Then it can be either charcoal grilled or oven grilled to get the chicken juicy on the inside and hot and evenly roasted on the outside. Serve it with grilled scallions topped with lime juice.

chicken

  • Chicken Kebabs – This dish is incredibly simple to make and can be served as a snack, starter or even as an accompaniment to rice preparations. Chunks of chicken are marinated in yoghurt/buttermilk and herbs and spices and then skewered, lightly braised and grilled for an intense texture and flavour. Many variants of this dish can be prepared with just some different use of spices and by adding blended nuts puree to the marinating mixture for a delicious flavour. Kebabs as starters are usually served with mint and coriander chutney or tomato sauce.
  • Malabar Chicken Curry – This is a flavoursome curry dish from Kerala in South India. Authentic spices are toasted along with grated fresh coconut to give this dish a bold flavour. The coconut flavour shines despite chicken being the main ingredient and that’s the speciality of Kerala’s cuisine. It has a unique character and would take you all the way to South India with just one spoonful of it.
  • Haryali Chicken Curry – This dish is unlike other curry dishes as it is mild on spices and easy to digest. It is made using lots of green vegetables (that’s where it gets its name) and herbs ground to paste forming the base for the dish. It combines vegetables like capsicum, spinach, broccoli and condiments like coriander leaves and green chillies. This dish is more of a dry curry and can be served with either ‘roti’ or any rice preparation. It’s high in calcium and Vitamin C, so do try this recipe for the taste and the nutrient quotient as well.

There are many chicken recipes in the Indian cuisine to delight your taste buds with. Whether it’s an appetiser, soup, a quick snack or exotic main course meals, Indian cuisine offers a lot to choose from. So the next time you feel like having a hearty chicken dish, go for one of the dishes mentioned above, and you will not regret it. green-chicken

Share

Butter Shrimp Recipe: The Indian Way

If you are a non-vegetarian and love some seafood for yourself, then you’d be familiar with the pure delight shrimp dishes are. Shrimp are low in fat and calories and can be eaten as a healthy snack, lunch or dinner. Though sometimes all we wish for is a good shrimp cocktail here is a tasty recipe with a unique Indian twist.

shrimp

Ingredients:                                                                                          Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1 lbs shrimp (large), peeled and deveined

4 ounces of butter

2 Bay leaves

2 Cinnamon sticks (1 inch )

7-8 Cloves

3 Green cardamoms

2 Red Onions (sliced)

8-10 Kashmiri Chillies deseeded

½ cup of Raw Cashew Nuts

1 tbsp Ginger and Garlic Paste

4 Red tomatoes (roughly chopped)

Two teaspoons of salt

One tsp of sugar

¼ cup of Heavy Cream

Here’s what you need to do:

Heat your pressure cooker on medium heat and add butter. Once the butter’s melted, add the quantity mentioned above of whole spices- Bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves and the cardamoms. Next, add the sliced red onions and sauté till they are light golden brown. Now it’s time to add the red Kashmiri Chillies; don’t worry they’re not that spicy and bring a rich and intense colour to your dish. Instead of the whole spices and Kashmiri Chillies, you can also use ‘Tandoori’ paste, but the taste would be much more defined if you use the given ingredients. To boost the spice quotient, you can also add two green chillies. Add the cashew nuts to this mixture for a nutty flavour. It’s time to finish this mixture by adding a tablespoon of Ginger and Garlic Paste, freshly chopped tomatoes and salt. Now close the pressure cooker and let it do its job for the next ten minutes.

Open the cooker, release the steam and let the mixture cool down for some time. The next step is to blend this mixture till it acquires the consistency of a thick puree. Strain this puree into a clean sauté pan and add some water to get a smooth and silky gravy. If you have some residual solids from the mixture, blend it again with some water and add that to the pan. Do not waste any of it as it is very flavoursome. Now it’s time to add the shrimp to the gravy and let it cook for another ten minutes. Once the shrimp is tender, add a pinch of sugar to balance out the spices. It’s optional to add a teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves to enhance the flavour. To finish off, add a quarter cup of heavy cream which will give this dish its velvety texture. And that’s it! Your delicious bowl of Butter Shrimp – The Indian way is ready to serve. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves or flaked almonds.

butter-shrimp

Since the dish is very rich, it is recommended to serve it along with some steamed vegetables, Indian flatbread (roti) or cooked rice. This recipe will give a tough competition to even the best Indian restaurants. Try it at home and experience the amazing taste for yourself.

Share

8 Indian Desserts that will leave you wanting more

In most countries, dessert is the final course for a fulfilling meal, but in India, it’s a celebration. Sweets are an essential part of festivals, functions like weddings or simply any happy occasion. Indian desserts are very rich as most of them include milk, fruits and nuts as their main ingredients. In Indian households, on most occasions, it’s a tradition to serve a delicious item first to mark the beginning of an auspicious event. The country’s rich diversity can be easily seen through its desserts as well. From South Indian rice pudding to Bengali ‘Sandesh’, Indian desserts are anything but boring; there is something for everyone. Here’s a list of eight such delectable desserts that will leave you wanting more!

  1. Gulab Jamun – They are spherical doughnuts soaked in saffron infused sugar syrup. The doughnuts are made of ‘khoya’ which is a creamy curd, made my reducing milk for hours. The syrup is made flavoursome using cardamoms and cinnamon. No matter how dark your meal was, you’ll still have some space for sweet and hot gulab-jamuns.
  1. Kheer – Also known as ‘payasam’ in Southern India, Kheer is a creamy rice pudding. The whole milk is reduced to half during the cooking process to produce a solid base and gets its intense flavour from saffron and cardamom. Kheer has a very creamy texture and is topped with nuts and dried fruits for a high taste. It is a festive favourite throughout India.

kheer

  1. Gajar ka Halwa – This dish is a calorie-laden carrot pudding originating from the agrarian lands of Punjab. It is often prepared in the Indian households during the winter months as it keeps the body warm. It is made from a blend of nutty ghee (clarified butter), milk, cream, sugar and grated carrot. Chopped nuts are added thereon, and it is also flavoured using rose water sometimes. It’s best served hot, so don’t miss out on this sweet delight!
  1. Kaju Barfi – This milk and cashew preparation is usually exchanged as a sweet gift item on special occasions. It is beautifully studded with an edible silver foil called ‘warq’. Kaju Barfi is said to be the favourite of the ancient kings which ruled the country. It is grainy in texture and has a very nutty flavour because of the generous amount of cashews that goes in this dessert.
  1. Kulfi – This dessert is an Indian version of ice-cream. It is sinfully rich, dense and creamy as it contains nuts like pistachios and cashews and is infused with saffron and cardamom for flavour. It is found on almost every street corner in India and is usually eaten on a stick. This traditional dessert comes in many variants and shapes. The milk can be combined with fruits to get a whole another flavour such as Mango kulfi which is now a very famous tropical cold dessert. So the next time you feel like having an ice-cream, go for a Kulfi instead!

kulfi

  1. Jalebi – It is a warm, crispy and delicious sweet snack with a wacky shape. Wheat flour batter is deep-fried in a pretzel like the circular form and then soaked in sugar syrup. It is garnished with aromatic saffron strands for an intense and rich flavour. Being a street favourite in India, it is mostly consumed as a snack rather than a dessert.
  1. Ladoo – Ladoo is a spherical sweet which can be prepared using different flours, milk and nuts. It is often offered to the Hindu deities in temples by the worshippers. They are quite ubiquitous in India and available in many variants, both flavour and texture wise. The modifications change according to regions, occasion and even climate.
  1. Mysore Pak – This is a gorgeous South Indian dessert made using lots of ghee and gramme flour as its base ingredient. It is grainy in texture, but the moment you bite, it’ll melt in your mouth and leave you craving for more. It is the most commonly prepared dessert in South Indian households for occasions and family functions. Whenever you pay a visit to southern part of India, do give this treat a try and you will not regret it!

These delicacies mentioned above are just small subsets of the ever-expanding repertoire of Indian Desserts. Forget about the number of calories and indulge in these brilliant desserts, and let your taste buds have an amazing experience!

Share