Kitchen Hacks That’ll Help You Cook Gravy Like A Pro
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An Indian gravy is so much more than just a simple pan sauce; it’s tricky and temperamental and yet, achieving the perfect gravy isn’t hard at all. You just need to know what to use and when. You can add flavours and swap masala, and even rush the process. But if you know the basics, your gravy will be irresistible. 

If you’re new to the Indian kitchen or struggle with certain ingredients, keep these pointers in mind when you’re cooking 

Temper Your Whole Spices 

Tempered spices are essentially spices bloomed in hot fat, which is known as tadka. Though we forego the tadka in most of our day-to-day cooking, it could be quite key to perfecting gravy's flavour. Tadka tends to extract the aromas and fat-soluble flavours. The choice of fat especially plays a big role here. A simple tadka, such as with mustard seeds and curry leaves, will add to the complexity. 

Most North East Indian gravies tend to rely on mustard oil while South Indian recipes call for sesame or coconut oil. This introduces a difference in flavours; if the oil is cold, spices such as mustard and cumin seeds will become bitter; if the oil is too hot, you have to be careful about working with curry leaves or mustard seeds, since they sizzle in hot oil. 

Plan Your Aromatics Beforehand 

Most Indian preparations work with potent smells so it's important to know how you want to mix and match the ingredients. For instance, when it comes to sweet onions and garlic you have to cook the vegetables in the hot fat until they've softened and the onions have just started to brown around the edges. 

Some pungent and strong odours populate our kitchens as well; ginger, for instance, has a singular smell that cuts through the dish. So it has to be worked into the recipe; ginger is typically sautéed with onions and other spices and used in dals and other numbers. 

However, it's prepped towards the beginning of the dish so it helps to know exactly what aromatics you need.

Be Choosy About The Thickener 

While tomato paste is one of the most common bases, If you are making a Mughlai curry, then eggs are the best alternative to thicken gravy. Instead of dropping it into a pan, whisk it well and add the liquid mixture gradually. Another great option to thicken gravy is cashew paste, especially if you don't want to use cream. However, these thickneres have their own taste, unlike a cornflour or maida and you can't replace one for the other. 

Don't Rush The Fat 

When you add the fat to the pan, be it butter, ghee or oil, let it take its time to cook before you add the wet ingredients. For a basic handi curry, heat the ghee or butter in a pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a minute and cardamom, cloves, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and chilli powder. Let these spices cook for a minute and a half till you can smell the aroma