Indian cooking methods are not different to those normally used, however its the techniques or nuances that differ. It is these techniques that one needs to learn in order to make the dish and give it the quintessential Indian flavour.
Many Indian dishes often use between 3 – 6 kinds of cooking methods. Usually beginning with tempering or frying whole spices, followed by sauteing or shallow frying aromatics like,onions, ginger, garlic. The next step is to add some form of protein or veg and continuing the sauteing process and finally cooking it further either by simmering or boiling.
You can read about the process of cooking Indian food in my blog post ‘How to cook Indian food’.
The idea is not to intimidate you. The way to make any dish can be as complicated or as simple as you choose to make. You can opt for either one or a mix of various kinds of Indian cooking method and techniques. We are talking about simple home cooks and not Michelin starers, where edible food is perhaps a tablespoon portion compared to the plateful of entrancing oddments!
Indian Cooking Methods You Need To Know
Cooking anywhere in the world use a universal method, which is the use of some form of heat to bring raw food to an edible consistency. Frying, boiling, sauteing, grilling are some of the most popular methods used to cook food. Indian cuisine too uses all the above methods and more.
Cooking methods can be broadly divided into 2 categories, Dry Cooking Method and Moist Cooking Method:
Dry Cooking Method
This is where heat or flame is used directly to cook food without the use of water or its compounds like steam. Grilling, broiling, baking and tempering (dry roasting) are few direct heat methods. Indirect heat uses the aide of some kind of fat like deep frying, basting etc. Dishes cooked using the dry method is a bit richer in flavour (and fat) due to caramelisation and browning of food. The slide below takes a deeper look from the Indian cooking methods prospect:
Moist Cooking Method
Here heat is used indirectly through the medium of water to cook food. This method is used to retain the natural flavours of food as much as possible. It needs to be said that most Indian dishes use a combination of both methods of cooking. The slide below explains them.
Oven top grills
Whirlpool Gourmet Griddle – A fantastic cast iron non-stick grill suitable for electric or gas cooktops.
Lodge Reversible Grill/Griddle – Pre-seasoned with oil for ease of use. Can be used on electric, gas or even over campfire
7-in-1 Multifunctional Electric Pressure Cooker by Yedi Houseware – A one pot cooking miracle. Use it for pressure cooking, as a slow cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute/Searing/Browning, Yogurt Maker, Steamer. With warmer & delayed cooking functions.
Presto 8-Quart Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker – A simple yet efficient cooker to effectively tenderise and cook meat,vegetables,lentils and rice. Pressure regulator maintains proper cooking pressure automatically.