8 Quick Tips for Cooking Indian Cuisine

Quick tips from The Kati Roll Company on how to use Indian spices and flavors when cooking.


The Kati Roll Company is a favorite go-to in New York City for quick, tasty and well-seasoned Indian street food. Since the recipes for the kati rolls are top secret, owner Payal Saha offered to give us some quick tips on how to add Indian flavors to your food. — Yasmin Fahr

1. Ground or grated raw papaya is an excellent tenderizer for the tougher, tastier cuts of meat.

2. Most chicken/meat marinades have a combination of spices and seasonings, salt, and acid, usually yogurt. Try adding a little warm oil, such as peanut, to the marinade.

3. Beat yogurt to a smooth consistency before using for marinades or cooking.

4. Use lime juice when you need an extra kick of acidity instead of lemons, they add a deeper flavor dimension.

5. With preparing Indian food or aiming for Indian flavors, use red onions only — white or yellow onions do not have the same impact.

6. Use a 1:1 ratio of raw onions to sautéed onions in dishes.

7. Use Thai chiles instead of jalapeños. While jalapeños are the go-to substitute pepper in the US, they are not the best replacement for Thai chiles. Quick tip: Remove the stems of green chillies before storing them in the refrigerator; this makes them last longer. 

8. Use milk in addition to water when mixing dough for Indian flatbreads. (This makes the bread tastier and crisper.)


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