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WHAT'S IN YOUR PANTRY WILL BE ON YOUR TABLE......


From the pantry to the table...

Since I am from India and will be delving into Indian cuisine a lot, it seems right to talk about the basics of Indian curry. The biggest complaint I've heard from cooks all over is, that as much as they love Indian cuisine, they cannot bring it into their own kitchens since it is "too complex" and involves a lot of additions to their pantry! So my first blog in the Indian segment is dedicated to the fundamentals of Indian cooking - assembling an Indian pantry! These include spices ranging from the essentials to the complex varieties (many exotic seeds and herbs you may never have seen or heard before). The goal of this is to give an Indian cuisine beginner a head start with the basic spices in developing the flavors. Once you are confident with these, venture into more complex creations. To make it convenient, I am splitting the list into two categories:

MUST HAVE BASIC SPICES

Spice Hindi Name

1. Cayenne powder lal mirch powder

2. Coriander powder dhania powder

3. Turmeric powder haldi powder

4. Dry mango powder amchoor

5. Cumin (whole) jeera

6. Mustard seeds rai

7. Garam Masala garam masala

If you are new to Indian cooking, start with these seven essentials. As you develop, you can start introducing and experimenting with the following spices.

OCCASIONAL ADDITIONS

(The use of these is restricted to as and when a recipe demands)

Spice Hindi Nam

1. Peppercorns kali mirch

2. Cloves laung

3. Cinnamon dalchini

4. Cardamoms elaichi

5. Bay leaves tej patta

6. Fennel seeds saunf

7. Fenugreek seeds methidana

8. Ajwain bishop’s seeds

9. Kalaunji nigella seeds

OTHER STAPLES OF AN INDIAN FRIDGE

Curry leaves (Kari patta)

Cilantro

Garlic

Ginger

Tamarind (concentrate or pods)

Tomatoes

Plain yogurt

Paneer (Indian cheese)

OTHER PANTRY ITEMS

Whole Wheat Flour (atta)

Basmati Rice

Ghee ( Clarified Butter)

Chickpea flour (besan)

Lentils - Indians consume most of the world’s lentils. For many of them, this forms the main source of protein. Because of its cheap cost, lentils can be easily stored and cooked quickly. Popular lentils include:

Red Lentils (masoor)

Yellow lentils (toor/arhar)

Split Pea (chana dal)

Green Lentils (mung dal)

Black Lentil (urad)

Each of these lentil comes with or without a husk. Typically, all varieites need to be soaked prior to cooking. Husked lentils require more soaking and cooking time. But the procedure of everyday lentil preparation is very simple and quick.

Beans - These may include garbanzo, black eyed peas, kidney beans and various dried varieties of peas. All need to be soaked 6-8 hours prior to cooking. Cooking procedure is more like a curried dish.

#Spices #Indiancooking #Indian