Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tips For Being A Better Indian Cook

Know Your Spices

One of the foundations of Indian food is spices and understanding the aromatics that they bring to food will help you create an Indian masterpiece.  Many people recommend tasting your spices as this is the only way that you will know what they are going to do to your food. 

It is also important to understand why you need to add different types of spices to your dish for full layering. For great indian food your guests will love take a look at some authentic indian recipes from a fine indian restaurant.

If you are using whole spices, they will generally need to be cracked or tempered in oil at the start of the cooking process to help them release their oils.  This will need to be done before you add the other ingredients.  Some of the spices that fall into this preparation will be cardamom, cloves bay leaves, and mustard seeds. 

Powdered spices are generally used for taste and color and will usually be added to the food halfway through the cooking process.  They are usually added once you have liquid in your food.  The spices that fall into this will include chili powder, turmeric, cumin powder, and coriander powder. 

Flavor spices are usually added toward the end of the cooking process.  These spices are generally more delicate and will be used to enhance the flavor profile of the dish.  These spices will include mace, cardamom, and fenugreek.  At the end of the cooking process is when you will also add the herbs because they are gentle.

When it comes to spices, less is generally more and you should never be heavy handed with them.  You also do not want to add all of the spices you have in your cupboard as this will make all of your food taste the same.  Spices will need to be stored correctly in airtight containers and away from heat sources. 

Be Prepared

It is important that you are organized and have everything ready before you start to cook.  This will include having all of the ingredients, equipment, the recipe and a game plan for your cooking.  In a professional kitchen, the game plan is called the Mise En Place and you need to prepare.

When setting up your game plan, you need to know the preparation that is required for the meal.  You also need to know the timing of everything and how you are going to be serving the food.  There are some instances where you will want to plate your food like a professional and you need to know what to do.

Have Sharp Knives

Sharp knives are very important when you are cooking.  Many people do not realize that you are less likely to hurt yourself when you have a sharp knife.  You should learn how to properly sharpen your knives or take your knives to a professional to have them sharpened. 

Be Efficient In The Kitchen

You need to think about what you can do to save time in the kitchen.  This could be done through multitasking or by taking the time to think about the processes you have to follow when cooking the meal.  It is recommended that you create a time plan which includes everything that you need to do and how long it should take.  It is also a good idea to improve your knife skills so that you are comfortable with handling different ingredients and will become faster at preparing them. 

Read The Recipe

Before you start cooking, you need to read through your entire recipe.  This will eliminate any surprises.  If you have chicken which needs to marinade for 4 hours, you need to give yourself enough time for this.  If you are cooking a recipe for a dinner party, you might want to complete a trial run first as this gives you the chance to get used to the recipe and see what could go wrong. 

Understand Your Meat

Understanding your meat does not mean you have to learn butchery, but you do need to have some knowledge of the different meat cuts.  This will help you select the best meat for the dish that you are making.  When you choose the right cuts, you will also reduce waste from your cooking. 

The rule of thumb is that the harder working muscles of the animal will need to cook for longer.  These cuts will need slow and low cooking methods.  The muscles that do not work as hard such as the loin will not need to cook for as long.  When you learn to use your meat better, you will also make weekly meal planning easier. 

Understand The Seasoning

Salt will help to bring out the other flavors in your food and you need to use it.  However, your dish should not taste too salty.  You need to use just enough to bring out the other ingredients. 

While salt is important, seasoning is more than just salt and pepper.  There are a lot of other tastes that you need to consider such as bitter, sour and sweet.  You should also consider the texture of your food.

The difference between a good meal and a great one is the balance between the flavors.  The balance of the texture and colors are also important.  If you want to add some sourness to the dish, you can use vinegar, tomatoes or a citrus fruit. 

Always Taste Your Dish

As you are cooking, you need to taste the dish.  This will help you determine if you need to adjust the flavors in the meal.  As the dish cooks, the flavors are going to develop and change which is why you have to taste as you go.

Stay Tidy

You should ensure that you clean as you go.  When you keep your workspace clear, you will know exactly where everything is and what you need to do next.  If you empty everything from your cupboards onto your counter, you are going to get lost in everything.  This will lead to more stress than you need while you are cooking.

Avoid Adding Everything At Once

Indian food is all about the layers of flavor and adding all of the ingredients at the same time will disrupt this.  You will not be able to bring out the individual ingredients when you do this.  After all, sautéing onions for different lengths of time will make the dish taste different.

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