Ancient Cooking Techniques Used By Your Favorite Melbourne Indian Restaurant

Food is treated differently in different cultures across the world. Although the basic cooking techniques are similar, each culture and region will add its own spin to the culinary style found locally. In India, ancient cooking methods have been used for generations across the country and constitute the foundation of its cuisine, giving Indian food its distinct and delectable personality.

Dive into some of the fascinating nuances of traditional Indian cooking techniques to build a better understanding and appreciation of the cuisine you’re served the next time you visit Jai Ho ‒ your favourite Indian restaurant in Melbourne.

Tadka Or Baghar: An Infusion Of Spices And Fragrances

The English term for this process is ‘tempering’. In fact, depending on the country, it goes by various names. When tempering, the objective is to infuse the heated ghee or oil with the aroma and flavours of various spices.

The heated oil extracts the spices’ taste, fragrance, and medicinal properties, making the dish healthier and more delicious. This method adds flavour to vegetables, daals, chutneys, and other foods. The duration varies depending on the dish and may be utilized at the beginning or end of the cooking process.

Bhunao: The Hallmark Of Success For Indian Curries

The method known as bhunao, one of India’s oldest cooking techniques, is at the core of all the great culinary techniques utilised in India. The base ingredients are stir-fried and sautéed; however, unlike stir-frying, which requires a high temperature, bhunao uses a medium to high temperature to sauté ingredients, allowing them to lose moisture and gradually caramelise, intensifying their flavour as they cook.

The ingredients and spices (masala) are heated to the point where they separate, and the spice rises to the top. In fact, the separation of fat from masala means the process has been completed successfully, and the browning of the masala gives all Indian curries their unique colour and flavour.

Dum / Dum Pukht: Slowcooking For Meal Tenderised And Bursting With Flavour

The words dum and pukht mean ‘breath’ and ‘cooking process’, respectively. This technique cooks food over low heat in a sealed vessel, usually a handi, traditionally sealed with dough. This process, which dates back over 200 years, enables meats to simmer and tenderise in their juices.

Tandoori: High Temperatures To Cook Rapidly, Smoke, Roast And Seal Flavours In

Cooking marinated food in a tandoor (clay oven) over a wood or charcoal fire is a common cooking style in the north of India. Food is skewered on long metallic skewers and placed into the tandoor to cook, while bread like rotis, parathas and tandoori naans are baked on the tandoor’s clay walls.

Ingredients are often marinated for hours, sometimes overnight, in a masala combination marinade that includes garlic, ginger, and other spices before being moved to the tandoor to cook.

The tandoor’s secret is its high heat, which enables food to cook fast, as well as the marinade drippings that fall over the charcoal and generate smoke, simultaneously roasting and smoking the food.

Of course, these aren’t the only cooking methods; they’re only a handful of the hundreds of recipes and techniques passed down through centuries. The best way to learn more is to come and see for yourself.

JAI HO translates to “Victory shall be yours”. At Jai Ho Indian Restuarant, we apply our knowledge and traditional recipes passed on by generations to create one of the finest cuisines any Indian restaurant in Melbourne has to offer. Jai Ho is a family-run business, which allows us to carry and pass on age-old recipes to future generations. Book a table today!