Below is a basic
description of some of the more popular dishes that you may well
see on every Indian restaurant menu although the tastes may vary
from restaurant to restaurant as each Chef has his/her own secret
formula in creating a superb result, diners usually ask that their
meal be cooked in a mild, medium, or hot sauce, but Indian cooking
is an art in itself and depends not only on the hotness but in the
use of the ingredients applied.
Balti describes the
cooking pot, the deliciously spiced food cooked in it, and a place
of distant origin [Baltisan North Pakistan]. It's evolution began
thousands of years ago with Nomadic tribes people in the cold
Himalayan regions, they needed to keep culinary equipment to a
minimum and therefore chose a versatile wok-like pan which could
be used for braising, boiling, and frying, Balti dishes are cooked
in a special Balti sauce and may be quite dry and rich tasting
unlike other curries, a very unique method is used in the
preparation of Balti dishes, measurements are very precise with
the resulting dish having a complex flavour and aroma, it's
shorter cooking time means the flavours of individual ingredients
Madras a Southern
Indian dish originating from the town of Madras is characterized
by it's use of an abundance of spices, Garlic, Exotic ground
spices and a touch of lemon juice combine to form a dish of medium
Is much the same as
Madras but involving a greater use of spices, Garlic, Ginger,
Black pepper and tomato puree to produce a fiery hot taste and
recommended only to the serious connoisseur.
Jalfrezi is a
combination of fresh herbs cooked with Green Chillies, Onions,
Tomatoes, Capsicums, and coriander which makes this dish a little
hotter than Madras but slightly milder than a Vindaloo.
Tandoori dishes are
marinated in yoghurt lightly spiced then Barbequed in a charcoal
clay oven called a Tandoor. Many Tandoors are fired by gas while
the more traditional ones are fired by charcoal which gives more
depth to the taste.
Tikka is marinated in
much the same way as Tandoori but a different selection of herbs
and spices are added to the marinade before being put on a skewer
and barbequed in a charcoal clay oven.
blend of spice's, Tikka is marinated Chicken or Lamb added to
fresh cream, tomato puree and mild spices creating a tasty
aromatic massala sauce.
Rogan Josh an
authentic Indian dish and slightly milder than a Madras is
prepared with slices of tomato, onion, pimento, capsicums and a
wide variety of fresh herbs and spices to give a rich spicy
Dupiaza cooked in an
over abundance of freshly fried spiced onions, tomatoes and green
peppers make this a rather pungent dish with a dry consistency and
Dansak has an unusual
sweet and sour taste combing lentils and pineapple with garlic,
ginger, and medium spices to make a deliciously mild sauce.
Samber is an old
favourite from Southern India, also cooked with lentils this dish
uses an arrangement of spices that are blended together with lemon
which gives this dish a sharp and distinctive flavour of Madras
Korma is a term used
for 'braised meat ' of Mogul origin Korma is cooked with a mix of
fresh cream, coconut, sugar and light spices to form a mild, sweet
and creamy flavored dish.
Biryani is a
traditional dish from the times of the Moghul emperors, and is
cooked with the meat or vegetables of your choice, what makes
these dishes unique is that they are prepared with fragrant
basmati rice lightly spiced, garnished with an omelette and served
with a mild vegetable curry sauce.
In the central states
of the Indian subcontinent there are as many varieties of rice as
there are potatoes, the poorer Indian learned to cook numerous
variations creating tasty filling meals with the addition of just
a hand full of spices, Basmati bought from almost any supermarket
is among some of the best rice you can buy it has travelled from
the foothills of the Himalayas and is watered by the snowfed
rivers of the Himalayan mountains producing an exquisite delicate
Basmati is used for a
wide variety of dishes Pilau or boiled being the most common, you
can add almost anything to rice creating several tasty side dishes
or even main meals such as the Biryani mentioned above.
In the early years
wheat and barley was the main staple diet as rice was not
discovered until much later. Nan-bread the more familiar form of
bread eaten with curry takes a little longer to prepare using
flour, yogurt, milk, sugar, yeast and ghee or butter then cooked
in the traditional way by placing it inside a charcoal clay oven [Tandoor].
Nan is the Middle Eastern term for 'Bread' so in reality when you
order 'nan bread' you are in fact asking for 'bread bread'.
Rotis [Chapatti as we
know them] are the easiest form of Indian bread with just two
ingredients flour and oil is a type of unleavened bread rolled
flat like a pancake and best eaten soon after cooking.