Indian cuisine is a potpourri of flavours, colour and has rich history that goes back to thousand years. In fact, in India, every dish tells a story with the ingredients used in a recipe. It includes various local spices, agricultural produce and more, adding layers and texture to our everyday meal. The best part is, we find an extensive range of foods and beverages in the cuisine- each of which has a unique character, making it stand out in the lot. What contributes to the versatility is the cooking technique. If you explore, you will find Indians using different cooking methods for different dishes. Besides the ingredients, technique too plays a major role in defining the character of a dish. In this article, we will explore some of the traditional cooking techniques that are widely used in Indian cuisine.
Here're 7 Of The Most Popular Cooking Techniques Used In Indian Cuisine:
1. Tadka (or tempering):
Tadka is a cooking technique that involves adding spices to hot oil or ghee. This method is commonly used in North Indian cuisine and is used to enhance the flavour of dal, curries, and vegetables. The spices used in tadka vary; but some of the most common ones include cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and dried red chili.
2. Grilling and roasting:
Grilling and roasting are popular cooking techniques in Indian cuisine, especially in the North. Tandoor, a clay oven, is used to grill and roast variety of dishes such as tandoori chicken, naan bread, and kebabs. To make tandoori chicken or vegetables, the ingredients are marinated in a mixture of spices, yogurt, and lemon juice and then set for grilling.
3. Dum cooking:
Dum cooking is a slow-cooking technique that involves sealing the dish in a vessel using dough or aluminum foil and cooking it over a low flame. This method is commonly used to cook biryanis, pulao, and other rice-based dishes. The slow-cooking process allows the flavours to develop and infuse into the dish.
4. Pressure cooking:
Pressure cooking is a popular cooking technique in India, especially for cooking lentils, beans, and stews. The high-pressure steam generated inside the pressure cooker helps prepare the food quickly, making it a convenient and time-saving method of cooking.
Also Read: 5 Most Popular Pressure Cooker Recipes
Stir-frying is a popular cooking technique used in the Indo-Chinese cuisine, a fusion of Indian and Chinese flavours. The technique involves quickly cooking vegetables, meat, and noodles in a wok over high heat. The ingredients are then stir-fried with a variety of sauces and spices, such as soy sauce, chili sauce, and vinegar.
Steaming is a healthy cooking technique used in India. It helps you prepare a variety of dishes, such as idlis, dhoklas, and momos. Here, the food is placed in a steamer basket or idli stand and cooked over boiling water. This allows the food to cook without losing its nutrients or flavour.
Pickling is a traditional preservation technique used in India. This method is followed to preserve fruits and vegetables. The technique involves marinating the ingredients in a mixture of spices, vinegar, and oil. The pickles can be stored for several months and are used to add flavour to your everyday meal.
In India, people follow a diverse range of cooking techniques, which may vary from region to region. So, next time when you enjoy an Indian meal, take a moment to appreciate the unique flavours and cooking techniques that make it just so special.
Happy indulgence, everyone!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.