5 Desi Alternatives For Expensive Foreign Ingredients
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A few years ago, it was almost impossible to explore authentic global cuisine without travel or spending a bomb at restaurants. But now, one can simply cook them at home by following tutorials from YouTube. Because of the development of technology, cooking different types of dishes at home has become so much easier. But one major factor that is a roadblock even now is the type of ingredients that are used to cook these dishes. 

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Some of these exotic ingredients are available but quite expensive. This stops a person from pursuing their cooking endeavours and they have to give up the idea of making different types of dishes at home. However, by making the most of some desi jugaads, people can cook almost every international dish at home! Here are some inexpensive and functonal alternatives to famous international ingredients.

* Turmeric And Paprika Instead Of Saffron

Although saffron is grown in India, it is extremely expensive and not that easily available everywhere. Saffron is a very important ingredient for cooking Mughalai, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisine. Taste wise saffron is minimally bitter, has undertones of honey-like sweetness, and very earthy notes. One can mix paprika and turmeric to get a similar flavour in their food. Turmeric will help in giving a natural colour just like saffron and paprika will help in achieving similar undertones. The only difference is that one would not get a similar floral aroma.

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* Nuts Instead Of Seeds

These days different types of seeds such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds have broken the internet. It seems like people cannot stop talking about how healthy these seeds are and how they can instantly transform one's health. The seeds are used in a lot of dips, salads, sauces, and even stuffings. To achieve a similar taste that seeds give to a particular food item, one may use different types of nuts such as pistachios, almonds, and cashews. Not only do they have a nutty flavour and add a crunchy touch to the food, but are also equally healthy when compared with seeds. 

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* Swap Red Wine for Apple Juice

Red wine is a conspicuous ingredient that is generously used in cooking Italian food. It helps in adding a flavourful complexity and depth to various dishes. However, it is not practical for everyone to add red wine to their food as not only is it expensive but is also definitely an intoxicant that cannot be consumed by children. So a clever way to mimic the flavour of red wine is to use apple juice. Apple juice has similar tarty and sweet flavours like red wine. If apples are not in the season then one can also use cranberry juice or grape juice. Always remember that adding these juices in place of red wine is important because they help add a touch of sophistication to your dish. Skipping on this part is never going to bring out the most authentic flavours.

* Use Button Mushrooms Instead Of Truffles

Instead of using truffle mushrooms, which are one of the most expensive and sought-after varieties of mushrooms, one can use the more commonly available button mushrooms. Truffle mushrooms indeed have a very luxurious aroma and an opulent taste, but this comes at a very expensive price. If one wants to capture the whole essence of using mushrooms in a dish then using button mushrooms is also a great idea. One has to simply pair these mushrooms with the right kind of spices and it is going to instantly transform a regular dish into a culinary legend.

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* Swap Blueberries With Jamun

Blueberry is a well-known berry because of the high antioxidant content which helps in fighting free radicals in the body. The high amount of vitamin C and potassium is also extremely beneficial for the body. But in India, blueberries come at a very expensive price and it is not at all practical to have it regularly. Instead of eating blueberries, one can go for jamun. Jamun is a fruit that a lot of Indian people must have grown up eating. It has a similar nutritional profile to blueberries and the best part is that it tastes really good.