So, you’ve just decided to cook-up a nice Indian meal for dinner. You unearth your recipe book and flick through the pages until you come across the perfect dish. You check out the first couple of ingredients on the list, only to look in your kitchen cupboard and realise that you’re out of stock. It’s a situation we can all relate to, right?
At this point, you’ve really got two choices: head to the shops to pick up a few bits, or ditch the Indian dinner and opt for something else instead. You’re not a fan of either option, so what can be done about it?
Well, this situation can be avoided altogether– all you need to do is ensure that your kitchen cupboards are stacked with Indian cooking essentials. Making sure you’ve got the basic ingredients found in Indian dishes will put an end to those last minute dashes to the shop, and you won’t need to sacrifice a nice curry for a takeaway ever again.
What are those essential ingredients? We’ll tell you
Spices are the heart and soul of Indian cuisine, and there are a few essential ones that need to be in your kitchen cupboard. These include: cumin, cinnamon, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cardamom and mustard seed. The list may seem somewhat extensive, but you will only use a small amount of spice in each dish, so they’ll last for a long time. Just make sure they are stored in a cool, dry place (AKA, your kitchen cupboard).
You will also need a few fresh ingredients, but all of them have a reasonably long shelf-life so can be bought in advance. The first of these ingredients is onion, which is used in abundance in Indian cooking. You’ll also need garlic and fresh ginger.
If you like spicy dishes, then make sure you’ve got a selection of red and green chillies. You can buy them in fresh, dried or in powder form, though fresh is believed to release the most flavour when used in cooking.
Breads make the perfect accompaniment to all Indian meals – eaten as a starter, or used to soak up any leftover sauce. Atta flour is used to make a range of Indian flatbreads, including naan, puri, chapatti and roti. Make sure you’ve got some stored in your cupboard.
Dried pulses, called Dal, are also key ingredients in Indian cooking. They are often used to enhance the flavour of dishes and they help to thicken the consistency of sauces. If you don’t eat meat, there’s a good chance that your recipe will include some form of Dal, so make sure you’ve got some to hand.
At the risk of stating the obvious, mostly all Indian dishes are served with rice, so make sure you’ve got plenty of it in your kitchen cupboard! Basmati is the preferred rice of choice; known for its distinct nutty aroma, it can be served plain or mixed with meat and vegetables.
So, are you all stocked up? If you don’t fancy cooking tonight, why not treat yourself to a meal out instead? In London you’ll find some of the country’s best fine dining Indian restaurants, including the oldest in the city – Veeraswamy.Book a tableand you won’t be disappointed.