Meal Planning – PART III – Indian Cooking Essentials

IMG_1526For the last part of our meal planning series we bring to you our Indian Cooking Essentials! So let us get right to it!

1. Adu (ginger), Marchu (chili), Lasan (garlic) Paste (pictured above): This little gem from Mommy Vaid has truly changed our cooking lives! It is literally adu, marchu and lasan all blended together and then put into a Ziplock bag, flattened and frozen. When it is time to cook, you warm the bag up for 10-15 secons, break off a piece and add it to your saute for instant flavor. It works in curries, dals, and even thepla or uttapam! Easiest flavoring ever!

skillet

2. Flat skillet: This skillet that comes in non-stick and cast-iron is amazing for everything round. Be it uttapam, dosa, roti, thepla, rotla, bhakri, paratha, etc! The beauty is that it has low sides, unlike traditional pans, and it is virtually flat, making the flipping part that much easier. We think it’s an absolute must have in any kitchen! The best part is that there is minimal cleaning effort! When we make dry things (that don’t require oil) we simply wipe it with a tissue after we’re done – this way there’s wear and tear on it!

Indian Masala Box

Indian Masala Box

3. Basic vaghar (saute): The basic vaghar is the base for any saucy curry you want to make (for the most part). To do the basic vaghar you will need the basic and widely used Indian Masala Box. To your pot, heat oil – then add taj, laving, rye, jiru, haldi, marchu (to taste). For red Indian curries you usually add onion and tomato; for yellow curries you usually add yogurt/heavy cream; for green curries you usually add spinach. Salt, sugar and lemon are always per recipe and to taste. TIP – if and when adding yogurt, add a little bit of water to break the heat so the yogurt does not separate, you will know if it separates because it becomes little chunks instead of a creamy texture that you started out with.

vinod pressure cooker

4. Indian Pressure Cooker: The only reason we refer to it as an “Indian” pressure cooker is because it is designed a little differently than a traditional pressure cooker. A lot of Indian cookbooks will refer to number of whistles that are necessary for prepping that meal, so we have linked an Indian pressure cooker for your reference. Anyways – this gadget is also a must have for all of us. Not only does it cook beans, veggies and rice in record time – but it helps retain all the flavors and nutrients of the foods you make. We can usually prepare dry black eyed peas to be ready to eat in just a few whistles. There are cookbooks dedicated to pressure cooker meals, just like the slow cooker ones!

 

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