If you are not very familiar with cooking Indian food, you may be under the misconception that it takes a lot of time to cook. But that is hardly the case. All cuisines have dishes that take too much time as well as things which can be cooked in a jiffy. It is true that Indians usually prepare most dishes from scratch and use ingredients that are fresh and in season. In fact, that is why Indian food has a flavor that matches none. If you are starting out with cooking Indian cuisine, you will definitely have lots of recipes to try from which don’t require a lot of time. Regular dishes that are cooked in households for daily meals are easy to prepare and take little time, as long as you have the ingredients available. Indian cuisine makes abundant use of a few basic ingredients and if you have them prepared beforehand, it just reduces the cooking time more. Here are top tips to save time cooking Indian.
Onions: This vegetable is widely used in Indian cooking, whether as a paste, sliced thinly or chopped fine. It is the base for most gravies and is used as an ingredient in vegetable as well as meat and fish dishes. If you are cooking Indian food, rest assured that you will be using onions a lot. That’s why it makes sense to prep them. You can peel, chop or grind onions and keep them frozen in plastic containers to use them in recipes that require them. You will be saving a lot of time this way.
Garlic and ginger: These are again typically Indian ingredients used regularly in the kitchen. You can obviously get ginger and garlic paste easily in a can but it is much better to make them at home. Garlic is tiring to peel and chop and it makes sense to do it in a batch. It is a good idea to have garlic and ginger peeled and chopped so that you can use them as they are or grind them according to what a recipe demands. Always put ginger or garlic separately in an airtight container to prevent them from creating bad odor in your whole freezer.
Dough: Chapatis, rotis and parathas are prepared on a daily basis in Indian households. Preparing the dough takes some time and doing it every day may be a bit of a hassle. Dough prepared from flour and besan can be easily stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers and kept for 3-4 days. Preparing rotis and chapattis with this dough is easy and takes a lot less time.
Using the pressure cooker: Lentils take a considerable time to cook and since they are an integral part of Indian meals, cooking them in the pressure cooker saves a lot of time. Cook lentils in the pressure cooker and then pour the hot ‘tadka’ (ghee, spices and aromatics on high heat) on it to prepare beautiful dals in no time at all.