Apart from the use of local produce and various flavourful spices, Indian cuisine is popular for its cooking techniques and methods. Our methods of cooking play an essential part in giving a unique identity to our cuisine. Here are seven traditional methods and techniques of cooking used in Indian cuisine:
Different cultures have different ways of cooking their food. From the ingredients to the cooking method, every factor is responsible for the taste and texture of the dish. Our Indian cuisine is known to incorporate a plethora of colours and flavours in its food. Be it a meal or a dessert, our cuisine has a unique and delicious taste that is loved by other countries as well.
Apart from the use of local produce and various flavourful spices, Indian cuisine is popular for its cooking techniques and methods. Our methods of cooking play an essential part in giving a unique identity to our cuisine. There are many cooking techniques like pickling that have been used in our country for centuries and each of them has its own specialty that cannot be replaced by any other method.
Here are seven traditional methods and techniques of cooking used in Indian cuisine:
Also known as chownk or tempering, this cooking technique is known to elevate the taste of any dish and add deeper tasting notes to it. Tempering involves adding whole spices and condiments to ghee or oil on high heat then, the tadka mixture is poured on top of the dish. Some recipes are also cooked in the tempering prepared initially. Dal, curries and vegetables are some common dishes cooked with this method.
Grilling Or Roasting
This ancient cooking technique uses tandoor in cooking. It is a clay oven that cooks food over a wood charcoal fire. In these two methods of cooking the food is either skewered in long metallic skewers or slapped onto the hot internal walls. The popular recipes prepared with grilling or roasting are tandoori chicken, kebabs, naan and parathas.
We are all aware of this method of cooking due to our favourite biryani. It is a slow-cooking technique that involves using a sealed vessel, mostly a handi. It is very popular in Awadhi cuisine and is commonly used to cook biryani, pulao and other rice-based dishes. The basic requirements of cooking a dum recipe is a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid and some dough for sealing the mouth of the vessel.
If you are in a hurry but still want to cook a wholesome meal then no other technique is better than pressure cooking. This method is very popular in India for cooking lentils, beans and stews. This convenient and time-saving method is ideal for rice-based dishes as well.
This is a popular technique for cooking Indo-Chinese dishes. Apart from stir-frying, sautéing ingredients like onion, tomatoes or vegetables and meat is also a famous cooking technique in India. Stir-frying uses a high temperature while for sauteing a moderate temperature between medium and high is enough. Apart from Indo-Chinese dishes various curries like kori gassi are also prepared with this technique.
Steaming or bhapa cooking is one of the healthiest techniques of cooking. Various recipes including idli, dhokla and momos are prepared with this method. The amazing thing about this technique is it cooks food without losing its nutrients or authentic flavours. The ingredients are placed in the steamer and cooked over boiling water.
Pickling is a very old and traditional method of preserving food in the country. Ingredients such as fruits and vegetables are marinated in a mixture of spices, vinegar and oil which can be stored for several months. There are a variety of pickles popular in India but mango, mixed and chicken pickle are on the top.
Indian cuisine is very rich and diverse in nature, the deeper you go the more fascinating you will find it. The taste and flavours of an Indian meal cannot be appreciated in words. All thanks to the local ingredients and traditional methods of cooking.