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Apr 19 15 7:56 PM

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If you’re just beginning to cook Indian food, you will need some essential spices for Indian cooking.  

I tend to buy small packets of spices  because  if you don’t use them that often they can go stale.
Except for ground coriander as you do use much more of this than most other spices as if you don’t use them that often they can go stale.

Turmeric powder
Coriander powder
Cumin powder and seeds
Chili powder (You can replace with green chilies if you must)
Garam masala
Dried red chilies
Black pepper - whole and course ground

Also, these are very commonly used ingredients
Garlic
Ginger
Onion
Green chili peppers


Once you have these in your pantry you have the true basics

These spices are available in Asian Stores or in the larger supermarkets although its usually a lot cheaper buying from the Asian Stores.

Happy cooking!
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#1 [url]

Apr 19 15 8:28 PM

I have to admit, Indian food is not my favorite; even though I love all the spices. But, over the last few years; I have been trying various recipes; and, slowly developing a taste for it. I remember having a bad curry dinner out once; and, ever since had a hard time eating it. I do love tikka masala. Spicy curries I am learning to enjoy as well.

Kim ~ Eat, Live, and Love! 

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#2 [url]

Apr 19 15 8:57 PM

I absolutely love Indian food.  While I make it at home a lot (last night I made a slow cooker Indian chicken), I love to go out to eat at Indian buffets where I can sample to my hearts content.

I love to shop at local Indian grocery stores and I generally purchase larger portions of the spices including madras curry powder.  Some Indian items such as the potato-pea stuffed samosas are best purchased frozen and heated in the oven.  Items, like paneer (Indian cheese cubes used in saag paneer), can be purchased frozen as well and then thawed and fried up.  I also purchase condiments like tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney (I love them all), spicy catsup, etc.  The wonderful thing about jarred Indian sauces, frozen foods, and condiments is that they use all-natural ingredients and spices.  It seems to be the one cuisine where artificial ingredients have not made their way into the products.

My all-time favorite Indian foods -- saag paneer, chicken tikka, naan -- I could go on and on. 


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#3 [url]

Apr 19 15 10:48 PM

kchurchill5 wrote:
I have to admit, Indian food is not my favorite; even though I love all the spices. But, over the last few years; I have been trying various recipes; and, slowly developing a taste for it. I remember having a bad curry dinner out once; and, ever since had a hard time eating it. I do love tikka masala. Spicy curries I am learning to enjoy as well.

I can simpathise with you having a bad  curry - it is enough to put you right off!  The accent on Curries in India is more on the flavor of the spices and not just heat thats so overwealming that you really can not eat it.  One tip is always to under do the chilli if you are at all concerned as you can always add a chilli sauce to heat it up a bit but you can never make it cooler lol!  I tend to put some ground chilli on the table for anyone who wants to adjust the heat for themselves


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#4 [url]

Apr 19 15 10:53 PM

Nancys Pantry wrote:
I absolutely love Indian food.  While I make it at home a lot (last night I made a slow cooker Indian chicken), I love to go out to eat at Indian buffets where I can sample to my hearts content.

I love to shop at local Indian grocery stores and I generally purchase larger portions of the spices including madras curry powder.  Some Indian items such as the potato-pea stuffed samosas are best purchased frozen and heated in the oven.  Items, like paneer (Indian cheese cubes used in saag paneer), can be purchased frozen as well and then thawed and fried up.  I also purchase condiments like tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney (I love them all), spicy catsup, etc.  The wonderful thing about jarred Indian sauces, frozen foods, and condiments is that they use all-natural ingredients and spices.  It seems to be the one cuisine where artificial ingredients have not made their way into the products.

My all-time favorite Indian foods -- saag paneer, chicken tikka, naan -- I could go on and on. 

Oh Nancy - I also love the true Asian grocery stores - I always find things to buy that I probably should not. Their frozen vegetables are good as well as their Samosas.
We have visitors on Tuesday evening ansd I have already done one curry and will also do a Nepalese pea, potato and tomato to go with it. with Samosas as appetizers.  Yes artificial ingredients dont seem to feature much. my mother always said that with spices like that! it could never go off.


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#5 [url]

Apr 20 15 12:16 AM

Joyfulcook wrote:

kchurchill5 wrote:
I have to admit, Indian food is not my favorite; even though I love all the spices. But, over the last few years; I have been trying various recipes; and, slowly developing a taste for it. I remember having a bad curry dinner out once; and, ever since had a hard time eating it. I do love tikka masala. Spicy curries I am learning to enjoy as well.

I can simpathise with you having a bad  curry - it is enough to put you right off!  The accent on Curries in India is more on the flavor of the spices and not just heat thats so overwealming that you really can not eat it.  One tip is always to under do the chilli if you are at all concerned as you can always add a chilli sauce to heat it up a bit but you can never make it cooler lol!  I tend to put some ground chilli on the table for anyone who wants to adjust the heat for themselves

Have to say that I always use the "sweeter"  madras curry powder and when using Indian chili powder -- I use very little as it is extremely hot.  It isn't like our chili powder -- I use cayenne pepper most of the time (as a replacement) as I find the Indian version just way too hot.

Also, the best way to deal with the heat is to drink a mango lassi.  Most Indians order it to drink during the meal, but we usually have it afterwards.  The yogurt takes the heat off your tongue and of course, the drink is delish.

 


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#6 [url]

Apr 20 15 2:01 AM

The drink sounds perfect to me. But, I love the heat; so, I don't mind that. There is something in the curry that just is off to me ... but, I am learning and slowly developing a taste. I do enjoy some of the jarred sauces as well; red curry especially.

And, any chutney is good with me. I use chutney in many dishes. NOT just indian food.

Kim ~ Eat, Live, and Love! 

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#7 [url]

Apr 20 15 3:20 AM

there is a lot more to Indian Cooking than just curries, there are wonderful vegetable options and also so many side dishes that make a great addition to many of our barbecues, picnicsand winter dishes as well.. for a start this is a delightful dish to serve at picnics  barbecues or outdoor parties. It can be prepared a day before and either served hot or cold.

http://www.food.com/recipe/gujarati-potatoes-176179

Last Edited By: Joyfulcook Apr 20 15 3:24 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#8 [url]

Apr 20 15 3:43 AM

Joyfulcook wrote:

kchurchill5 wrote:
I have to admit, Indian food is not my favorite; even though I love all the spices. But, over the last few years; I have been trying various recipes; and, slowly developing a taste for it. I remember having a bad curry dinner out once; and, ever since had a hard time eating it. I do love tikka masala. Spicy curries I am learning to enjoy as well.

I can simpathise with you having a bad  curry - it is enough to put you right off!  The accent on Curries in India is more on the flavor of the spices and not just heat thats so overwealming that you really can not eat it.  One tip is always to under do the chilli if you are at all concerned as you can always add a chilli sauce to heat it up a bit but you can never make it cooler lol!  I tend to put some ground chilli on the table for anyone who wants to adjust the heat for themselves

It's absolutely true Joy!
The first time I got some Indian curry it was not good at all and I could not imagine how good the food in India is!
The problems is that in many restaurants here the food is adapted to some not real Indian dishes, they are too sweet and the the spices are not fragrant. I imagine they use prepared sauces.
Travelling in India I discovered how different the cuisine of the several regions are, how delicious dishes exists ... including the sweets.
I have been a few times in Indian restaurants here in Europe, but it's difficult to find real good restaurants.
I found that the best way is to cook yourself! I buy the ingredients, I make my mixtures when I need it and this is the best way.
The good thing is that there are many real Indian recipes in English in the internet.

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#9 [url]

Apr 20 15 3:49 AM

There are some of the Indian recipes I love and I've already published in my blog:

https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/wild-yeast-naan/

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https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/prawn-in-rich-yogurt-curry-sauce/

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https://artandkitchen.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/chicken-curry-with-star-anise/ (this IS my favorite curry!)

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Last week I prepared a delicious beef curry (but from Sri Lanka), I prepared this serveal time I still have to finish to translate it write the introduction and post it; then I have a green beans dish that was too delish to forget... I have at least the draft.

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#11 [url]

Apr 20 15 2:11 PM

Sue, I love the curry leaves, tamarind paste and mustard seeds too. Use mustard seeds in almost everything. And yeah, cooking it is always better (and healthier) than eating out, though we have a large population where I live, so the restaurants are good and authentic. Joy, do you have a recipe for the Nepalese pea, potato and tomato dish? That sounds so good. I always make my own curry powder, and find it is SO much tastier than what is sold in the Indian grocers (and totally forget what grocery stores sell - if you taste that plain, it has no flavor whatsoever other than salt). Sharon's curry powder is my favorite:

http://www.food.com/recipe/madras-curry-powder-174350

Maito

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#13 [url]

Apr 20 15 3:41 PM

Now the list in longer and it's not a basic list.
I added a few more and arranged them alphabetically 

ajwain
anise seeds
asafoetida
bay leaves
black pepper - whole and course ground
cardamom
Chili powder (You can replace with green chilies if you must)
cinnamon
cloves
coconut paste
Coriander powder
Cumin powder and seeds
curry leaves
Dried red chilies
fennel seeds
Garam masala
Garlic
Ginger
Green chili peppers
kokonut flakes
macis
mango powder (amchur)
methi (fenugreek) leaves and seeds
mint
mustard seeds
nigella seeds
nutmeg
onion
paprika
rose water
saffron
tamarind paste
turmeric powder

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#15 [url]

Apr 20 15 7:33 PM

artandkitchen wrote:
Now the list in longer and it's not a basic list.
I added a few more and arranged them alphabetically 
ajwain
anise seeds
asafoetida
bay leaves
black pepper - whole and course ground
cardamom
Chili powder (You can replace with green chilies if you must)
cinnamon
cloves
coconut paste
Coriander powder
Cumin powder and seeds
curry leaves
Dried red chilies
fennel seeds
Garam masala
Garlic
Ginger
Green chili peppers
kokonut flakes
macis
mango powder (amchur)
methi (fenugreek) leaves and seeds
mint
mustard seeds
nigella seeds
nutmeg
onion
paprika
rose water
saffron
tamarind paste
turmeric powder

Thanks for this list of spices. : )    One warning -- if you purchase asafoetida powder, be absolutely sure you store it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  This spice adds a great flavor to food, but it has the most pungent (not so pleasant) odor and it will take over your spice cabinet and your kitchen.  I know from experience. : )

I have to say that vegetarian Indian dishes are one of my favs -- I never miss the meat.


Last Edited By: Nancys Pantry Apr 20 15 7:35 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#16 [url]

Apr 20 15 7:41 PM

My closest neighbors and my family try to have a quarterly get-together at one of our houses to catch up on life.  We all take food and beverages.  Two of my neighbors are Indian.  Both of them like spicy dishes, but one neighbor is vegetarian.  The third neighbor is from Honduras (hubby from Cuba and raised in Spain) so she generaly brings Cuban food.  We have quite the International food experience and I get lots of wonderful Indian recipes too. : )

 


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#17 [url]

Apr 20 15 9:43 PM

Nancys Pantry wrote:
Thanks for this list of spices. : )    One warning -- if you purchase asafoetida powder, be absolutely sure you store it in a container with a tight-fitting lid.  This spice adds a great flavor to food, but it has the most pungent (not so pleasant) odor and it will take over your spice cabinet and your kitchen.  I know from experience. : )

I have to say that vegetarian Indian dishes are one of my favs -- I never miss the meat.

I have asafoetida and don't find it an issue if I brush off the container after I close it. The stink seems to emanate from any powder around the lid.
Those who have never smelled it might be in for a shock though. And for anyone reading that doesn't know, the smell disappears during cooking (so don't be afraid!)

Visit my blog:




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#19 [url]

Apr 22 15 5:15 AM

Nancys Pantry wrote:

Joyfulcook wrote:

kchurchill5 wrote:
I have to admit, Indian food is not my favorite; even though I love all the spices. But, over the last few years; I have been trying various recipes; and, slowly developing a taste for it. I remember having a bad curry dinner out once; and, ever since had a hard time eating it. I do love tikka masala. Spicy curries I am learning to enjoy as well.

I can simpathise with you having a bad  curry - it is enough to put you right off!  The accent on Curries in India is more on the flavor of the spices and not just heat thats so overwealming that you really can not eat it.  One tip is always to under do the chilli if you are at all concerned as you can always add a chilli sauce to heat it up a bit but you can never make it cooler lol!  I tend to put some ground chilli on the table for anyone who wants to adjust the heat for themselves

Have to say that I always use the "sweeter"  madras curry powder and when using Indian chili powder -- I use very little as it is extremely hot.  It isn't like our chili powder -- I use cayenne pepper most of the time (as a replacement) as I find the Indian version just way too hot.

Also, the best way to deal with the heat is to drink a mango lassi.  Most Indians order it to drink during the meal, but we usually have it afterwards.  The yogurt takes the heat off your tongue and of course, the drink is delish.

 

Nancy, just try making a curry that does not use as curry paste, but a combination of spices, you might just find that you really like it  this is good for a start http://www.food.com/recipe/nepalese-potato-tomato-and-pea-curry-153915

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#20 [url]

Apr 22 15 5:19 AM

artandkitchen wrote:
To the spices and spice mixes I would also add the pastes:

Curry paste, tikka paste, vindaloo paste and tandori paste

Thanks - I was going to add a lot more in time but not to the basic list as I wanted to start slowly but thanks so much for your input, I do intend to add a much lengthier list and will copy what you have oosted here

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