The temptation when you first begin to cook Indian dishes is to find spice laden dishes that take hours to prepare and cook. It took me a while when I was a newby want-to-be maker of passable Indian dishes to discover the rich variety of Indian cuisine that varies from 5 minute, 3 spices dishes, to those of the style of those early forages into the much more complex layers of traditional dishes (often related to festival times).
To be truthful, my standard approach these days is for simply spiced dishes. Give me mustard seeds, cumin, one or two other spices and some chillies – fresh green and dried red – and I will make any ingredient shine its way into a beautiful dish humming with gorgeous flavours.
And when work is busy, as it is right now, it is definitely simple dishes, simple meals that emerge out of the kitchen. Healthy, versatile, but without too much thinking involved. My brain is often fried by the time that I make it to The Kitchen.
So, it is on such a night that I haven’t eaten except for a few nuts, and I am hungry but not too hungry, tired beyond motion, and browsing through the latest posts online — a Kitchadi takes my eye.
It has an unbelievable 13 spices or more. And such quantities of those spices. Surely this could not be edible.
Something makes me teeter into the kitchen and brew up this amazing pastey stock of pancha phoran, ginger, chilli, garam masala. The scent was amazing and the neighbours are surely salivating. The kitchari is amazing too.