Masala is a MUST for most Indian recipes. It is a good idea to buy small amounts if you only plan to cook occasionally because they loose flavor and freshness overtime.
Recipes in this site use powdered forms of –
- Red Chili
- Garam Masala (powdered form of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed, black pepper)
Note:The measurements I used are on the lower end of spice (hotness) tolerance. Add a pinch of ‘this’ and ‘that’ if you have a higher tolerance.
Ginger & Garlic
Fresh ginger and garlic always taste better. For convenience sake, powdered or bottled are fine.
Coconut oil is used in all the recipes and is preferable. But, can use any vegetable oil of your choice.
If you are a calorie watcher, remember, most of the recipes use 1 tbsp of coconut oil, which is 120 calories. It is not that bad considering the serving size of 4-6.
Coconut Fresh vs. Dried
If available, use fresh grated coconut. However, it can be difficult to find fresh coconut all the time. Also, fresh coconut can go bad even under refrigeration. Proper freezing is the only way to extend the shelf life of freshly grated coconut.
I used dried unsweetened coconut in all my recipes and did not find any difference in taste. Easy availability and the long shelf life make dried coconut both economical and safe.
Chicken curry tastes better with some bone in the meat. Pick boneless breast and couple of pieces of legs and thighs with bones for your chicken curry.
Frozen or fresh fish can be used without compromising the taste. However, follow thawing instructions and avoid overcooking.
Fresh vegetables always taste better. Being said this; frozen vegetables can be used in certain recipes without compromising the taste.
It makes lots of difference to the recipes if you can find them. Curry leaves freeze well. Buy a bunch and freeze them. Take out the leaves you need and rinse it in cool water to bring the freshness back. Dry them before you throw them in hot oil.
Having too many pots and pans and other kitchen utensils not only clutter your kitchen cabinets, but also makes it harder to pick what you want to use for your cooking. Use non-stick or stainless steel with non-stick interior.
You need only the following for any recipe in this site:
- 1 or 2 10-12 inch Chef Pans. 12 inch Chef Pans works better for roasting vegetables
- 1 or 2 2-3 Qt. Sauce Pan
- 1 8 inch Chef pan or iron skillet
Use wooden or plastic spoons if using non-stick pots & pans.
Cleaning after cooking can be more time consuming and troublesome than cooking. And, of course it is also boring. One of the ways to minimize it is by not making a big mess while you are cooking.
- Take out only the pots & pans and other utensils you need.
- Clean as you go by putting things back in the shelves or refrigerator once you are finished, or when something is not needed anymore.
- Clean the kitchen table and other work surfaces while something is being cooked and you don’t need to attend to it.
Storing Cooked Food
Food cooked with masala stays fresh longer in refrigerator & freezer. They taste better also. Heat or microwave only the portions needed.