2 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon urad dal
½ teaspoon mustard seeds
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
75 g (¼ cup) tamarind pulp mixed with 50 ml (¼ cup) water, mashed and strained
500 g (2¾ cups) diced fresh tomatoes, or canned whole tomatoes
200 g (1 cup) sugar
1 red finger-length chilli, finely sliced
125 g (1 cup) pitted dates, quartered
¾ teaspoon salt
1 Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over low heat and stir-fry the dal and spices and
the bay leaf until aromatic, 4 to 5 minutes.
2 Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer
until the chutney thickens, about 45 minutes. Allow to cool, then store in a
sealed container in the refrigerator.
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins
Basic Indian Ingredients and Bangladeshi Ingredients
Basic Indian Ingredients and Bangladeshi Ingredients for best cooking nice food.
Asafoetida is a pungent gum which is usually sold in powdered form. Use very small amounts—a pinch is enough. Keep well sealed when not in use.
Basmati rice is an Indian and Bangladeshi long-grain rice variety characterised by its thinness and fragrance. The grains stay whole and separate when cooked. Substitute long-grain Thai jasmine rice.
Cardamom pods or alachi are highly aromatic and contain tiny black seeds. If whole pods are used, they should be removed from the food before serving. If seeds are called for, lightly smash the pods and remove the seeds, discarding the pods. Ground cardamon is sold in packets or tins.
Chillies are indispensable in Asian cooking. The usual red and green finger-length chillies are moderately hot. Dried chillies are usually cut in lengths and soaked in warmwater to soften before use.
Chilli powder, a crucial ingredient in Indian cooking, is made from ground chillies.
Coconut milk is made by mixing freshly grated coconut flesh (available from Asian markets) with water and squeezing the liquid from the mixture. Add 125 ml (½ cup) water to 3 cups of grated fresh coconut. Squeeze and strain to obtain thick coconut milk.
Add 625 ml (2½ cups) water to the grated coconut and squeeze again to obtain thin coconut milk. Cans or packets of concentrated coconut milk make a good substitute; dilute according to the instructions.
Cumin seeds (jeera) are pale brown and usually partnered with coriander seeds in basic spice mixes. They impart an intense, earthy flavour to foods and are often dry-roasted or flash-cooked in oil to intensify their flavour.
Dal refers to a wide variety of split peas and pulses, Channa dal or Bengal gram
resembles a yellow split pea but is smaller. Channa dal is also ground to make Channa flour.
Mung dal is pale yellow and slightly elongated.
Tur dal is a pale yellow lentilwhich is smaller than channa dal.
Urad dal or blackgram dal is sold either with its black skin on or husked, when it is creamy white in colour.
Curry leaves are sold in Sprigs containing 8-15 small, green leaves and are used to flavor Indian curries. There is no good substitute.
Curry powder is a readily available blend of Indian spices, and typically contains turmeric, coriander, chillies, cumin, mustard, ginger, fenugreek, garlic, cloves, salt, and any number of other spices.
Garam masala is an Indian blend of powdered spices, usually including cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, fennel and black pepper. Pre-blended garam masala can be bought from any Store specializing in spices. Store in an airtight jar away from heat or sunlight.
Fennel seeds look like cumin seeds but are larger and paler. They add a sweet fragrance to Indian dishes, with a flavour similar to liquorice or anise. The seeds are used whole or ground.
Fenugreek is a small almost square, yellowish-brown seed. It is strongly flavoured and easily available from Indian food-stores and supermarkets. The taste is somewhat like burnt maple, sweet yet bitter, with a hint of celery. In addition to curries, fenugreek will enhance meats, poultry and vegetables. Too much of it will cause foods to become bitter, so use with caution.
Ghee is a rich clarified butter oil with the milk solids removed that is the main oil used in Indian cooking. Substitute with vegetable oil or butter.
Mustard seeds are small brownish-black seeds that are commonly used in Indian cooking, imparting a nutty flavour to dishes.
Tamarind is commonly available in the form of semi-dried pulp. It must be soaked in water, mashed, squeezed and strained to yield a sour juice that is added to soups and sauces. All solids and pulp should be strained and discarded from the liquid before use.
Turmeric resembles ginger when fresh but is commonly sold in dried form as a yellow powder. Turmeric turns dishes yellow and has a mild flavour.