India probably has some of the most complex cultures in the world, given its large number of inhabitants and its mix of religions and ethnicities, as well as long history. The Indian cuisine is strongly influenced by the climate and religious beliefs, so you will find anything from Christian-specific recipes to Hindu and even Muslim dishes.
If you’re an Indian foodie lover and wish to experiment with new dishes, here are some recommendations regarding the most popular Indian ingredients and recipes.
Probably the most common Indian ingredient, turmeric can be used in different ways, including in dried, fresh, and powder forms. It is the spice that gives the Indian curry its yellow-gold look and studies indicate that it may have several health benefits thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
If used in small quantities, it can add extraordinary flavor to your curries, stocks, and meat-based recipes. However, keep in mind that it easily stains, so use your kitchen tools and accessories carefully near turmeric.
If you want an Indian-style breakfast, the easiest recipe is the Egg Bhurji or Indian scrambled eggs. It is easy to prepare and it makes great use of spices such as mustard seeds, ginger, cilantro, and turmeric. Basically, all you have to do is mix some heavily beaten eggs with a small piece of peeled and chopped ginger, a large tomato, a diced onion, some turmeric, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
One of the oldest spices in the world, cinnamon is commonly known in countless cultures as a strong ingredient for creating sweets and desserts. Originally from India, cinnamon is used in cuisines around the globe to improve Christmas puddings and mulled wine, but also to create the famous cinnamon rolls and desserts based on rice, milk, and sugar.
In the Indian cuisine, cinnamon is a basic ingredient for making Garam Masala which gives its spicy, yet delicate flavor. Garam Masala basically means “spicy mix” in the Hindu language and there are hundreds, maybe thousands of different recipes.
Another popular Indian ingredient, mint is used in a great variety of dishes including soups, hot and cold beverages, salads, sauces, and meat dishes.
A great Indian recipe containing mint and chicken is usually served as dinner or lunch at family reunions. One of the easiest ones is the Chicken Tikka Croquette which is usually served with a mint-based mayonnaise sauce.
Some other ingredients include ginger-garlic paste, mozzarella, yogurt, lemon, bread crumbs, mashed potatoes, red chili flakes and powder, half a kilo of refined flour, as well as coriander and some Kasuri methi powder. The cooking process is not entirely complicated but keep in mind that most of the Indian food recipes contain a lot of ingredients which take time to process.