If you are reading this, then you obviously love Indian food. You probably feast your eyes constantly on the drool-worthy pictures of delicious Kormas with rich gravies, Kebabs that melt in your mouth, and chicken biryanis that are splashed across Pinterest, Instagram, and food blogs.
But, have you ever wondered what makes them so tasty and delicious? Is it the recipe, flavours, or something else? You might say that recipe is what gives the Indian food its ‘wow’ factor. But there is one factor that trumps it all. It is the cooking technique. If you want to bring those recipes and taste to life, you need to have the knowledge of behind the scenes cuisine. Here, we are going to tell you about the most extraordinary techniques that have used to prepare Indian food through generations:
The Secret Techniques Used in Authentic Indian Cuisine
Many people believe that tandoori is a recipe. Instead, it is a very common cooking method used in India. It is used for preparing bread as well as marinated vegetables and meats on an intense charcoal fire in the tandoor.
Tandoor is an oven made of clay. Consider it like a large clay pit that can hold a small fire created by wood charcoal that is slowly burning. The heat that comes from the charcoal fire gets reflected from the ceramic walls intensifying the heat. Next, marinated meats are put inside the oven and cooked until they are perfectly grilled. The combination of natural juices of the meat, the yogurt, and the intense heat ensures that all the natural fats of the meat are sealed.
Marinating is the process of immersing the ingredients in a liquid for adding flavour. There are several Indian dishes that use marinades. The most popular one is Tandoori Chicken. It involves using a yogurt marinade. It plays 3 roles in the dishes. First, it acts as an active ingredient to tenderize the meat or vegetable. Second, it acts as a mobilizer that allows the different spices to penetrate inside the dish. Third, it protects the main ingredients from the high heat. Marinating is a fantastic way of including flavour in the meat and vegetables, and it is extremely easy to do so. You have to leave your ingredients for marinating during the day and prepare a delicious meal in the evening.
The practice of dum cooking is usually associated with Mughlai cuisine and believed to be stemmed from Central Asia or Persian cuisine. In this practice, the dish is left in the large ‘handis’ where they breathe in their own juices and aroma that makes them even more flavourful. The ‘handis’ are sealed with either a cloth or dough for trapping the steam until the rice or meat. One of the most popular dishes created by this cooking technique is the Dum Biryani. The slow cooking allows the flavours from different herbs and spices to infuse together and make the meat tender. Other dishes that are made with this technique are Korma, Haleem, Raan, Nihari, meat curries, and even plain dal. All these Indian cooking techniques have the same theory – bring the food to an edible consistency. However, if you wish to make Indian cuisine, you have to know that following the recipe is just a part of it. What makes Indian food taste authentic is the application of the right cooking technique, using the right cookware, and the native ingredients. Knowledge of these cooking methods will help you whip out the dishes that not only look tasty but are completely authentic. So, the next time you cook Indian food, make sure to use the correct method. After that, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the compliments!