Known for its diversity and distinct use of aromatic herbs and spices, Indian cuisine is becoming more and more popular as people seek to expand their culinary horizons. From the mild tikka masalas to the spicier vindaloos, Indian cuisine is rich with flavour, but may seem overwhelming or too time-consuming to make at home. A few tricks and tips from culinary specialist, Anjali Pathak, make it easy to simplify Indian cuisine and create authentic, great tasting meals in your own home.
Cooking Indian cuisine can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be
Many Indian dishes can be prepared in advance; meat always tastes better when it’s left to marinate overnight. Preparing dishes in advance allows the aromatic spices to absorb and makes the meat extra tender.
Ease into Indian food if you’re unfamiliar
Naan bread is a perfect entry point for anyone who wants to prepare simple, Indian foods at home. After trying some staples like naan and butter chicken, you’ll be keen to experiment with more tastes and flavours. Made with ghee – clarified butter – and baked in a traditional tandoori oven, Patak’s naan breads are great for dipping and soaking up delicious sauces.
Create smaller portions of several recipes
There are so many wonderful flavours and textures in Indian cuisine and part of the fun is sampling a little bit of everything. Make smaller portions of several recipes so you can get a taste of all the delicious flavours India has to offer.
Indian foods are so full of flavor it’s easy to overindulge
Serving fresh fennel seeds at the end of a meal is an Indian tradition that aids in digestion and is a natural mouth freshener.
Set the stage using simple decor with big impact
Just like Indian cuisine, Indian decor is full of vibrant colour and texture. When cooking an Indian inspired meal at home complete the look by switching your traditional table cloth or runner with brightly coloured fabrics. Candles are also a staple Indian decor item. A few tea lights spread around the room will set the stage and warm your space.
Easy-to-prepare Indian recipes with a contemporary twist can be found online at www.pataks.ca.
Everyone’s favourite, the classic grilled cheese, made even more irresistible by combining aged cheddar with Patak’s naan bread.
Indian Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches on Naan Bread
Prep Time: 10min
Cook Time: 5-8min
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil 7 mL
- 1 package Patak’s plain naan bread 200 g
- 2 tbsp Patak’s sweet mango chutney 25 mL
- 1 tbsp mint finely chopped, 15 mL
- 1 cup old white cheddar cheese coarsely grated, 250 mL
- Preheat a panini press or set a cast iron pan over medium heat.
- Brush olive oil on one side of each naan bread and arrange oiled side down on work surface. Spread mango chutney on one naan; scatter mint on top, followed by a layer of cheese. Cover with remaining naan bread, oiled side up. Cut sandwich in half crosswise.
- Transfer sandwiches to panini press or pan and cook until cheese is melted and both sides of naan are golden brown, about 5 minutes. If using a cast iron pan, cook, flipping once, about 3-4 minutes per side.
More easy-to-prepare Indian recipes can be found online at www.pataks.ca.