Questions with this tag should be about traditional ingredients, preparations or dishes from India - such as curries, naan or butter chicken. Questions about ingredients common to Indian-style cooking, but which aren't about a specific Indian dish, should not use this tag.

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25
votes
17answers
12k views

Secret to takeaway curry

It's become something of a quest for me to find a curry recipe that tastes like the curry you get from an Indian Takeaway. I'm getting close with the consistency, but can't get the taste right. I ...
22
votes
10answers
3k views

How do I make soft chapattis?

I have been trying to make chapattis (an Indian flat unleavened bread, somewhat like a wheat tortilla), using the following recipe for the dough: 300ml water, 250g whole wheat flour, 250g white wheat ...
21
votes
11answers
3k views

What can I cook for Indian guests without trying to mimic Indian cuisine?

I am raised in Belgium, with the Belgian cuisine related to the French and (to a much lesser extent) the German. I'm having Indian friends over for dinner and I don't know what to cook for them. Last ...
17
votes
9answers
7k views

What is this fungus/lichen in my Garam Masala? (“Trifle”/truffle?)

I just bought a lovely bag of Garam Masala, and was all ready to grind some when I got home! But when I opened it, I found something I didn’t recognise — at first I thought something had gone mouldy, ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Naan without tandoor?

I miss Indian food and especially good naan bread. I haven't really tried it, but I wanted to test if it's possible to make naan without a tandoor? Has anyone tried this, do you have some good tips ...
16
votes
9answers
4k views

Curries from Scratch, a beginners guide

I really want to start experimenting with indian food, without relying on jars of paste. I am looking for any good information so: What spices to buy? What equipment? Any good books? Any good web ...
15
votes
9answers
7k views

Which spice gives brown colour to Indian curry?

Many of the premixed curry pastes and curry dishes I have eaten have a brownish / reddish colour to them. I have a nice collection of spices that I cook with, but my curries seem to always look and ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

What is a Chutney?

Chutney is foreign to my culture and the food i grew up with. Thus, the lack of sophistication and familiarity with chutney. So please forgive my misunderstanding. I often hear the buzzword on food ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

How do you make paneer?

I've seen the ingredient list of a brand of paneer with an ingredient list of: Milk, Citric Acid. Ok, so what is the process from there? I have a few specific questions: What kind of milk do you ...
13
votes
6answers
18k views

What type of yoghurt should I use for making curry?

I've seen a lot of recipes specifying "yoghurt" when making an indian-style curry, but very rarely do they specify what type. The problem is compounded for me in that I live in a country where I ...
13
votes
5answers
7k views

Which onions to use and how to cook them for an Indian curry recipe that specifies “fry until deep pink”?

One of the curry recipes in the book "50 great curries of India" says "Heat the oil in a cooking pot and fry the onions until deep pink." I think I know what it means when a recipe says "until deep ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

“Indian Spicy” vs. “Thai Spicy”

What ingredient(s) make the spiciness from Indian food distinct from the spiciness of, say, Thai food? Indian good seems to have a longer, slower burn, rather than a "sharper" spiciness of Thai. I ...
12
votes
10answers
7k views

How do I make paneer firm and chewy like in the restaurant?

Recently I've taken a liking to Indian cuisine and am trying to replicate the curry experience at home. The biggest problem I'm having is with the paneer cheese, which is used in curries I like the ...
11
votes
2answers
983 views

Oil separating from fried onion/spice mixture, why does it happen?

I was always taught when cooking Indian dishes to fry spices in a chopped/pureed onion and garlic mixture to release their flavour and essential oils. I was also taught that when the oil separates ...
11
votes
8answers
26k views

Does paneer have to be cooked?

I want to just toss it into some indian food I have. Does it need to be cooked first or is it ok if it just warms up a bit when I throw it in the sauce?
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What is meant by “cook until the oil separates” in Indian curry recipes?

A lot of Indian curry recipes have a step where you're told to cook an onion-tomato-spices mixture "until the oil separates". Despite having tried cooking such recipes a number of times already, I ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why baking powder in rotis?

I just ate a store bought roti (a flat Indian bread, like a tortilla) and baking powder is a listed ingredient. Why does a flat bread need baking powder? There are no bubbles to grow, are there?
9
votes
4answers
55k views

What's Fruit Salt?

A recipe I am trying out (for khaman dhokla) requires fruit salt. What is it? What can I use as a suitable substitute?
8
votes
5answers
9k views

How to make chapattis round and of same thickness?

I have tried making Chapatis many times. I can make dough for Chapati very well, but I am failing when it comes to structure of the roti/chapati. I make two mistakes: When I try to flatten it, one ...
8
votes
3answers
15k views

Papadum sauces - making my own

In Indian restaurants you get usually Papadum as appetizer. It is often served with 3 sauces, one green sauce with a light peppermint taste, one red a bit sweet sauce and one very hot sauce. These ...
8
votes
15answers
31k views

How to ferment dosa batter?

I have never been successful in fermenting dosa batter properly in the US. I generally soak urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds for a few hours and grind them together. Even if I leave the batter in ...
8
votes
5answers
262 views

Name of an Indian dish with stuffed whole potatoes

I had a lovely Indian meal which I would like to find the name of. There were small whole potatoes with a little hole cut into them and filled with spices and (I think) some lamb mince. They were ...
7
votes
4answers
359 views

What are these small long narrow yellow things?

In a food market, on the street, I bought a Masala Dosa, and it had some small yellow narrow long things in it that were delicious. I snapped a picture: Any ideas what they are?
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Sugar in Indian curries?

I've seen that sugar is used to balance out other flavors in a dish. I was just wondering if I could add a little sugar to a spicy curry(chicken curry, for example). Would that take away the authentic ...
7
votes
6answers
2k views

Baking naan without an oven?

Is it possible to make eggless naan without an oven?
7
votes
5answers
706 views

Is “ghee” clarified butter or beurre noisette?

Reading the Wikipedia pages on “Ghee,” “Clarified butter” and “Beurre noisette” has left me somewhat confused as to what ghee is. Some statements on the pages seem to suggest that it's always ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Why rinse basmati rice?

Every Indian recipe I see seems to insist on rinsing basmati rice before cooking it. Why, I have no idea, because I never rinse it, yet I can discern no difference between my rice and rice cooked by ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Why doesn't my conventional-oven Naan bread taste authentic?

I recently tried this recipe for Naan bread in an oven, and followed it diligently, but the product that came out did not have that characteristic flavor of Naan. It was more like a pizza bread ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Indian Mango Pickle producing gas is that normal?

I am trying to pickle some mangoes the Indian way. I boiled the jar in hot water, dried it and then added the mixture of spices, salt and mangoes to the jars after the mixture had cooled. I made the ...
7
votes
3answers
435 views

Does jaggery need to be soaked?

One of our TV chefs has done a show on India, and one of the ingredients he has used in a few recipes is jaggery, a sugar made from palms. In the show, it appears to be soft, like soft brown sugar. ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the correct onion to tomato ratio for North Indian masala sauce?

What's the optimum — or, at least, the most widely used — tomato to onion ratio for making the tomato masala (sauce)? Masala is used as the base for a number of north Indian dishes. Onions are fried ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why pressure cook rasmalai?

My wife loves rasmalai and we make it often. I have used several different recipes and both made the paneer from scratch as well as using paneer purchased at a local Indian grocery store. Some ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Can an American substitute for garam masala be made?

I love Indian food and have been experimenting with curry recipes, and many of them ask for 'garam masala'. I know it's a spice mix but I can't find it for sale anywhere around me. I've also read ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is Indian food more expensive to prepare than Chinese food?

Based on my subjective experience, Indian food at restaurants is more expensive than Chinese. This seems to hold across restaurant classes, low end takeout is a buck or two more then Chinese takeout, ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Can water cause fermented pickles to spoil?

I recently learned about Indian lemon pickles. There is a lot of variation between recipes but the ones I am trying consist of chopping lemons or limes, adding salt, and letting them ferment for a ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “curd” mean in a South Asian recipe?

I've seen the word "curd" used in a few South Asian recipes (like, notably, some "Butter Chicken" recipes). In one video, it kind-of looks like it might be cottage cheese (or something like that), ...
6
votes
1answer
408 views

Name the vegetable from Nilgiri hills

I bought this in Ooty market and was told that it is a Nilgiri hills specific vegetable. It is pink on the outside and white inside with two hard black seeds in the upper half of it. It tastes sour, ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Keep Pakoras Crisp

What's the best way to keep pakoras crisp until being served? I am planning to make pakoras for a party and will not have time to make it as the guests arrive, which is why I would like to make it a ...
6
votes
2answers
755 views

How long does a pack of raw, dried Indian papad keep once opened?

How long does a pack of raw, dried Indian papad keep once it's opened? There's a best before date on the pack, but it's not mentioned how long they keep once it's opened. The ones I have are the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the possible substitutions for Cumin in Indian cuisine?

I've always been interested in trying to make some type of dahl or other Indian cuisine but I'm severely allergic to Cumin. This typically strikes me out for recipes with curry or chili powder. Does ...
5
votes
4answers
25k views

How can I quickly save a tasteless curry?

I made a curry last night for this evenings meal. The main components of it are aubergines, yoghurt, ginger, tumeric, cumin and chilli. After cooking it I tasted it and it is sadly quite tasteless. ...
5
votes
3answers
428 views

What type of Rice is best for Indian Style Rice Pudding?

What type of Rice is best for Indian Style Rice Pudding?
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is garam masala in many curry paste/powder recipes?

Garam masala, of course, is a blend of warming spices. However, many of those spices are listed individually in recipes for curry pastes and powders that also call for garam masala. Since most garam ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

Clumpy yogurt conundrum

I made a delicious yogurt/cream/mint/garlic sauce the other day but the presentation was less than becoming. I simply roasted some garlic and mixed the rest of the ingredients together. I used very ...
4
votes
3answers
26k views

Alternative to Fenugreek in curry?

Is there an alternative to dried Fenugreek in curry? Is it required?
4
votes
6answers
3k views

Ingredients to Get Started with Indian Cuisine

I'm interested in slowly getting started with Indian cooking and building up my store of spices. However, I generally don't have as much time to cook as I would like and really don't have enough space ...
4
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I avoid dry meat and burned masala and rice in biryana?

I have tried to make Biryani several (3, lol) times using this recipe but never got it right. The meat gets too dry, and the masala and rice often get burned. How can I avoid this?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Equivalence between fresh coconut and coconut cream?

I've been enjoying my cookbook Fish Indian Style which I won in the Question-of-the-Week contest here on Seasoned Advice. However, I'm having difficulty with one common ingredient used in Atul ...
4
votes
1answer
433 views

Is it possible to make onion Bhajis without a deep fryer?

I love these things. Is it possible to cook them in e.g. a frying pan if I keep turning them around? Or maybe by just filling up my crockpot a little way with oil (enough to cover the Bhajis but not ...
4
votes
2answers
836 views

How do you make 'Rabri'?

It's an Indian, or to be more specific, Bengali pudding. Its milky with sheets/pieces of something akin to 'hard milk'. I've never seen a recipe for it and the Wikipedia article is vague indeed.