September 9, 2010
I find it fascinating to investigate the varied cuisine of different cultures. Indian cooking can be healthful and delicious. Some ingredients, such as ghee, can be substituted with more healthy options, such as coconut oil. I am sure that a traditional chef would be horrified, but I like to experiment with changes such as that and also lessening the amount of fat in the dishes.
Beautiful stainless steel spice trays hold spices such as cardamom, tamarind, black peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg.
Legumes and beans (called dal) provide lots of fibre, protein and other valuable nutrients. There are a great variety such as lentils, split peas, mung, adzuki, garbanzo and more. The most important steps for preparing legumes and beans is soaking at least overnight and then discarding the water, which contains phytates that can block the absorption of minerals. This will lessen any potential problems with gas.
When cooking with spices, the most important step is to cook the spices in the fat before continuing with the recipe - this changes the flavors to improve the taste of the dish.
Little India, in the east end of Toronto, has shops where you can purchase a spice tray such as those pictured as well as the unusual fruits and vegetables that some recipes require.