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Nuances of Sautéing the Indian Way

by Sasha (follow)
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indian spices
Indian spices

We all know India is a diversified country with different kinds of food. From the north to the south of the country, the food differs as you move through the regions. The staple food in each region changes depending on the kind of the crop that grows in that region. For example, wheat is predominantly used in north India while paddy/rice is widely used in the southern parts of the country.

All south Indian cooking basically involves a technique of sautéing where spices are roasted in oil first.This is usually the basis to create many dishes, mostly vegetarian.

Dry spices are used in the process andnd every spice has an unique flavour and used mostly for a reason.

Here is how and why.

Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Used as a basis for many vegetarian dishes

1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch or drizzle of asafoetida
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp dry red chillies
1 tsp curry leaves
1 tsp yellow lentil ( Channa Dhal)
1 tsp white lentil ( Urud Dhal)

Add 1 tsp of oil in a hot pan.

After the oil is heated, add the spices in the following order ;

Mustard Seeds

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds are usually added for the pungent taste and they splutter when added to the hot oil.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin Seeds

A spice that adds a lot of flavour and taste to any dish. It is nutritious and used mainly to aid digestion .It splutters and roasts in the hot oil.

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric Powder

Yellow in colour, they are added to give colour. Mainly turmeric has antiseptic properties and is widely used to clean meat.

White Lentil

White Lentil

Known as 'Urud Dhal' in India, this white lentil is added for some flavour and is nutritious.The lentil is fried in the oil until it turns golden brown.

Dry Red Chillies

Red Chilli
Dry Red Chillies

The dry chillies are added to make the food spicy. The seeds are the main part and give a burst of flavour to the food.

Black pepper corn

black pepper
Black pepper

Usually used for adding spice to the dish. For a different kind of flavour and texture of the dish, pepper corns are substituted for dry chillies. They are either ground or used as a whole.

Fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds

Said to be a diabetics best friend , it is usually added for a flavour of sourness in the dish. It is roasted until it turns brown.

Asafoetida and Curry Leaves

curry leaves and asafoetida
Asafoetida and Curry Leaves

Usually available in Indian/Asian stores, this is not typically a spice but is commonly used in the sautéing process .The main reason it is used is for its digestive properties. Always used along with lentils to aid the digestion process.

Curry Leaf
A leaf that smells incredible and gives a splash of addictive flavour to the food.The fresh smelling leaves are usually added last in the process and they should not be be let to turn black.

Simply sauté and add freshly grated carrots or cucumber for a yummy tasting salad.Or add some onions to this and add any vegetable you like for a dry vegetable salad.

Use either the red chillies or the pepper and add fenugreek only if you want a sour taste to the salad/vegetables.

Happy sautéing.

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wow ! its very useful ...thanks for souting indian way..i love it ..i am trying to do in this weekend for my veggys ...show us many more indian receipee
by asha
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