Indian food, just like any other country’s national food culture, is varied and diverse. If you miss homely food while living far from your motherland, this brief guide from Dwaraka Organic will surely help you get your mastery of cooking Indian food. Read on to know more about the quirks of Indian cuisines, important ingredients, cookware to be used, and some quick tips.
Indian cuisine is among the top ten most popular in the world. However, preparing Indian cuisine is not as simple as enjoying it.
Yes, cooking Indian cuisine is an art, and you need to develop patience and passion for it if you ever want to get the best of the tastes and aromas in the world.
Diverse and delicious, cooking Indian food has different methods and processes across the nation, and we bring you the simplest ways of cooking Indian food for beginners if you want to try your hands on it.
Cooking Indian Food is an Art Form
Cooking Indian food is considered an art. Indian food recipes are usually passed down from generations by just show-and-tell. Since food is taken very seriously in India, menus include a variety of dishes just like in any other country. There are chapatis, sabzis, dal, kadhi, rice, sides like achaar, papad, and desserts too.
Discovering Indian Cuisine
Over the years, various invaders passing through India have left their mark on Indian cuisines. Indian food culture is influenced by Aryan, Persian, Arab, British, and Portuguese people, and their influence can still be found in many popular dishes that are still served today.
India is a huge nation; with 28 states and 7 union territories, you can imagine the food culture and its vastness. Food from region to region differs. There are different cuisines for North, South, East, and West India.
Myths about Indian food
Even with all diversity, the world has only known Indian food culture for its curry. This is the most significant misunderstanding since curry is only part of a few recipes in India. Another misconception about Indian food culture is that the food is all spicy, fatty, rich, or hard to cook. But for beginners, decoding Indian food is not that hard. It’s not always about the curry but the perfect balance of the ingredients.
Now let’s understand Indian food for beginners
Cooking Indian cuisine involves a lot of spices and ingredients. Most people, especially beginner Indian cooks, find the recipes too lengthy, time-consuming, and complicated. But, Indian cooking can be simple with limited ingredients and a selection of recipes.
Here’s an interesting article on tips to make tasty and healthy food in 2022 for you before starting with the basics of cooking Indian cuisine.
Indian food recipes have the raw ingredients, spices, and herbs all brought together by following a specific cooking process.
Here are some main points you need to consider while cooking Indian food at home:
- Authentic Indian spices
- Indian cookware
- Indian cooking processes
- Balance of Indian flavors and tastes
- Simple tips you can follow
Cooking Indian food is all about practice. So, be patient, make sure you are ready to sense all good smells and tastes and let’s begin.
Authentic Indian Spices
Spices in Indian cuisine are an integral part of cooking, making it distinct from other cuisines. If you want to know how to cook Indian food, we suggest you use authentic organic whole spices and be comfortable with them. Here are some Whole Spices That Are Must-Haves in Indian Cuisine.
Indian cookware is not so different, but cooking Indian food at home needs some typical Indian utensils. These are stainless steel heavy-bottomed deep cooking pot, deep bottom frying/saute pan, kadai/kadhai (Indian wok), flat bottomed frying pan/tawa, pressure cooker, or instant pot.
Indian Cooking Processes
Now that we have all the essential ingredients and cookware, we need to know the Indian cooking styles and processes.
Indian cooking methods are not different from other cuisines, yet the applied process differs. Cooking Indian food is about the right consistency.
- Standard Indian cooking methods are:
- Frying – Tempering the spices and veggies
- Sautéing (Bhuna)
Balance of Indian flavors and tastes
Ayurveda has a significant influence on authentic Indian cooking methods. According to Ayurveda, the following six elements have to be there in every Indian dish:
Every ingredient in Indian food has a unique flavor profile. The tastes are united in different ways to create the stunning variety of flavors we experience through food.
Indian Food for Beginners – Simple Tips You Can Follow
However, for a new learner, Indian cooking tips are always helpful, and we bring you these:
- Buy the seven spices we mentioned earlier in small packs to start your spice collection.
- Buy good quality cookware and mixers or grinders that are handy in grinding spices. Or you can simply buy readymade spice blends and ginger–garlic paste to save you some time.
- For the starters, start with a dish that has no more than 7-9 ingredients, including spices. These dishes are relatively easy to work with and help you be comfortable with spices.
- Start with cooking for yourself. Even if you fail at cooking, there will be less wastage. Indian food culture also promotes saving food and ingredients.
- Do not replace curry powder with Garam Masala powder. They are entirely different in flavor and taste.
- Taste as you cook. Learn the profiles of the spices you have used and adjust the seasoning and spices to your preferences.
- Adding a lot of chili powder to the dish will make it hot. Use it according to your liking. Keep what suits you.
- Cook rice adequately. Most Indian sabzis (vegetable preparations) and curries taste good with plain boiled rice.
- Most Importantly, enjoy the process.
There you go. The mentioned spices, cookware, and tips will help you get started with the basic Indian food for beginners. We hope you enjoy cooking Indian dishes as much as you love eating and sharing with your loved ones.