It was one of the working days, I got a call from my friend Mina asking about the curry I had prepared for her earlier. Mina is a Dutch girl who has developed quite a taste for Indian cuisine and doesn’t mind trying to cook curry at home every once in a while.
I helped Mina with the recipe. Though initially she was scared that she might miss any of the ingredients and fail to get the perfect dish. Soon, she mastered it. She loves curries with hot steamed rice and keeps looking for new recipes and variations. Like Mina, making the basic Indian curry is mind-boggling for many young girls. I find newbie cooks are often confused about the substitution of an ingredient to it and some myths about Indian food need to be debunked.
The last year was tough and most of them have cooked at home. Whenever I was in a dilemma, I usually made jeera rice with some delicious curry. The meal was sorted and the children were happy. Here are a few typical myths about Indian food and misunderstandings which will ease the cooking for you.
Myth 1: Indian curries are essentially spicy
All Indian curries are not spicy. It’s the most common myth about Indian food. Most of them are cooked with spices but in a limited quantity to bear a soft aroma and mild taste. One can reduce the number of green chilies, black pepper, or red chilies according to taste. It is just a myth about Indian food that the bright red color means it is too spicy.
Myth 2: Adding water to the curry helps to reduce the excess salt
Adding water does not remove the excess salt. The curry becomes watery and may not taste good. Instead, boil some vegetables and put them in it. Alternatively, you can put a boiled potato and cook it for some time. Remove the potato and serve the dish. The potato absorbs the excess salt. Adding a little chili powder along with a little sugar will level up the spice level.
Myth 3: If you don’t like peas, stay away from the curries with green peas mentioned in the ingredients
If you do not like using green peas, avoid using them. Use any vegetable that you like, assorted veggies like beans, carrot, capsicum, cauliflower are usually used in curries. If you do not intend to use a particular vegetable, skip it. Feel free to add soya chunks of paneer in it. They give a good taste along with vegetables.
Myth 4: It’s better to avoid adding ghee or butter
Ghee or clarified butter consists of good fats and gives a good taste to the dish. I would suggest adding a small quantity and the difference is visible to you. If you are a vegan, use oil.
Myth 5: It’s better to saute onions for less time
Onions should be sauteed until translucent in color. If you are using onion paste, it has to be cooked for a longer time. The raw smell should vanish and a little oil should be visible on the sides. It indicates you can then proceed further in cooking.
Myth 6: Indian food adds inches to your waist
The reality is that Indian food is a balanced mix of nutrition and taste. It keeps you healthy, fit and free of lifestyle diseases. It only causes obesity if taken regularly in excess and is comparable to any other local cuisine for that matter. Although I agree, with the sumptuous taste it has, it’s rather difficult to stop eating once you have had enough.
Myth 7: Indian food can’t be cooked without using fat
A lot of Indian curries are made using very little oil. Rather they make use of other cooking mediums like coconut milk, water or steam. The richness of Indian curries comes from Nuts, Milk Products, methodical roasting and other aspects of preparation which might sometime require oil usage but not always.
I hope reading the above post helped get some myths about Indian food cleared. For more such articles, do not forget to subscribe to our mailing list.