I have imbibed many techniques you will be reading about in my site here from my mother. She is the Martha Stewart of our immediate and extended families, and the ultimate expert on South Indian cooking. The discriminating tastes and techniques I now have are due to her. Her passion for cooking the traditional foods the authentic way is unsurpassed. Relatives and friends visit our homes with the expectation of binging on her cooking. I don't think they have ever left disappointed.

Technique is key to tasty Indian food. It encompasses a number of things. Such as,

spices used commonly in south indian cookingSouth Indian preparations in general use spices like coriander, cumin, ginger, black pepper, mustard, turmeric, curry leaves, tamarind, and red chillies. They are sautéed dry in a heavy-bottomed wok and powdered to a fine consistency. This blend of spices is stored for several months and added to certain preparations. To get a good balance in taste, each family follows its own technique. Depending on taste preference, a variety of spices are added to or eliminated from
the mixture. Another technique is the wet kind, where spices are fresh and are added during the preparation.

A heavy, round-bottomed iron wok (considerably smaller than a Chinese wok) is a necessity in our kitchens. Most families own a few of them -- one for frying, one for sautéing, one for cooking small quantities, and a larger one for large quantities. The shape of the utensil helps with even cooking, keeping food from burning or sticking to the sides. It also helps to use of a flat spoon for sautéing. The woks are long lasting and are usually passed down the generations. Traditional south Indian foods at our homes are all cooked using utensils that have been in our family for generations.

picture shows stove-top cooking

Indian cooking is mostly on the stove top. However, our basic cooking covers other types such as baking, broiling, sautéing, grilling, deep frying, steaming, stir frying, and roasting. Same vegetables with same ingredients taste completely different from one method to another. My recipes will touch on all of these methods depending on the dish. Substitute ingredients can be used without sacrificing taste.