This is my first foray into Indian cooking. If you check out the post just before this, I divulge how I became inspired by Indian cooking (a remarkable woman named Neela Paniz and her book, The New Indian Slow Cooker, has everything to do with it) This post documents my journey from cracking open her book for the first time, to venturing out and finding my local Indian grocer, visiting my trusty butcher, to dusting off the ol’ slow cooker, and finally to the end result…pure magic. Let’s get started.
This guy knows his stuff. He had everythingI needed. Don’t be intimated by all the new spices you will probably have to buy in order to have a fully stocked Indian cupboard. Think of it as a mini ‘fam’ trip (“familiarization” trip–popular in the blogging and tourism world). I had a fantastic time exploring all that this small grocer had to offer. It wasn’t too expensive at this specialty store, which is why I recommend, if you are able to find an ethnic grocer, give them your business. It not only helps them but keeps dolla-billz in your wallet too.
Everything on the list is checked off. I live in LA so please give this nice man your business if you’re in the area… New India Sweets & Spices.
I always goto my butcher, Marconda’s, to get the freshest meats and any special requests I have. They always accommodate.
Now it was time to organize the plethora of new spices I collected. This was the fun part – each one lending itself to a very specific and necessary layer of the dish. No one spice is more important than the other, so be careful and make sure you have everything the recipe calls for.
In traditional Indian cooking, there are many processes in preparing a dish. They involve browning of the onions, tempering the oil and “popping” the seeds. Neela blends these steps and makes them very easy to put together – sometimes they can even be done right in the slow cooker.