Indian Cooking at Home – What Your Pantry Needs

Indian cooking, Indian Cooking at Home , cooking Indian cuisineWhen I just started out cooking, I was already aware of the different ingredients and items that I need at home in order to cook my favorite dishes. I have grown up eating the food I love. I have seen my mother cook the same dishes and I managed to pick up a few tips or so in the process. If you just became interested in cooking Indian food recently, it may be harder for you to pick up which items you would need to get.

Admittedly, cooking Indian cuisine can be a bit complicated when it comes to the basic ingredients that are needed. If ever you are having a hard time picking out which ingredients you would basically need, here are 10 of the ingredients that you will use in cooking Indian cuisine, one way or another:

  1. Garam Masala – There are various spices that are needed in Indian cuisine but some are being used more than the others. If you would like an easy way to spice things up, you would need the Garam Masala which is a fusion of all the different spices together in a powder.
  2. Various Vegetables – A lot of people are not aware that a lot of Indians are vegetarians. This is the reason why a lot of the food products that are being sold even on the streets are made out of vegetables. Vegetables have different tastes that can be good for the palette. Adding the ones needed for a dish will make the flavors come together very well.
  3. Onions – If there is one ingredient that is almost always included in Indian dishes, it is onions. Sometimes, onions are chopped, diced or sliced. It does not matter that much, as long as they will be included in the different dishes. There are also times when uncooked onions are placed on top of the dish for the best taste possible.
  4. Red Chili Powder – Indians like their food with a little bit of heat and this is the ultimate reason why the red chili powder is extremely important. Some people like the fresh ones better, however this can be bought from various supermarkets.
  5. Turmeric – There are a lot of Indian foods that have turmeric added – usually in powder form to bring out the taste of all the other ingredients better. Tumeric provides a rich and vibrant color to the food.
  6. Chapati – While this is not usually an ingredient that is used when people cook, it is a very common ingredient that is present in all the Indian dishes that are available. Sometimes, it is the chapati that is used to scoop out the food from the main dish.
  7. Tomatoes – While it is not as commonly used as onions, there are a lot of times when tomatoes are placed on Indian pizzas, as well on the bread, because it has a very tangy taste that is very well appreciated.
  8. Cumin Seeds – There are some people who are not too familiar with Indian cooking that might think that placing cumin seeds can be a bit weird, but it is a common ingredient for the different Indian dishes that can be cooked. The aroma that it brings can surely make the mouth water.
  9. Coriander Seed Powder – While the cumin seeds are used for aromatic purposes, the coriander on the other hand is something that can enhance the taste of almost any Indian dish. It also brings a pleasant smell too.
  10. Bay Leaf – While the bay leaf is usually placed when people are cooking the different Indian dishes, it is also removed before eating because they are hard to chew and a bit bitter. The taste that it can impart however, is an entirely different story.

These are just some of the basic ingredients that you would need inside your pantry in order to cook different Indian dishes.

Top 5 Tips for Perfect Chicken Tikka

chickenTikka,Indian food,Indian chickenTikkaI have to admit that I love different types of Indian food, but my favorite of all the different ones out there is Chicken Tikka. I just love this dish so much that sometimes, when I am cooking for my family and friends, I always add it as one of the dishes that I will serve them. I believe that they like it as much as I do. Now is your chance to cook your very own Chicken Tikka and I guarantee that you will also enjoy it a lot.

The smoky flavor of the Chicken Tikka is probably the reason why I love it so much. From the name, it is quite apparent that Chicken Tikka is composed of pre-marinated pieces of chicken that have been grilled first. After it has been grilled, it will be added to unique gravy, that is unlike any other that I have tasted in any other cuisine.

Admittedly, it can be a bit complicated to make the perfect Chicken Tikka without knowing how it is cooked. Here are some tips that can be followed in order to make your very own delicious Chicken Tikka:

  1. The sauce is highly important in any Chicken Tikka dish. There are some people who focus too much on the Tikka or the chicken and just forget about the sauce, but the main reason why they work so well together is because the sauce brings out the flavor of the Tikka. The sauce should taste perfect with all the tomatoes, onions, cream and butter, all infused together with lemon.
  2. Make sure that the chicken chunks are tender. Nothing will ruin the Chicken Tikka more than undercooked or overcooked chicken chunks that may be tuff. The chicken should be cooked perfectly.
  3. Grill the chicken. If you do not have your very own griller at home, it is likely that you will not get the authentic taste of the Tikka. Usually, what makes the chicken so good is because of its smoky taste. This cannot be achieved if it will not be grilled. Those who do not have grillers usually use broilers instead.
  4. Do not over marinate. Some people seem to think that the longer the chicken marinates, the better it will taste. It might work for other dishes, but not for this dish. Over marinating can happen if the chicken is marinated for more than 6 hours.
  5. Make sure to try and try again, until you succeed. I have to admit that even I had a hard time perfecting my very own Chicken Tikka recipe at home and I had to do it several times until I was able to get the desired result. Once you do find the right recipe, do not forget it, so that you can do it whenever you would want to.

With all the things that Chicken Tikka can offer, it is no wonder that a lot of people, including me, consider it as one of their favorite Indian dishes. Do it well and you will surely get a lot of praise from your family and friends.

Put Out the Fire with Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi, Indians Mango Lassi, Making the perfect Mango Lassi Most of the Indian dishes that are being cooked are not only spicy, but are also “extremely” spicy. Sometimes, it proves to be too much for people, even for those who are accustomed to eating spicy food. When water and even wine sometimes is not enough to put out the fire, what Indians usually serve as dessert is, a Mango Lassi.

If you are not familiar with what a Mango Lassi is, it is basically similar to a smoothie, but it is made up of mango and plain yogurt. Do remember that using flavored yogurt may basically ruin the taste of the mango lassi.

5 Tips to Make the Perfect Mango Lassi

If you are planning to cook different fiery Indian meals, you have to make sure that you have enough mango lassi to make people put out the fire that they are feeling inside their mouths because of the spiciness of the food. Making the perfect Mango Lassi is easy as long as you follow these different tips.

  1. Make sure that you pick out a right mango. There are different types of mango that can be found right now. Some make use of the green mango when they want the mango to have a more sour taste. For the Mango Lassi however, a ripe, yellow mango is needed to bring out the taste of the yogurt.
  2. Put just the right amount of honey or sugar in the drink so that it will not taste too sweet. There are even some who prefer not placing any sugar or honey, in order to bring out the natural taste of the mango.
  3. Cardamom powder may be added to the mango lassi drink if you would like the drink to become thicker. It can also make the drink chunkier than usual. Those who do not like chunky drinks may want to avoid the powder altogether.
  4. Freeze the Mango Lassi for about half an hour before serving. This will make the drink even more refreshing than usual. It will also help with the consistency of the drink.
  5. Place some toppings on the drink as you see fit. There are some people who prefer placing fresh fruits in the glass, in order to make the drink more interesting, whilst there are also some who prefer placing finely chopped nuts and even some basil leaves. Change the toppings too so that your guests will have choices.

Do remember that presentation is the key to have a perfect Mango Lassi. You can make it look more interesting by placing them in glasses that are unique and can enhance the overall look of the drink. Place some straws on the side of the glass too. If in case there are some leftovers of the drink, refrigerate it first and it can still be drunk for about 24 hours after it has been made. If people would try to drink it after that, the taste may be altered already because it will not taste fresh and refreshing anymore.