An Elementary Approach to Indian Cooking

Mango Pachadi (Gojju)


What kind of cook are you?  If you like Indian food, how skilled are you in the kitchen?  Me, I’m pretty hopeless when it comes to Indian cooking. When I was a newlywed, I made a mean fried chicken, but knew nothing about my husband’s comfort foods.  I eagerly learned how to make a few of my husband’s favorite foods, like idara and gora no lot so that when we moved to Georgia, 7 hours away from his parents, he wouldn’t starve.  The problem for me was, the language barrier between me and my mother-in-law was so big, that I couldn’t quite get things right.  Where I relied on measuring things by the leveled teaspoon, for example, she measured by the dash or length of her finger or hand.  Where I needed English names and ready-made flour and spices, she ground her own and struggled to find English words for ingredients.

Finally, I came across a The ABCDs of Cooking written by Chitra, a self-proclaimed ABCD, or “American Born Confused Desi.”  She is a Brooklyn based Indian Cook, born in the U.S., who writes about Indian food in a simplified way that works Americans like me.  Her site features recipes and videos, and that spell out Indian cuisine as easy as ABCD.  I’ve also discovered Indian Cooking: Pantry Essentials that explicitly explains ingredients in English for me. Together, these resources have helped me tremendously and inspired me to venture into the kitchen with a new flare.  So far, I’ve tried Chitra’s Paneer Tofu, and it was awesome.

So, whether you are a newbie to Indian cooking, or a skilled cook looking for simple and interesting new recipes, take a look at her site and let me know what you think.  If you like to get my posts on new and easy recipes in your inbox, subscribe on the Homepage, and never miss a thing!

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photo by: GoDakshin

4 thoughts on “An Elementary Approach to Indian Cooking

  1. It took me a while to ‘get’ dahl, but I caught on well with other vegetarian dishes. I was taught Punjabi dishes and it only gets better after practice!! Luckily my MIL is fluent in English- what sort of dishes did you first learn Sheryl?

  2. I learned with my neighbour in Chennai, now I just cook intuitively, I could not tell anybody how much of each spice I put in my cooking.

  3. I first started cooking during my graduate years coz I got bored of eating out! I soon learned that a lot of different dishes have the same base ingredients! You probably realized that too! Makes it a whole lot easier to whip up a whole range of dishes in one shot!

    • Your right! I got bored eating out because I realized just that thing about Taco Bell…nothing but beans and grease packaged differently. I do like cooking with just a base of ingredients. I’m all about speed these days!

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