Food Bytes

This is a generation of two-minute upma and ten-minute chicken tikka. Nevertheless, Indian food is getting increasingly popular — even if its best known avatar is a snip-and-serve variety.

In this context, a blog like hookedonheat, which enthusiastically deconstructs both traditional Indian food and the new pan-Indian cuisine, is useful. Especially when the writer decides to go on a myth-busting trip, in her post on ‘How not to cook Indian Food’ “While on the topic of simplifying Indian food, something I was working to write on, I decided to go on a little hunt and see what I could find. Shockingly, the results were appalling! I picked up a few books, most that looked very promising, and began skimming through some of the most popular recipes, that the authors, no doubt tried their best to recreate as quick and simple as possible. While many made good sense to me, I was horrified by what a few others instructed. So, as I sat myself and began taking notes, I decided to make my own list of dos/don’ts, more on the don’ts actually, of what NOT to do when making an Indian dish.

1. In no case, and I mean NO case, should you add ketchup while making curry. If you’re short of time for chopping tomatoes, run them through a food processor to puree.

2. Whatever people may like to think, curry powder is not really a solution to making a quick curry. The pale yellow curry powder found on the shelves of many grocery stores hardly taste anything like the real deal. For a quick solution, make sure you have the 5 most basic spices at hand — red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala and cumin powder.

3. No matter what happens, DO NOT add flour to thicken your gravy. Stir in some yoghurt, or better still, a tablespoon or two of cashew/almond paste/powder. The results will be delicious, without being lumpy and looking a mess.”

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