Illuminating Indian cuisine

Indian cooking incorporates Ayurvedic principles, which suggest that six basic flavor profiles – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent – be included in dishes.

Indian cooking spices (photo credit: YAKIR LEVY)
Indian cooking spices
(photo credit: YAKIR LEVY)
Last week we went to a cooking demonstration by Nandita Godbole, the author of a new e-book, Crack the Code – Cook Any Indian Meal with Confidence.
In her presentation, Godbole showed us how a touch of spice can transform ordinary foods into tempting Indian treats. Her rice pulao with peas had a lovely flavor thanks to cumin seeds, fresh ginger, garlic and sautéed cashews. Her delicious baby potatoes were flavored with mustard seeds, ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. (See recipes.) Cumin and coriander seeds, which Godbole described as essential spices in Indian cuisine, flavored her rasam, a spicy soup made with tomatoes, garlic and chili peppers.