Stories and essays on food, travel, culture.
There are many, many dishes in the Indian culinary pantheon that boast ingredient lists a mile long. But there are an equal number, if not more, that require fewer than ten. It’s the type of ingredient that governs the explosion of flavors, not the number.
Most ingredients that you’ll need for these recipes are available at your local grocery store: vegetables, garlic, ginger, green chilies, cilantro, rice, yogurt, naan, and some spices such as black pepper, cardamom and cumin, and even a few lentils such as moong.
Get less widely available ingredients — curry leaves, tamarind fruit and paste, jaggery, certain spices (fenugreek seeds, for example) or spice blends — at the nearest desi grocery store. For your convenience, this recipe roundup includes shopping lists of the ingredients that are mostly only available in desi grocery stores. There’s considerable overlap in ingredients, if making more than one dish from this menu.
The entire essay is up at The Aerogram, including a recipe for Cranberry Pickle.