Indian Cooking Hacks: Swap Cream And Starch In Curries With These Healthy Ingredients

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: May 28, 2019 15:44 IST

Indian Cooking Hacks: Swap Cream And Starch In Curries With These Healthy Ingredients

Indian Cooking Hacks: We give you some tips to make your curries thick and creamy without cream

  • A number of Indian curries are creamy, thick and rich
  • Cream in Indian curries can be swapped with healthier ingredients
  • Instead of maida and corn starch, whole wheat flour can be used

Making Indian gravy is nothing less than an art. A number of Indian dishes, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, require a thick, flavourful gravy that accentuates the taste of the main star ingredient. Gravies are also helpful in adding a delicious texture to the dish, making it more comforting and compatible with main Indian grains of rice and whole wheat. Most curries or gravy dishes are served with a whole range of whole wheat breads including rotis, chapatis, parathas, kulchas etc. The joy of dipping freshly prepared breads into thick and rich curries is one that we experience almost every day but we're sure no one can resist licking their fingers clean off the gravy residue.

Some of our most loved vegetarian and non-vegetarian curries are creamy and thick. The most common way of making curries or gravies creamy and rich, is to add heavy cream or full cream to them. The second secret to making gravies for dishes like shahi paneer, shahi murgh masala etc. is the thickeners that are added along with the cream. This includes corn starch or maida (refined flour). Some people are skeptical of eating creamy curries because of the presence of these fattening ingredients. But there are ways to swap out these two ingredients with healthier ones, without compromising on the creaminess of the curries.

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Indian Cooking Tips and Hacks: ​Make your curries creamy without adding cream!

Read On To Know The Secret To Making Your Indian Curries Thick And Creamy Without Using Cream And Starch:

For the flavour and texture in your curries:

1. Mushrooms: Using dried or fresh mushrooms in combination with a little milk can help you add a nice creamy flavour to your curries. All you need to do is add the sautéed mushrooms in the blender with a little bit of milk and grind it to a paste. Mushrooms have a naturally creamy flavour that you will definitely love.

2. Cauliflower: Lately this vegetable has gained favour with health nuts, because it has come to be recognised for being a nutritious, low-carb, low-calorie vegetable. Cauliflower can also help give your gravies a creamy flavour, and is also being used to prepare vegan cheesy pasta dishes like Mac and Cheese. Blend cauliflower florets with some milk to make a creamy paste.

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3. Avocado: Even avocados can be used to make healthier gravies. They don't have any taste or flavour and can be mashed to give a creamy paste. Your gravies may end up having a greenish tinge, which may not be desirable for some people, but it's definitely a healthy swap for cream.

4. Cashews: Blitzing some cashews with a little bit of water or milk is an old trick that has been used to give Indian gravies a creamy flavour.

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Indian Cooking Tips and Hacks: ​ Swap out cream for cashew paste, cauliflower paste, mushroom paste etc

Bonus Tip: Caramelising onions and then pureeing them to add to gravies can also give a lovely flavour to your curries, although it may not appear as creamy as when you use the above ingredients.

Healthy Thickeners For Your Curries:

Instead of using corn starch or refined flour, you can use:

1. Whole wheat flour:Gehu ka atta or whole wheat flour is a great healthy swap for maida or refined flour and corn starch.

2. Semolina Flour:Suji ka atta or semolina flour can be soaked in water or milk and then added to the gravy as a thickener.

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Know of any more tricks to make your Indian curries or gravies creamy without using fatty cream? Let us know in the comments section below!


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