Thursday, January 7, 2010
Amy loves all things about the Indian culture. Her fiance is Indian, they travel to India and along the way she has become quite the Indian cook. This post is the first of a series that she is doing on Indian cooking for Eat Drink Pretty .
Guest post by Amy:
It is no secret that I love Indian food. Sure, most people are drawn into the smells of ginger and garlic, along with all the wonderful spices of roasted cumin, coriander, and chilies. But for me, my love for Indian food developed because I am a vegetarian. Indians have been vegetarians for centuries and to this day, most Indians are vegetarian in some fashion. Another benefit is that Indian food is good for you! Studies have shown that the spices in Indian food, such as turmeric, prevent cancer.
Although Indian food is healthy for you, it is also delicious! Cooking Indian food is not as daunting as it looks, and with a little practice, can be really easy. Over the next few months, I hope to share with you recipes and tricks to hone your Indian cooking skills. The post today will be more of an introduction.
The first hurdle to cooking Indian food is that you must have the necessary ingredients, including spices. Most Indian spices are now readily available in most major supermarkets. Many of you may be wondering if you can pick up some "curry powder" and use that in your Indian cooking. Curry powder is actually a Western invention. Curry powder is simply a melange of spices ready-made. The reason Indians never use a curry powder is because each Indian mother has her own special mix (or masala) she uses in the kitchen. Some families like more chilies, some more cloves, some more cumin, and so one. That being said, if you already own a bottle of curry powder, keep it on hand! We can still put it to good use.
Here is a picture of my Indian spice kit:
Must haves for Indian spices includes:
Other essentials for Indian Cooking:
Tomatoes and/or tomato paste
So go forth, and pick up these ingredients at the grocery store if you don't already have them. Part 2 of Rani in the kitchen will include a recipe for Aloo Gobi (potato cauliflower).