Rich Indian food is made using a lengthy process that enhances its flavour. Every day in an Indian kitchen, a lot is going on, from the aroma of sizzling Tadka on top of varied dals to the relaxing whistle of a pressure cooker or the ringing of bangles while making delicious bread. You may be wondering what makes the Indian taste of food different from the others. It all depends on the technique that you are using.
The correct technique and method is the thing that helps you to make the dishes look and taste like those of authentic delicacies. Though, you might be familiar with these techniques and maybe even using some of them.
Here are the 5 cooking techniques which are used in India:
Chaunk / Tadka (Tempering)
This is the most popular method of cooking. It usually entails toasting spices in a small amount of oil to enhance their flavour of spices. It’s the first step in many Indian (mostly vegetable) recipes, and it’s also the last step in others, to give them a finishing touch and add some more flavour from the top. Dal Tadka, Pidi Chana, and other dishes are made using this technique.
Dum (Slow Cooking)
Dum translates to “breathe in or inhale.” Food is cooked slowly in a heavy-bottomed pan with a tightly packed lid. The food cooks in its own steam, allowing all the spices to impart their full flavour to the meal. This method of cooking is most known for its use in making Biryani.
Bhunao (Sautéing & Stirring)
This Indian cooking technique combines both, dry and wet cooking methods and requires constant stirring over medium to high heat. This technique depends on the dish being prepared, in some dishes this method helps to keep the crunchiness of the veggies with the help of sautéing and in some it helps to make a curry base, gravy, or paste. The idea of this method is to enhance and deepen the flavour of the spices or ingredients used, and not to over-cook or burn them. Dishes like chicken curry, butter chicken, lamb curry, bhuna pasanda, and many others are made by this method.
Dhungar/ Dhuanaar (Smoking)
It is used to infuse the smoky flavour in the dish. In this method, red-hot charcoal is placed in a small utensil in the middle of the food and a dash of ghee is poured over it to intensify the smoke, which is then covered with the lid to let the food absorb the smoke. Dal tadka, Paneer Angara etc. are some popular dishes made using this technique.
Frying is of two types, deep-frying and shallow frying. Deep-frying is majorly used to make food crispy like fries, pakoras, samosas, etc. and shallow frying is usually used to cook flat food items like kebabs, cutlets, toasts, etc. Apart from this, this Indian cooking method is used to make sweet dishes like Gulab Jamun and Malpua.
Not all these cooking techniques can be used in one dish, 2-3 techniques together can go to prepare a dish. These cooking techniques help to make the yummiest Indian food even if you are living out of India. Apart from these 5, there are more cooking techniques in India.