Common Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Indian Food

April 15, 2015


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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Preparing Indian Food

Love the tantalizing taste of Indian cuisine and can’t wait to master some of its cooking techniques? Well, before you step into the realm of Indian cooking, just know that all good things come at a price- and for Indian cooking, it just might be the right amount of your time.

If you can make good curry, chances are that you can nail Indian cooking in your kitchen, but always give it the respect and effort that is its due. For trying to cook Indian food in a hurry is almost a crime where there are so many spices, condiments and flavorings to contend with. Getting the right flavor out of your dish means finding the perfect blend of ingredients and that is something which no cook should trifle with. So instead, here are a few tips to get you started on what not to do when preparing Indian food:

Cooking the onions: Onions form the base of almost every Indian entrée there is so this step needs special consideration. Frying onions for the right amount of time is crucial in Indian cooking as leaving them undercooked with lend your dish an excessive sweetness while overcooking the same with make it appear darker than usual and give it a bitter taste. To avoid these pitfalls, make sure to cook onions for the right amount of time, making them soft and translucent before moving onto the next step. A tip to minimize cooking time is to dice the onion rather than slice as this will allow them to cook faster.

Using spices: Central to flavor enhancement in Indian cooking, the spices used need to be fresh and fragrant. The magic of Indian cuisine lies not only in its flavor but also the delectable aroma that accompanies the dish when it is brought to the dining table. The source of that aroma is none other than the balanced use of the right spices. An assortment of Indian spices is readily available in grocery stores as well as from online sources, so make sure to stock up on these when you try your hand at Indian cooking. Plus, do not forget to check the expiry date on packaged spices or they will lose their freshness when used.

Thickening the curry: When it comes to making curry, its appeal lies in a thickened gravy rather than a watery consistency. This step can be infuriating for some people as thickening the gravy to retain its flavor and consistency can be a time consuming phase of the cooking process. If anything, this is the slow cooking part of the process and should not be hurried through by increasing the flame or heat underneath; instead let it simmer gently until the desired consistency is reached.

Proper seasoning: The trick is to not be frugal when it comes to seasoning the dish. While “less is more” is a common enough assumption, it does not necessarily apply to good cooking techniques. When it is time to season your dish, make sure to season generously so as not to take away from any of its flavor.

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