5 Essential Ingredients for Indian Cooking That You Can Buy on Amazon
Keep these ingredients in your pantry to make your favorite Indian dishes at home.
Indian recipes might seem intimidating, but when it comes to tackling any cuisine, the first place you should start is with proper ingredients. And when it comes to Indian food, there are a few pantry staples that will give your dish a ton of flavor without too much complication. And, you don't need to have access to a speciality grocery store to get your hands on them. Cookbook author Priya Krishna, whose debut cookbook Indian-ish launches today April 23, shared her ingredient checklist for making stellar Indian food. And the best part? You can find them all on Amazon!
BUY IT: McCormick Ground Cumin; Amazon, $4.93
Think of this spice as your Indian cooking go-to. According to Krishna, cumin (which comes from the parsley family), "is the building block of so many North Indian dishes." Thanks to the nutty, smoky flavor, it makes a natural addition to vegetables, potatoes and chicken. "If you have nothing else but cumin, you can make Indian food," she added. Sounds like a no-brainer.
BUY IT: Burma Spice Amchur Dried Mango Powder; Amazon, $13.99
Just as you would add lemon or lime to a dish for a splash of tangy acidity, amchur gives you that same refreshing kick. According to Krishna, it adds a, "funky, sweet-and-sour component," which she uses to brighten up her meals. Keep this ingredient around if you’re looking to amplify your flavors.
BUY IT: Rani Chaat Masala; Amazon, $8.99
A lot of pre-made Indian spice mixes leave little to be desired. But if there’s one that makes the convenience of buying a pre-mixed worth it, it’s chaat masala. Krishna even considers this the only packaged masala she would ever recommend buying. Drawing similarities to MSG, she describes it as, "an umami-packed powder that works great as a finishing spice for any dish that needs some oomph." And if you’re looking for dish inspiration, she lists roasted vegetables, baked potatoes, stews and salad dressings as just a few options. "I recently mixed some into hummus. Life changing."
BUY IT: Burma Dried Curry Leaves; Amazon, $13.49
If you’re working with South Indian cuisine, this spice is essential. Krishna describes curry leaves, which are often paired with mustard seeds or crisped in oil, as having a bright and herbaceous flavor. "They add this gloriously crunchy texture and earthiness to any dish."
BUY IT: Jiva Organic Masoor Dal Red Lentils; Amazon, $8.99
Due to their versatility and quick cook time, lentils are a staple in Krishna’s kitchen. Whether you’re topping your salad, creating a base for dal or making a rich stew, lentils are a mild and slightly sweet addition. Consider them an instant dinner.