Is it me or all Indian recipes ended up tasting the same?

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First don't get me wrong since I make curry dishes every week but I got the feeling somehow they all end up tasting the same. I mean almost every Indian recipe more or less goes something like this:
1. curry
2. paprika
3. cumin
4. cayenne pepper
5. then either yogurt or coconut milk
6. then mixing with chicken or lamb(since Indian don't eat red meat).

Maybe my cooking skills are not good enough but anyway that's my opinion.
 
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Your recipes seem very simplified. No wonder they all taste the same.

What differentiates the dishes is the "curry".

"Curry" can be a combination of a number of spices in various proportions.

It's what defies the taste profile of a dish.
 
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It may not be your skills so much as breadth of knowledge. Indian food is just as regional as is Italian, French, American, British, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Swiss, and probably a few more that I failed to mention. Get more familiar with the variety of regions for a better experience.
 
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Your recipes seem very simplified. No wonder they all taste the same.

What differentiates the dishes is the "curry".

"Curry" can be a combination of a number of spices in various proportions.

It's what defies the taste profile of a dish.

I bought my curry from Target. I mean how can one differentiate different type of curry? It's hard for me to understand the entire dish can be made different with just one single ingredient, in this case it's the curry. But then again, my cooking skills are fairly basic. I haven't got to that last 5%.
When comparing other world cuisines, either Italian, French, Asian, there are a lot of differentiation among different type of dishes. But IMHO, Indian cuisine is just like curry, curry, curry ... But then again, don't get me wrong, not that I don't like it. I make curry dishes like every other week.
 

phatch

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There is certainly some common flavors. But there is plenty of variety of you get past curry powder.
 
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Look up Nadan beef curry. It has none of the ingredients you listed.
It does have masala which is just a variation of curry. Some of the other ingredient such as ginger, garlic, pepper powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder which are what I usually use as well. I only listed the basic ingredient of what are essential to an "Indian cuisine". Stuffs like garlic, ginger, coriander, turmeric are more or less generic that can also be found in other world cuisine.
 
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Indian cuisine is nearly infinite with flavor varieties. Terroir, geographical climate differences, vegetable/spice varieties, and the recipes themselves are vast.

I think maybe the issue is that you've a limited amount of exposure to the various varieties of the many menu items available. Look at the local indian restaurants, avoiding the Indian buffets. Around here, the main distinction between Indian restaurants is Northern/Southern. There's one I've been to several times that is specifically Hyderabadi cuisine and it's DELICIOUS and different than what I've been eating for the last 20 years.

Expand your horizons. Indian food is remarkable.
 
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Indian cuisine is nearly infinite with flavor varieties. Terroir, geographical climate differences, vegetable/spice varieties, and the recipes themselves are vast.

I think maybe the issue is that you've a limited amount of exposure to the various varieties of the many menu items available. Look at the local indian restaurants, avoiding the Indian buffets. Around here, the main distinction between Indian restaurants is Northern/Southern. There's one I've been to several times that is specifically Hyderabadi cuisine and it's DELICIOUS and different than what I've been eating for the last 20 years.

Expand your horizons. Indian food is remarkable.

How would you recommend I "expand my horizons". I already understand Indian food since I make it almost every week. The part I need explaining is "expand my horizons".
 
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I make Dal that is chana boiled in vegetable stock with loads of garlic and ginger. I top it with cilantro and lime.
Tastes amazing.
 
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I make Dal that is chana boiled in vegetable stock with loads of garlic and ginger. I top it with cilantro and lime.
Tastes amazing.

I already know Indian foods taste amazing, real amazing since I cook Indian food almost every week. I just got an inkling feeling that their tastes can be a bit homogeneous may be due to the "curry centric" recipes. Maybe I should expand my horizons and learn to cook non-curry Indian food. Would it still be called Indian food without the "curry" since I think from my local Indian restaurants every dish has some variation of "curry" in it.
I recently saw an episode of Gordon Ramsays show Kitchen Nighmares in which he was responsible to turn around an Indian restaurant. Here is the link: He did a test to see if people could tell the difference between different dishes with their eyes blind folded. None of them could tell the difference. Granted that is probably not a good example of a good Indian restaurant but it just illustrates my point how Indian dishes can easily be made to taste the same if not having the appropriate skills.
Anyway, "expanding my horizons" is just to broad to help someone with my rather basic skill level.
 
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Hi there John Swift!

I guess I'll join you!

Italian food is all pasta, tomato, parmesan and basil.

Asian food is nothing but Soy products, fishy things, ginger, and garlic.

Middle eastern food is all Chick Peas, lamb, lentils and some of those same darn Indian spices...

It's not your cooking skills in question, but your willingness to search beyond what you already know. Curry Powder is a western invention to introduce that flavor profile to cooks that don't know where to start. I would love to see you go to an Indian restaurant and ask to see where they keep their curry powder. The look on the face of the Chef would say it all! They would have a puzzled look! They don't use the westernized version, they toast, grind and blend their own unique versions.

Do you think a good Italian Chef would just add a couple shakes of "Italian seasoning" to one of their dishes? Like "Curry Powder", it is merely an introduction to the newbies of those flavors. A cook or Chef moves it forward from that starting point.

Here is your free lesson to move forward. Look at the ingredient list on the label for your curry powder. Contents are listed from most to least. You easily and safely add more of an ingredient that is already in there!

Ginger is one of those common ingredients in Indian cuisine and curry powders. Add a healthy dose of fresh grated ginger to your standard "curry" and if you tell me you couldn't tell the difference and it still tastes like every other "curry" you have made, we may have identified the real issue.

A little research could open a new world for you and advance your cooking skills and abilities.

Good luck!
 
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I already know Indian foods taste amazing, real amazing since I cook Indian food almost every week. I just got an inkling feeling that their tastes can be a bit homogeneous may be due to the "curry centric" recipes.

You are not making Indian food - you are making curry (in India = Kari which just means gravy or sauce). Curry does not equal Indian food - many curries are not even strictly Indian (for example chicken tikka masala was created in England).

Would it still be called Indian food without the "curry" since I think from my local Indian restaurants every dish has some variation of "curry" in it.

No - not every Indian dish has "curry" in it.

"Indian spice merchants are said to have invented the well known curry powder for British colonial personnel returning to Britain. The closest thing to the store bought “curry powder” that is commonly used in the Indian kitchen is the garam masala. There are many other spice mixtures available in Indian (and Indian stores) that can also be called curry powder, but if you have to guess what someone means by curry powder, garam masala is a safe bet.

Garam means warm or hot, and masala means a mixture of spices. This spice mixture is not about spicy heat from chili but more about the warmth and complexity created by blending various spices. There is no set recipe for a garam masala, it varies greatly depending on region and personal preference."

https://indiaphile.info/what-is-curry-and-a-recipe-for-garam-masala/

As a "fun fact" in India curry is a leaf - kind of lime like and citrus-y.

Maybe I should expand my horizons and learn to cook non-curry Indian food.

Yes, yes you should. Just because it is all that you know does not mean it's all there is - here is a sampler of dishes to dip your toes in. I personally love a samosa (or two, three if no one is looking...), naan, Kulfi, tandoori chicken, Kichadi, bonda, Gujiyas (made some just recently), potato Kachori... great, now I am hungry.

http://www.india.com/food-2/16-foods-that-prove-theres-more-to-indian-food-than-curry-313407/
 
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You are not making Indian food - you are making curry (in India = Kari which just means gravy or sauce). Curry does not equal Indian food - many curries are not even strictly Indian (for example chicken tikka masala was created in England).



No - not every Indian dish has "curry" in it.

"Indian spice merchants are said to have invented the well known curry powder for British colonial personnel returning to Britain. The closest thing to the store bought “curry powder” that is commonly used in the Indian kitchen is the garam masala. There are many other spice mixtures available in Indian (and Indian stores) that can also be called curry powder, but if you have to guess what someone means by curry powder, garam masala is a safe bet.

Garam means warm or hot, and masala means a mixture of spices. This spice mixture is not about spicy heat from chili but more about the warmth and complexity created by blending various spices. There is no set recipe for a garam masala, it varies greatly depending on region and personal preference."

https://indiaphile.info/what-is-curry-and-a-recipe-for-garam-masala/

As a "fun fact" in India curry is a leaf - kind of lime like and citrus-y.



Yes, yes you should. Just because it is all that you know does not mean it's all there is - here is a sampler of dishes to dip your toes in. I personally love a samosa (or two, three if no one is looking...), naan, Kulfi, tandoori chicken, Kichadi, bonda, Gujiyas (made some just recently), potato Kachori... great, now I am hungry.

http://www.india.com/food-2/16-foods-that-prove-theres-more-to-indian-food-than-curry-313407/

Hm... this is getting too complicated. I think I'll stick to my usual "all the same" curry. Wish I have all the time in the world to learn.
 
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You seem to be your own worst enemy John. Do some research in your spare time. Choose one new dish at some point. Take your time but please don’t ask advise and then blow it off. I hope that’s not your intent. I, too, am time constrained. But I still find time to try a new dish every now and again. Take your time and enjoy... including your “same old- same old” curry. We all have old reliable dishes like that!
 
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You seem to be your own worst enemy John. Do some research in your spare time. Choose one new dish at some point. Take your time but please don’t ask advise and then blow it off. I hope that’s not your intent. I, too, am time constrained. But I still find time to try a new dish every now and again.

I was told to try some good Indian restaurant to learn how to cook. If I go drive a Ferrari does it mean I know how to build a Ferrari? If everyone goes to a good Indian restaurant, does that make him/her a good at making Indian food? I want to understand how that works.
 
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