MAD Masala Dani
Kitchen Essentials – Must have in your “Masala Dani”
For those who must be wondering what is a masala dani ? Well it is found in all the Rasoi’s ( kitchens ) in india. It is a handy box of spices used for almost all kinds of Indian cooking, kept at a very convenient place in our kitchen .
Five basic spices of the popular Indian curry -
1. Red Chilli Powder ( Lal mirchi ) – Use to add spice in your dishes,plus add color in the dish.
2. Turmeric Powder ( Haldi ) – Apart from having the healing qualities, it is one of the most important spice of indian cooking. It gives yellow color to the dishes and gives a nice aroma too.
3. Garam Masala Powder (King of all spices ) – Garam Masala is prepared in different ways in different parts of India, but i make it with ground coriander seeds,cumin seeds, black peppercorn, dry ginger , cardamom, cloves , anise, cinnamon,bay leaves in different proportions. It is used in north Indian cooking in almost every dish. ( I use this in different proportions in most of my curries, it adds rich flavour to the curry ).
4. Coriander Powder ( Dhaniya ) – One of my favourites, it adds thickness to the curries.
5. Dry Mango Powder ( Amchoor ) – This spice lends a sour taste to the preparations. Used mainly in only those preparations where we need to give a tangy flavour to the dishes. Also used in many stuffings for the tea time snacks recipes.
Five basic Tempering Seeds for Indian Cuisine -
1. Sesame Seeds ( Til ) - It is used in many south-Indian sweet delicacies and chutney’s, it is also sprinkled over toasts, biscuits, breads, cakes, salads, stir fries etc, when dry fried sesame seeds ground to a thin light brown color paste known as tahini. Tahini is one of the main ingredient in famous middle-eastern dip, hummus.
2. Fenugreek Seeds ( Methi dana ) – Methi dana is also used in many ways in our indian cooking, it is slightly bitter in taste. Used in indian mango pickles too. Mostly used in curries and in many ways in south indian dishes.
3. Black Mustard Seeds ( Kali sarson ) – These seeds are widely used for tempering mainly in south indian dishes.
4. Cumin Seeds ( Jeera ) – One of the important seeds in cooking indian cuisine. Used for tempering dry curries, rice to lentils. A must in indian kitchen.
5. Carrom Seeds ( Ajwain ) – A very powerful spice for digestion and better metabolism. A must addition in preparing vegetables and lemon pickles. It is used in little quantity as is slightly bitter and pungent.