The final garnish: mommy's secret ingredient

02 Jun,2016


Dhaka, BdChronicle:

Ingredients are the core of a dish. But, those who love experimenting with traditional recipes are bound to add a special secret ingredient to enhance the flavour and taste of our dishes. The final touch that transforms a simple recipe to a magical dish is what makes cooking special. We speak to a few homemakers and they tell us their pick of `special ingredients' that adds unique taste to their dishes, reports Times of India.

Fenugreek powder
I dry roast fenugreek seeds and grind them into a fine powder. I use this powder while garnishing most of my dishes. I usually add a pinch of this powder to sambar, rasam, curry, poriyal, koottu and vegetable side dishes. It should be added just seconds before you turn off your kadai. This powder will just takes the actual flavour of the dish to a different level. - Saimala, 54

This is a variety of tamarind that has a distinct taste. Keralites use this in their fish curries as it adds a unique tangy flavour. This puli can be saved for years in your kitchen shelf. Even Goans and Sri Lankans use this for their dishes.It is the best flavour enhancer when compared to the usual tamarind that is used in cooking. - Sangeetha, 48

Paruppu Podi
I add paruppu podi (made of thoor daal and red chilli) while making vetha kozhambu. It actually enhances the taste of the kozhambu and also adds thickness to it. Paruppu podi can be added to green vegetable poriyal to get rid of the bland taste of these poriyals. - Nandhini Sundar, 53

Gingelly oil
Whether it is a vegetable curry or chicken curry or any other poriyal, I add one teaspoon of Gingelly oil to it to enhance the flavour and the taste of the dish.When added to non-vegetarian curries, it makes a big difference in the flavour. Sometimes, I add sesame seeds or powder to fried vegetable curries and fried chicken to enhance the flavour. - Amudha, 51

Red pepper flakes, basil leaves
There is no rule that red pepper flakes should be used only as pizza toppings, it can be even added to garnish curries, poriyals, south Indian snacks like bajjis, pakodas and even non-veg curries. I add basil leaves, too, as a garnish on the rasam, and on almost all the side dishes I make for rotis.The taste is something unique. - Ranjani Shivakumar, 36

Kasuri methi
I simply cannot finish my cooking without adding this ingredient. No matter what I cook, crushed Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) is the final touch to all my dishes. I just sprinkle it at the end, just like one garnishes with coriander leaves. It can transform even a simple dish to something special! - Uma Rajesh, 41

Garlic powder, garammasala, dry mango powder
I have garlic powder, which I mix with a pinch of garam masala and add to the snacks, curries, non-veg fries and to all the dishes that I make. It is a magical ingredient and I could even say that it is a game-changer! Another ingredient that I often use is dried mango powder in the side dishes that I make for roti. This powder also helps avoid acidity. - Krupa Shiva, 38

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