Not to simplify some of the world’s great and highly-nuanced cuisines, but much of their flavors can be accomplished at home by just stocking your pantry with a few of the essential ingredients. The first time I made a tagine, I’d never mixed spices together like cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron in one dish. But what came out of my oven about an hour later reminded me exactly of the ubiquitous tagines served in Morocco that I’d had. After all, a tagine is basically just a simple braise; it’s the handful of fragrant spices that give it the flavor of the Kasbah.
There’s a lot to be said for authenticity. And for those who want to be absolutely authentic, next time you’re going to make a pie, begin by harvesting and grinding the wheat yourself.
Me? I’m happy to open a bag of flour*.
I don’t know much about Indian food, and was never much of a fan. For the most part, so much of it was too soupy and saucy for me. I just don’t like food swimming in lots of liquid.