Easy Recipes for Homemade Indian Condiments

Indian meals often have delicious accompaniments such as ghee, dahi,  kandi podi, and achaar to further lend flavor to subjis, dals, and flatbreads. They act as side dishes or toppings and enhance the flavor of the food.

While these items can be easily purchased at the local desi grocery store, they taste better when made at home. What’s more, they’re certainly cheaper and sans unhealthy preservatives when produced from scratch.  So the takeaway? Just make these already!

Ghee

 

Ghee

Ingredients

  • 1 pound unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Place butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring butter to boil, which will take approximately 2 to 3 minutes. As soon as the butter begins to boil, reduce the heat/flame to medium.
  2. The butter will form a foam which will disappear. Butter becomes ghee when a second foam form on top of butter, and the butter turns golden. This process takes approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Brown milk solids will be in the bottom of the pan. Gently pour into a heat proof container through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Store in airtight container.

Note: So as not to compromise your ghee, make sure to keep it free from moisture. Ghee does not require refrigeration. It can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Dahi

Homemade Dahi Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 cups (1 quart) + 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain whole yogurt

Directions

  1. Prepare an ice bath, filling a large bowl with ice and water.
  2. Attach a thermometer to a heavy, large pot and add 1-quart milk. Place the pot over moderate heat. Cook the milk until the thermometer registers at least 180°F. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming and making sure the milk doesn’t scorch pot or boil over. Remove the milk from the heat/flame. Cool it to 110°F to 115°F.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1 cup warm milk with yogurt. Add the yogurt-milk mixture to the remaining warm milk. Stir to fully incorporate but do NOT stir vigorously.
  4. Ladle mixture into a yogurt maker or another container. Incubate between 110°F and 115°F for 5 to 10 hours. Do NOT disturb yogurt during this time. (The longer the incubation time, the thicker and more tart the yogurt consistency and taste is.)
  5. Cover the yogurt and refrigerate for 3 hours. Store yogurt in the refrigerator in a glass or plastic container for up to 2 weeks.

Kandi Podi

Kandi Podi Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 cup toor dal
  • 1 cup chana dal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida/hing

Directions

  1. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat/flame; place both dals in a pot and dry roast for 5 minutes until a little color is achieved.  Stir throughout so the dal is not scorched. Remove from pot and keep aside.
  2. In the same pot, add the cumin seeds and roast over medium to low heat about 2 minutes. Remove from pot; reserve.
  3. Add oil to the pot over medium heat; add red chilies and curry leaves and roast for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Once all roasted ingredients are cooled, grind/pulsate together, maintaining a slightly coarse texture. Transfer to mixing bowl and add salt and asafoetida. Store in an air-tight container.

Lime Achaar

Ingredients for Lime Achaar

Ingredients

  • 10 large limes, quartered, then each quarter quartered
  • 10 green chilies, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt

Directions

  1. Place the cut limes and chilies in a bowl and combine with the turmeric powder and salt.
  2. Transfer mixture to a sterilized glass jar. Store at room temperature for a minimum two days and up to five.
  3. Refrigerate to keep edible for up to two months.

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