Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

khana_hai

Basic Indian cooking question

Recommended Posts

Guys

In many indian recipes I follow, you usually add the oil, jeera/rai, some initial spices like big elaichi, cardamon, etc and then add the vegetables that take longer to cook like potatoes. Now the problem is the potato gets all the flavoring and what comes next seem to lack in flavor. This seems to happen with many dishes I make. For eg I made sabudana khichdi yesterday and the potato was great but not the sabudana

I know there may be a quick fix to this by adding half spices initially and the other half in the middle. However, the flavoring is best when you add the spices directly into the oil. Does it make sense to remove part of the oil after flavoring it and add it back later?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi khana_hai,

I'm not an expert like posters Jenni or V. gautam, but usually the initial spices are meant to flavor the first ingredient more aggressively, and the latter ingredients more subtly. Subsequent spices - and their preparation - flavor the subsequent ingredients.

That said, a lot of Indian recipes specify a tadka with some or all of the initial spices added at the very end as a garnish, which gets you that fresh impact again. Often the tadka echoes the earlier spices rather than replicating them exactly - so whereas the main dish might contain ground mustard seeds, the tadka contains whole ones. And other variations.

I hope this helps.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW - I'm already learning something. You see me and many others simply go by recipes and never truly understand the fundamentals of cooking. In my khichdi for eg I could have done tadka of evoo, jeera powder, hing, kadipata, aamchur

Hope to see more responses

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isn't is called a tarka? Simplest example is a tarka dahl with lentils and then some fried spices added at the end. Happy to be corrected by someone if I'm wrong there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tadka/tarka are imprecise English transcriptions of the same word

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Khana_hai,

Very few Indian preparations need a second tadka at the time of serving; in over 15 years of North Indian cooking I have only seen it in some Dals (heavy lentil curries), never in vegetable curries or other rice/khichadi etc. recipes.

If you felt that the sabudana lacked flavor it is probably because traditionally sabudana khichadi falls under the category of 'Vrat ka Khana' (food for days of religious fasting). Some Hindu fasts allow consumption of grain-free and simple foods.. hence the recipe lacks the all important powder spices that are responsible for flavor. Also is there a chance that you did not add enough oil and green chilis in the first tadka itself?

I'm thinking of popular Indian breakfast dishes - Batata Poha, Vegetable Upma and even Pulaos where the first (and only seasoning) is followed by raw vegetables that cook for up to 10 minutes and only then the main ingredient goes in.. often with powdered spices like turmeric, red chili powder and garam masala. Never felt the lack of flavor! :)


Edited by Rubytree (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, that does not mean anything, spices are always added initially in the oil, so that the spices get immersed in the oil fully, oil is never taken out but you can pour in additionally some more oil if you feel the need to do it.

Gud luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You've got most of your replies, but sabudana is indeed a bland food unless you really put in a lot of spices or dump it in a sauce (not the point here), it will remain bland. Maybe you could try to sprinkle on some garam masala/cilantro/lemon juice to perk it up?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi There,

Heres a lil solution to your prob, whenevr you are making sabudana khichdi and want to add potatoes, try to saute the diced potatoes with a pinch of salt. And then add boiled sabudana and potatoes together with the spices. And you will get an amazing sabudana khichdi.

Hope this would help

:-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's first your time, then try it for second time.

It's Indian speciality to follow-up much of dishes with initial spices & I like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By Sheel
      Prawn Balchao is a very famous Goan pickle that has a sweet, spicy and tangy flavor to it. 
      For the balchao paste you will need:
      > 8-10 kashmiri red chillies
      > 4-5 Byadagi red chillies
      > 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
      > 1/2 tsk turmeric powder 
      > 1 tsp peppercorn
      > 6 garlic cloves
      > 1/2 tsp cloves
      > 1 inch cinnamon stick
      > Vinegar 
      First you will need to marinate about 250 grams of prawns in some turmeric powder and salt. After 15 minutes deep fry them in oil till them become golden n crisp. Set them aside and add tsp vinegar to them and let it sit for 1 hour. Now, make a paste of all the ingredients mentioned under the balchao paste and make sure not to add any water. In the same pan used for fryin the prawns, add in some chopped garlic and ginger. Lightly fry them and immediately add one whole chopped onion. Next, add the balchao paste amd let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the prawns and cook until the gravy thickens. Finally add 1 tsp sugar and salt according to your taste. Allow it to cool. This can be stored in a glass jar. Let this mature for 1-3 weeks before its use. Make sure never to use water at any stage. This can be enjoyed with a simple lentil curry and rice.
    • By Sheel
      Goa being one of the popular cities of India is known for its local delicacies. These delicacies have been passed on from generation to generation, while some of them have continued to remain popular, some of them have lost their charm with the introduction of newer cuisines. Since the Portuguese entered Goa, they have had a strong influence on the local cuisine. A major turning point came when they introduced a variety of spices that changed their style of cooking completely. The Portuguese introduced plants like corn, pineapple,  papaya, sweet potato and cashews. One such example of a popular dish would be Pork Vindaloo. Goan food is a mix of hot and sour ingredients that make their seafood delectable. Kokum is one such ingredient which is known to be a tangy-sweet fruit. It is added in curries to render a sour taste and is often accompanied with seafood. Dried red chillies are one the most vital ingredients common among all the local delicacies that is either used in its whole form or ground into a fine paste. Since seafood is the soul of Goan food, it is preserved and relished in other forms too. Goan pickles are known to be quite famous. Prawn Balchao, a very famous prawn pickle prepared with dried red chillies is relished with a simple lentil curry and rice. Another delicacy is the Goan Para Fish made with mackerels, red chillies and goan vinegar. These are regular accompaniments with their routine meals. When talking about Goa, you cannot not mention their sausages. These mouth-watering and spicy sausages are made with pork and a variety of spices. Last but not the least, is the widely famous Goan bread, locally known as Poi. Leavened bread which is part of almost every meal and eaten with plain butter too. These ingredients make the cuisine extremely palatable and continue to make this cuisine stand out from the rest.
    • By shweta gupta
      Do any one familiar with the Bengali spice brands of India, my friend is Interested in Cooking Bengali Food. Can any One Suggest me few Brands to Reffer.
      Please comment
    • By Chris Hennes
      A few weeks ago I checked out a copy of Madhur Jaffrey's Vegetarian India from the library, and it is well on its way to earning a permanent place in my collection. I've really enjoyed the recipes I've cooked from it so far, and thought I'd share a few of them here. Of course, if anyone else has cooked anything from the book please share your favorites here, too.
       
      To kick things off, something that appears in nearly every meal I've cooked this month... a yogurt dish such as
       
      Simple Seasoned Yogurt, South Indian-Style (p. 324)
       

       
       
    • By gorkreg
      As a tandoor is not a regular BBQ but an oven which walls need to be hot in order to cook I was wondering if I could use a charcoal chimney to light it. Firstly, I don't know how long it would take for the walls to heat up (I guess quite quick) but secondly (and most important) will the walls crack because of the sudden change in temperature? Any experiences here?
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×