- Make sure you serve rice if possible (especially if you are hosting South Indians). From my husband’s own mouth: “Sometimes I just don’t feel full unless I’ve had my rice!”
- Try and make something with a sauce or gravy – even if it has no flavors of curry – gravy is a huge theme in many Indian dishes
- Remember to spice it up a little! Most Indian palettes are used to flavorful cooking – so broiled chicken and steamed veggies probably won’t get you rave reviews among Indian circles!
- Meat doesn’t have to be the star – experiment and see what you can do with veggies and starches – in most Indian households, meat is not eaten in huge quantities like it is in the West. My husband’s uncle and aunt moved to America years ago, and invited their new colleagues over for a meal. They served the meal family style, and they were horrified to find that all the meat was finished by the time it reached the third person!
- Always have a dessert – from my experience Indians are like everyone else in the world – they love their sweets and they will be more than willing to try some of your sweets too – chocolate cake, here we come!
- Biscuits and Gravy (with hot sauce on the side)
- Pot Roast with lots of Gravy and Rice, served with hot sauce on the side (if you are entertaining non-vegetarians, that is!)
- Indian Style Pizzas
- Baked Beans & Potato Salad
- Green Bean Casserole & Corn Casserole
- Sweadish Meatballs with extra gravy and Rice (you could make these veg as well)
- Try going south of the border – Enchiladas and other Mexican foods are very similar to Indian – tortillas make great chapattis!
- Did I mention chocolate cake already?
- Start out with 2 cups of flour (all whole wheat or half all-purpose)
- Add water and salt – to make a smooth dough
- Kneed well (another secret for soft chapattis! You can also ad oil or ghee to the dough for a softer dough), once the dough is a smooth consistency, let it rest for 10-20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 1.5 or 2 inch sections and roll into round balls (roughly the size of a golf ball). Make sure the balls are smooth and crack-free. (otherwise you’ll end up with oddly shaped chapattis!)
- When cooking, flip the chapatties a few times and apply gentile pressure with the lid of the Flat Bread Maker to help the chapattis to puff up.
My husband and I were talking a few months ago about how we’re always rushing around in the morning and never take time to connect before we start our day. So we decided to have “Chai dates” every morning before we go to work. (I’ll admit, we still don’t do
Equal parts: Milk & WaterFresh Ginger (grated – 1 tsp or so)Green cardamom pods (opened – 3-4)Cloves (4-5)Cinnamon sticks (1-2)Sugar (to taste)Loose Tea Leaves (2-3 tsp.)
I usually make chai for just the two of us, so I start out by filling one teacup full of water and one of milk (that way I know I’ll get a full 2 cups). Dump the liquids into a sauce pan and turn the heat on to medium-high.Next, add some fresh ginger,* and all the spices. Bring to a boil.** Remove from heat. Add sugar and stir. Finally add loose tea leaves and let it brew for a minute or two until it is strong enough for your tastes. Strain out the tea leaves and spices, serve and enjoy!
Cardamom pods can be tricky to open. The best method is to open it from the flatter end, not the end that is pointy. They look like a banana, but you want to open cardamom opposite than you would a banana. It is waaaay easier, let me tell you!
Use whole milk, chai will never turn out as rich as it does in India unless you use whole milk!!! (we also use non-homogenized)
English Spice Hindi Tamil Asafoetida Hing Perungayam Bay Leaf Tej patta Talishapattiri Cardamom Elaichi Elakkai Chillies Mirch Milagai Cinnamon Dalchini ilavangkam Cloves Laung Krambu Coriander Dhania Kothamalli vidai Corriander Leaves (Cilantro) Hara dhania Kothamalli Cumin Jeera Jeeragam Curry Leaves Karipatha Kariveppilai Fennel Saunf Fenugreek Methi Venthiyam Garlic Lassan Ulipoondu Fresh Ginger Adrak Injin Lime Nimbu Elumichai Mint Pudina Pudina Mace Javithri Jathipatri Mango Powder Aamchur Mustard Seeds Rai Kadugu Nutmeg Jaiphal Jathikkai Pepper Kali Mirch Milagu Saffron Kesar Tamarind Pulp Imli Puli Turmeric Haldi Manjal
- Keep the spices in a cool, dark place – free from moisture and humidity. A spice dabba is a fun and practical solution.
- Ground spices can retain their flavor for around a year – whole spices retain their flavor much longer. Try grinding your own spices for a more intense flavor. (use a mortar & pestal or a coffee grinder)
- Keep rarely used spices in airtight containers in the freezer.