Indian food is a culinary delight. It uses a variety of spices. Curry, paprika, cardamom, and cumin create wonderful scents and help to give the food beautiful color. It is not uncommon to see an entire palette of bright colors laid out on the table when making and serving Indian food. The flavor of Indian food is remarkable, too. Some dishes are spice, while others are mild or tangy. And of course, there are many sweet dishes, too.
Indian food is as fun to make as it is gorgeous to look at. It is the perfect cuisine for cooks of any experience level – even kids! If your child is an adventurous eater and you think they may be ready to try some ethnic cuisine, there are plenty of great Indian recipes that you can introduce them to. Cooking Indian food could be a great way to bond with your child as well as introduce them to this exciting and fascinating culture from the far side of the world. To learn more about Indian cuisine in general, check out Udemy’s course to Learn Indian Cooking with Veenaskitchen.com. It is a great way to started with learning to prepare the most popular Indian dishes, served in restaurants in and out of India.
What To Cook With Your Child
There are hundred of different recipes in Indian Cuisine. As with anything, some are more complex than others. Whether you’re child is cooking on their own or learning to cook with you it is always best to start with the more basic dishes. Don’t worry; just because they are ‘basic’ does not mean that they will be boring to make – they certainly won’t be boring to taste.
Curries are a central part of Indian Cuisine. A curry is a type of gravy or sauce that can be served with any number of ingredients. It is a common misconception that curries must have curry in them. One example of this is Paneer Masala. It is a delicious dish with a few challenging parts, but is not too difficult to make. It is the perfect dish to start with when cooking Indian food with your child!
What Is Paneer Masala?
Paneer Masala is one of the most well known dishes in Indian Cuisine. Its succulent tomato-based gravy is bright orange. It is flavored with a rich masala paste made from the most used Indian spices. It contains onions as well as any other fresh ingredients you may wish to include. It is a mild dish, and sometimes cream is added. In this case it is referred to as Paneer Butter Masala.
The dish would not be Paneer Masala without the paneer. Paneer is a type of Indian farm cheese, or curd cheese. It does not melt – a process of ‘setting’ achieves this. This means that the cheese is curdled in heated milk that includes acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar. Though you can buy paneer in stores already made, an adventurous chef might try and make it from scratch. Taking Udemy’s course on Vegetarian Cooking with Veenaskitchen can help if you or your child is hoping to learn more advanced techniques of Indian cooking.
How to Cook Paneer Masala
To cook Paneer Masala, start by adding oil and butter to a pan. A small amount of oil will keep the butter from browning too quickly. Add a single bay leaf and fry until the oil and butter are fragrant. Next add crushed ginger and garlic. You will know it’s ready when the strong smells have softened. The next step is to add tomato puree. You can buy this in a store or make it on your own. Remember, with a puree all the seeds and skin have been removed. If you want to know more about cooking vegetables check out Udemy’s online vegan and vegetarian cooking school. There you will learn the best methods to make your dishes outstanding.
Once the puree starts to cook, add red chili powder. The amount you use is up to you and will affect the spice-level of the dish, so be careful. Stir the mixture. Keep the flame low to avoid burning the paste. The oil will leave the sides of the pan after about twelve minutes. Next add cashew paste. This is a milky fluid with a sweet and nutty flavor. It gives the masala its beautiful mellow orange color. Continue to stir until everything combines.
Next, add water to thin out your paste. It is recommended that you use the jar from your cashew paste as a measuring cup. This allows you to get the left over cashew paste out of the jar as well as an added bonus.
Adding water is what turns the paste into gravy (or curry, as it is called in India). You will need to stir occasionally for two or three minutes on low heat for this to happen. The number one thing to remember is that patience is key to this process. Good cooking takes time, and that is definitely the case with Indian Cuisine. As the curry thickens, add freshly sliced ginger. Next add slit green chilies, as well as salt and sugar to taste. Don’t forget to keep stirring. You have another three or four minutes to go.
The next step is to add the paneer. Paneer, as mentioned, is a semi-soft farm cheese. If you have not yet done so, cut the paneer – usually sold in a block – into small cubes. Decide on the texture you’d prefer for you paneer. If you like a softer and milder cheese throw it right into the masala. If you like a firmer and tangier cheese you can add some oil and spices to a second pan, then lightly fry the paneer before putting it in. The choice is yours. This is one of the great things about Indian cooking – there are many small variations that you can make to a dish to make it exactly what you want.
Stir and gently cook the Paneer Masala for another two or three minutes. The cheese will soften and take on the flavors of the curry. Once you garnish the masala with kasuri methi (fenugreek leaves) it is time to eat. Paneer masala is often served with sides of sliced onions. You can also serve it with Jasmine rice or the delicious fried Indian bread called naan.
Healthy Food For Healthy Living
Healthy eating is important. It is also important to provide healthy food for your family. Hopefully, cooking Indian food with your child will have opened them up to the culinary delights that are also holistic. The spices and fresh ingredients provide specific nutrients to promote a healthy lifestyle. Ayurvedic cooking utilizes this belief and often presents many delicious Indian dishes as part of its diet. Check out Udemy’s Ayurvedic Cooking Course to learn more about it.
If you and your child cooked your Paneer Masala with success and want to tackle more recipes, than you should not wait. Try out these four North Indian Recipes.
Remember, cooking is a skill. It requires practice, more patience, and ultimately resolve. It can also require a bit of experimentation. However, no matter what you are cooking, when you are doing it with your child it will be sure to be plenty of fun. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Indian Cooking. The spices and ingredients combine in magical ways to help you create some of the most delicious flavors in the world. If you and your child are ready to give it a shot, start with the Vegetarian Indian Cooking class offered at Udemy. The time you spend together in the kitchen and at the table will be as delicious as the love you share.