I am rookie in cooking. Whatever i try to cook I am not getting any taste in it it just has the raw taste. I add chilly powder, turmeric powder etc .

But I always miss the quantity . May be i think i am adding the spices too little. Does it comes only with experience or is there any rough estimate of how much to be added..

closed as unclear what you're asking by Cascabel Jul 20 '15 at 5:35

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  • what are you getting raw taste of? Is it the spices or the veggies or meat or gravy on the whole? I am just trying to break down the problem. Or if you can give an example of what you were trying to cook so it is bit easier to understand what is going wrong in it. – User56756 Jul 1 '15 at 4:06
  • What exactly goes in to the "etc" part? – Willem van Rumpt Jul 1 '15 at 4:34
  • @Shrilekha raw taste in the sense -lets say i cook a tomato capsicum curry .. it just had tomato taste in the curry but no flavour because of the incorrect mixing proportion of the items i added . Fyi.. I added ginger garlic paste, chilly powder, turmeric powder & Coriander powder .. I guess it should have been sufficient to make a dish tasty.. – Jaguar Jul 1 '15 at 18:33
  • @Willem van Rumpt Etc part as mentioned above in the comments .. – Jaguar Jul 1 '15 at 18:44
  • Maybe your spices are stale? Prefer using whole spices and roast them a little bit and grind them yourself. – Max Jul 2 '15 at 12:40

I have to disagree on salt. Indian cuisine is all about spices. A agree with Will that the proper sauteing of the spices is very important. I would never use fresh tomatoes in any Indian dish I use my own frozen Roma tomates or store bought canned. I would still like to know what dish you are trying to make, Jaguar. The first key is to start with a great recipe, follow it to the letter the first time, then modify it to your liking. Contact me if you want a great Chicken Tika Masala or Butter Chicken recipe. While your at the Indian grocery make sure you pick up some frozen Garlic Naan (bread) to complement the dish.

  • i will mark it the answer :) for to contact you to make chicken Tika Masala :) :) – Jaguar Jul 2 '15 at 21:28

The main reason why you are not getting the flavorful spicy flavors you expect from Indian Cuisines is not because of the quantity of your spices but rather the variety and quality.

Most Indian dishes will have much more than just chili powder and turmeric powder. Many dishes from this cuisine will contains different mixtures of: cardamom, ground peppercorn, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard, nutmeg, allspice, tamarind, cinnamon, cassia, garlic, star anise, and cloves just to name a few.

Often times all of these ingredients are whole and ground into powder at the time of cooking to retain the maximum flavor. After the spice has been ground into a powder it loses its flavor as time passes.

A common technique to help release the aromatics from these spices is to heat up and toast the spices in the pan beforehand.

If you don't have the time or the money to deal with all these fresh spices, at the very minimum you should try to buy curry powder rather than turmeric powder at the store. Curry powder typically contains a spice blend that includes turmeric and few of the other spices I listed above. Ingredients of curry powder will differ from brand to brand.

I am unable to help you with how much spice to add to a dish because it varies way too much upon what type of dish you are making and personal preferences.

  • I accept what you say but I am just trying to hear from some experts on atleast any rough approx quantity of ingredients of what brings the actual spicy flavour to the curry.. – Jaguar Jul 1 '15 at 18:36

I'm curious about which Indian dish you are making. Friends and family are always begging me for my Chicken Tika Masala and Butter Chicken. I would recommend you buy your spices at an Indian grocery if there is one available. The prices are nothing compared to a grocery store and they usually come in larger quantities. As an example, I purchased 3.5 oz of cinnamon sticks for $2.49. Another spice needed in almost every Indian dish is Garam Masala powder which is a combination of a lot of spices. Same for curry powder as stated by Jay.

  • oh may be i am missing that garam masala.. let me buy that and try..I would like to mark this answer useful but seems i dont have enough reps in this part of the stackoverflow world.. so my bad.. – Jaguar Jul 1 '15 at 18:41

If you think your Indian dishes simply don't have enough spices, you have two choices:

  • Keep adding spices until it's spicy enough. Things like curries are really easy to repeatedly taste and add to.
  • Find recipes you like. It's hard to improvise if you don't have much experience, but you can find a blog/website/cookbook that suits you and cook away. Once you've made more things, you'll have better intuition about what to add to an improvised dish.

But given the way you've described things ("just the raw taste") and so on, it sounds like it's probably not just that you're using too little of the spices you have, it's that you're missing ingredients - maybe other spices, maybe completely different things like fat, onion, garlic, ginger, acid, cream, and so on. Or it could even be part of the cooking methods you're using! And that's something that you should really use recipes to fix. It's going to take you an awfully long time to experiment your way to good Indian food one little step at a time.

There's no one magic answer about what or how much to add. There are many dishes, with many different spices in different quantities. If you come up with one answer that works for one dish, and try to use it on other things, everything you make will taste the same.

The advice provided by others here is of course good: use whole spices when possible, and toast them when appropriate. But this is yet another thing that you can solve by finding a good recipe source; good recipes will tell you what to toast.

  • @Jaguar I think the answers are pretty good here. I will tell you how I cook all the time. It's important to add all spices in good qty to your gravy (onion/tomato/ginger-garlic-chilli) before adding any vegies or meat. This will incorporate the spices very well. My mom always taught me that a spicy curry should have some lemon juice(maybe a tea spoon) or yogurt to make it spicy and slightly sour tangy. If curry is meant ot be sweet like kofta or kurma add a bit of sugar (again a teaspoon or less) or add little bit of cooking cream. Remember it's not always the spices that make a good curry. – User56756 Jul 1 '15 at 23:29
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    @Shrilekha Thanks, I edited in a mention that it's not just spices. – Cascabel Jul 1 '15 at 23:35

The really strong spicy flavor comes from infusing the oil with spice at the beginning.

  1. Pan on medium low heat
  2. Add oil and garlic chopped from a jar
  3. Cyanne powder shake shake shake
  4. Chili powder shake shake shake
  5. Garam masala shake shake shake
  6. Stir around a minute
  7. Add onions after chopping them and caramelize on medium low.

Add a splash of water whenever needed to avoid burning. Cover to keep things humid and steamy.

This is how I start almost every meal. Scrambled eggs, mushrooms, top Raman, fried rice ... Whatever. With the eggs use a cover and add water to keep them fluffy.

Cheese and spinach at the last moment. And salt.

  • CHeese & spinach - mmmm that's interesting.. :) – Jaguar Jul 2 '15 at 13:26
  • If you try it and like it, give me an up vote. I need rep. Thanks for you comment BTW. =) – Will Martin Jul 2 '15 at 21:52
  • oh yeah - sure once i get 15 reps - not it seems i cant vote up – Jaguar Jul 4 '15 at 15:03

Maybe you are expecting too much from too simple a sauce ... a restaurant style curry, for example, will typically use any or all of coconut milk, yoghurt, cream, nut pastes, besan... I would suggest you cook eg Sanjay Thumma's Maharashtrian Wedding Style Navratan Korma by the recipe, and see if that is the kind of result you were looking for.

Also check if you added enough salt ... I found that the spice combinations used in indian food do tend to bring a bitter component to the table that relies on salt masking it. Sometimes it even gives you the impression the food is oversalted (confusion of spice vs salt bitterness) when in fact it is undersalted.

Also, kind of tomatoes used (stewing vs salad style tomatoes, fresh or canned, used with or without seeds) might make a difference.

Also, some acid (lime juice, yoghurt, vinegar*) or sugar might be needed even with the tomatoes present.

*Rice wine or distilled. I cannot even imagine what apple/red/white wine vinegar will do to a curry...

  • i think you where right.. salt was the main culprit.. today the taste was better.. after adding sufficient salt.. But as you say some of the ingredients i dont have it handy may have made the taste different as well.. – Jaguar Jul 2 '15 at 13:25

Raw taste of food means that either you add too little spice or the spices don't mix well with the food, leaving some of the food raw.

Make the curry first, and then add the food, and then coat it with the curry. If you add the food first, then stir fry it, then add spices, then it won't mix evenly.

On top, the spices being added in the end will end up tasting raw. Not raw food, but raw spices. It may be healthy, but is awful in taste.

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