Indian cuisine is easily one of the most popular cuisines around the globe. The culinary history of India borrows a lot of techniques and tastes from Central Asian, Arab and Persian cuisine.
A cuisine so varied thus has a wide range of ingredients and cooking techniques involved in it. Developed over four thousand years of history, the inside of an Indian kitchen is a wonder in itself.
There is almost an equivalent for everything in an Indian kitchen that is also there in an American or European kitchen. Ranging from the mortar and pestle, both the large and miniature versions of which are a part of Indian cuisine to the karhai (Indian wok), tawa (griddle), chimta/sharashi (heavy metal tongs), jhajri (can signify a slotted ladle or Indian colander) which are traditional cookware; there are modern cookware also that are used in the Indian kitchen today such as the pressure cooker and crock pot and modern steaming pots.
There are six basic methods of cooking in the Indian cuisine and they are bhapa (steaming), bhun-na/kasha (for cooking meat), bagar/chowkna/sambar (tempering with spices), dum phukth (part steaming-part boiling), talna (frying) and sekhna (pan roasting).
Some Indian foods like tandoori rotis, meat, etc are cooked in a tandoor. The tandoor or bhatti, as it is called is a special type of Indian oven, the history of which dates back to the early Harappan civilization in India around 5000 years ago. The tandoor is also popularly used around Middle East countries. The temperature inside a tandoor can soar up to 480 degree Celsius. Tandoor cooked foods were very popular during the Mughal period in India, which had brought in the Persian and Arab influence.
Generally flatbreads called tandoori rotis or naans and various meat items are cooked in the tandoor and have a strong smoked flavor to them.
This article was contributed by content editors at ifood.tv.
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