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Questions tagged [indian-cuisine]

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

38
votes
10answers
8k views

How do I add a strong “onion flavor” to the biryani (in restaurant style)?

I've had chicken biryani in restaurants and their biryanis taste extremely different from what we prepare at home. I'm not sure how to describe it except that it's an "onion flavor". We've got loads ...
29
votes
18answers
24k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
16k views

What was Indian food like before the arrival of the chili pepper from the Americas?

One of the things associated with Indian cuisine is heat from chili peppers. Yet, chili peppers can only have been introduced to Asia from their Central and South American homeland after the Spanish ...
26
votes
10answers
10k 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 ...
25
votes
12answers
7k 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 ...
23
votes
17answers
42k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
24k 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 ...
21
votes
11answers
22k 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, ...
19
votes
9answers
26k views

Curries from Scratch, a beginners guide [closed]

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 ...
18
votes
10answers
31k 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 ...
18
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
9k 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 need?...
16
votes
9answers
68k 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 don'...
16
votes
5answers
22k 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 ...
15
votes
9answers
89k 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?
13
votes
4answers
38k 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 ...
13
votes
21answers
137k 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 30°...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
29k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
8k 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?
11
votes
1answer
879 views

In Indian cooking, what does it mean when a recipe says “until the oil begins to leave the side of the pan”?

In many Indian recipes I see the phrase "cook until the oil leaves the side of the pan". For example, this recipe says: Add tomato puree and cook until oil leaves the side. Similarly, this one ...
10
votes
4answers
22k 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), ...
10
votes
6answers
553 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
119k 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?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is the chicken in Indian food so tender?

I used to go to an Indian restaurant that had the most tender chicken I've ever had. In general, it seems like Indian curries have very tender chicken. Could somebody explain if there is a secret? Is ...
9
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
60k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Does toasting and grinding whole spice really improve curry flavor?

It seems to be common knowledge that "toasting is better" when it comes to spices. But the other day I noticed my toasted-and-freshly-ground coriander smelled pretty weak, and I ended up boosting the ...
9
votes
1answer
969 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
362 views

Why fry a teaspoon of dal to start an Indian dish?

Some Indian recipes ask the cook to fry a very small quantity of dal, e.g. "3/4 teaspoon of urid dal", at the beginning of cooking a dish which doesn't otherwise contain dal. Examples here and here, ...
8
votes
9answers
31k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
44k views

When to prefer yogurt, cream, and coconut milk in an Indian vegetarian dish to make it creamy?

Firstly, I have noticed all the curried dishes we eat in an Indian restaurant feel "creamy". Now, I don't know whether they add cream, or yogurt, or coconut milk? In which kinds of dishes do we need ...
8
votes
6answers
3k views

Baking naan without an oven?

Is it possible to make eggless naan without an oven?
8
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
6answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
634 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
2answers
2k views

Indian Cuisine - Atta Chicken

There was an article early march on npr called Oberoi's Kitchen: The Art Of Indian Haute Cuisine. It featured several recipes and talk of a traditional workman's lunch called atta chicken. It is a ...
7
votes
6answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
6k 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
8k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
3k 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
16k 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
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Getting rid of raw onion taste without the frying process?

I'm trying to find a reliable way to make a good base gravy for British Indian Restaurant (BIR) curry -- for those that don't know, this is essentially the adapted form of Indian curry cooking used in ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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
8answers
23k 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?