Indian food varies from state to state, but the general principles of cooking remain the same. It should be cooked well, be nutritious and tasty. The most common ingredients are shown below. Each is added after the first has been cooked, vegetables or cooked lentils can be added to make a dry dish or a curry. Tastes vary, customs vary, but tomatoes generally taste good with all veggies.
- Basic ingredients. Chopped vegetables, ( two dishes are shown below, potatoes with beans and bottle gourd), onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic. cumin, turmeric, salt, chili powder/ green chilies, salt and vegetable oil/ ghee.
- To a tablespoon of hot ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds. Within 5 seconds, add garlic, after 10 seconds add ginger.
- After 20 seconds, add chopped onions, roast well till golden brown (3-5 mins).
- Add chopped tomatoes, keep stirring until cooked well. Some people prefer to add green chilies at this stage.
- Add the spices and the vegetables. Stir till cooked (5-7 mins). In the case of the chopped bottle gourd, we prefer to the add the spices after the bottle gourd has been added.
- You can add green chilies at this stage if you want, and salt according to taste and stir well for 30 seconds,
Other spices like cinnamon, fennel, cardamom etc can be added for specific dishes.
The golden rule is to add the ingredients in the order mentioned above and to cook each separately before adding the next one.
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