Cooking is an art that requires some essential ingredients. If you wish to cook something delicious, the ingredients must be fresh and of good quality. While cooking a variety of dishes, you may require different types of ingredients.
For example, when making fried rice or dosa, you need oil, but flour is required for making biscuits or idli batter. Therefore it becomes necessary to have some basic utensils and ingredients in your kitchen so that you can prepare various dishes at home without any hassles or hurdles.
Mustard oil is a staple of Indian cuisine, and for a good reason. First, it has a high proportion of monounsaturated fats—the kind that is good for your heart. It also has omega-3 fatty acids, which make it good for your skin and hair as well. Finally, mustard oil helps keep your digestive system healthy by encouraging bile acid production.
All in all, this versatile cooking ingredient is more than just a way to add flavour to your food—it’s an integral part of staying healthy.
The cream is a dairy product that you can use in many recipes. It’s used in desserts, sauces, and soups. The cream is also an important ingredient in Indian cuisine. Adding cream to a dish gives your meal an elegant touch—and it tastes good!
To make butter from cream (or milk), you need to churn the cream until you have butterfat that has separated from the buttermilk. You can then put this into a container and refrigerate or freeze it for later use. After the fat separates from the liquid part of the mixture, all you have left are solids called curds which can be used to make cheese.
Cardamom is a spice that comes from a plant in the ginger family. It’s popular in Indian cuisine and you use in sweet and savoury dishes and traditional medicine (for reasons you’ll see below). Cardamom pods contain around 20 small black seeds you can easily pull out, crushed into powder form and added to food or drinks.
The flavour of cardamom is slightly sweet with an earthy smell, but it is not so strong that it will overpower other flavours. It pairs well with cinnamon and ginger because they also have similar warm flavours. You can also add fresh ground cardamom to coffee or tea for an extra aromatic kick!
Black pepper is a must-have for many Indian dishes. It’s used to add flavour and enhance the taste of food. Black pepper has been used for thousands of years, since the time of ancient Greece and Rome.
Black pepper you derive from the fruit of a tropical vine native to India and Indonesia. The peppercorns you pick when they’re fully ripe and then dried in the sun until they become black on the outside but still green inside. Black peppercorns you can find whole or ground into powder form. They have a strong, pungent aroma with spicy notes that adds flavour to your dishes!
Milk is a staple in Indian cooking. It’s used in many dishes, and it also has health benefits. You can use milk to make curds (yoghurt) and buttermilk by leaving the liquid alone for a while on its own.
Yoghurt and curd are similar in that they’re both fermented dairy products, but there’s a big difference between them. While yoghurt has been more thoroughly acidified to eliminate harmful bacteria, the curd is less processed and still contains a fair amount of good bacteria (probiotics) that can help keep your digestive system healthy. Both are fantastic sources of protein and calcium, as well as B12 if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant. If you’re looking for ways to eat more yoghurt/curd this summer, try adding some raitha—a traditional Indian condiment made with yoghurt or water—to your next salad!
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, and it’s worth every penny. Saffron threads are made from the dried stigmas of crocus flowers and add a deep golden hue to many dishes. They also give food an exotic flavour with hints of honey. And the earthy floral characteristics, and a spicy kick that works well with seafood, poultry, or vegetable dishes.
Saffron is best keep in an airtight container away from light or moisture; this keeps its colour fresh for longer periods.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the 11 ingredients you cannot cook without. The best thing about these ingredients is that they all come from nature. Also which is good for your health and the planet! If you want to add more variety to your cooking, we recommend trying one or two new ones from this list weekly.