Before you begin…

As I said, cooking is a very easy task if you love to eat. So, let’s begin!

As you know, when I came to Mumbai, I knew nothing about cooking. I have gone through that difficult phase where you don’t know where to start. I did not know how to cut vegetables, which spices are used in the kitchen, what kind of a knife I need to use or which kind of vessels are used for cooking. I had only seen my Mom n Dad (yes my Dad is a great cook!) do the cooking. So, the best people to approach were of course both of them. I used to call them and ask how do I cook this… how do I cook that… There were times when they were not reachable because of office work or some other reasons and that was when I used to get stuck. So, I thought of listing out the details about what you need to do before you begin cooking.

In an Indian home, spices are the most important thing when it comes to cooking. You need to prepare your ‘Masala Dabba’ before you begin cooking.

Masala Dabba

Mostly the Masala Dabba has the following spices:

  1. Red Chilly Powder
  2. Turmeric Powder
  3. Jeera or Cumin
  4. Rai or Black Mustard seeds
  5. Garam Masala
  6. Dhaniya or Corriander Powder

My Masala Dabba has one more secret spice – Khada Garam Masala Powder.

And, of course Asafoetida or Hing and Salt.

There are some more optional spices which are required for specific dishes. I shall share their names as and when we will need them. But you surely need the above listed spices in your kitchen in order to cook an ‘Indian Meal’.

Apart from this, you need to have the following basic ingredients in your kitchen:

  1. Chawal or Rice – This can be any rice of your choice. You may opt for brown rice too!
  2. Tur Dal or Red Gram Dal – Unploished dal is a good option as it is healthier
  3. Moong Dal or Split Green Gram – Unploished dal is a good option as it is healthier
  4. Ghehun ka atta or Wheat Flour
  5. Rava or Semolina
  6. Besan/Chane ka Atta or Gram Flour
  7. Poha or Beaten Rice
  8. Daliya or Broken Wheat
  9. Cooking Oil
  10. Ghee/Butter
  11. Sugar

The above listed items are easily available in the market. You can select the brand which suits you best.

Done! If you have these basic ingredients, you just need to buy your favorite vegetables and Voila! you are ready to cook a delicious meal.