Indian cuisine is as vast and varied as the Indian Ocean! (70,560,000 km²) Each state (province) has different culinary traditions and there are over 30 states and “union territories.”

But all Indian cooking has common features. Not just spices, spices, spices, but the way they are used is unique. Oil is heated in a heavy-bottom pot and certain spices are fried. Different ingredients are then added to the pot: onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, chopped veggies and meats, boiled lentils and beans, rice, other spices, and so on, and the dish is cooked to completion. Or the process is reversed. You first make a dish and fried spices are added on top, for example to a cucumber and yogurt salad.

Recipes vary from very elaborate (take all day!) to five-minute salads. I choose dishes that are tasty, healthy (vegetarian) and easy for people learning to cook Indian. But there is still some work involved! The recipes come from different parts of India as I have lived all over and have a cosmopolitan identity.

Pohe, a flexible veggie dish made with flat ricePav bhajiChana dal wadas wt coriander chutneySONY DSCCucumber RaitaSONY DSC

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