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Indian cooking 101: Know your ingredients

April 20, 2009

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This is the first of a series of educational posts on Indian cooking. Learning how to cook Indian food is futile if you don’t familiarize yourself with the major ingredients used across cuisines in the country.

Indian cooking requires some basic ingredients that are extremely versatile. If you have these in your pantry you can whip up a quick Indian dish in no time. You can easily find them at any Indian grocery store and fortunately they are readily available in the ethnic foods section of most grocery stores (I have seen them at both Rainbow and Cub).

1. Knowing your Lentils, Pulses & Beans

I just found a great web page detailing the common types of Lentils, Pulses and Beans used in Indian cooking. It’s short and interesting and gives a basic overview of this nutritious and essential part of Indian food.

2. Must-have spices & Grains

Spices are stored as above in any Indian household

Spices are stored as above in any Indian household

Red Chilli powder

Tumeric powder

Coriander powder

Cumin Powder

Garam Masala (concoction of several spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom)

Ginger paste

Garlic paste

Green chillies (thinner than the Mexican ones)

Curry leaves

Black Mustard seeds

Fenugreek seeds (Methi seeds)

Cumin seeds

Coriander seeds

Basmati rice

Cinnamon sticks

Bay leaves

Ghee (clarified butter)

5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2009 2:14 am

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.

  2. November 27, 2010 12:44 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your blog. I look forward to trying out the chickpea recipe!

    • November 28, 2010 10:21 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by 🙂 And glad you enjoy my blog. If you have any feedback or questions, please feel free to send me a message.

  3. July 15, 2012 12:09 am

    Hi there. Thanks for starting this blog. As a cooking novice, but Indian food lover, I’m excited to read it all. But, the link to the :Lentils, Pulses and Beans” article is broken. It looks like they changed the URL. This is the new one:

    • August 27, 2012 8:07 pm

      Hi Cherie! Thanks SO MUCH for sending me the correct link! I have rectified it.

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