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5 Secrets of Vegetarian Cooking

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Unlike cooking meat based dishes, vegetarian food can be a little tricky sometimes. It requires the right blend of ingredients to make a flavoursome dish. Every cook should learn the tricks to make meatless dishes a real treat. You’ll not only be a good host to your vegetarian friends but also helping your carnivore buddies get a little healthier.

To make a good balanced vegetarian meal, you should make sure that you include the following nutrients :

  • Iodine : From Iodized salt
  • Calcium : Found in dairy products, tofu, fortified soy milk, and vegetables like broccoli and kale.
  • Iron : found in some plant foods, such as dried fruits, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains. Consuming vitamin C with iron-rich foods helps the iron absorption.
  • Omega-3-fatty acids : Found in flax seed, walnuts, canola oil and soy.
  • Proteins : they are found in a variety of plant sources like soybeans, whole grains, seeds and nuts.
  • Zinc : Found in soy products, peanuts and vegetables.

Now that we have listed out the essential nutrients one might forget to add to a vegetarian meal, let's learn the secrets of vegetarian cooking.

Slow roast: Slow roasting makes food more flavourful. The idea behind slow roasting is caramelization. Since veggies have a lot more carbohydrate content as compared to meat, caramelization through slow roasting brings out the true flavours of your dish. You can roast them in a hot oven, char them on a grill or sear them in a pan.

Add chewy food: Chewy foods like seared tofu and cottage cheese or grilled mushrooms feel more filling and take time and effort to chew as compared to vegetables. They also add a meaty texture to your food.

Adding Umami flavour : Umami is one of the five basic tastes that refers to brothy or meaty flavour. Umami flavour can be added to food using glutamate (commonly known as monosodium glutamate). Fermentation enhances the umami flavour and that is the reason why soy sauce and cheese taste so savoury. Vegetable having a naturally high umami flavour include asparagus, seaweed, corn, tomatoes, peas and onions

Spices and fats : The right amount of spices bring out the real taste of any ingredient. Apart from the commonly known peppers and red chillies, there are a number of spices that complement vegetarian dishes. Black salt, oregano, rosemary, coriander etc are a few of them. Fats add extra taste to veggies during the process of caramelization. After all, who doesn't like naan smeared with butter.

Lemon or Lime : Adding citrus flavour to salads immediately makes it super tasty. Citruses are a natural taste enhancer and a great way to add vitamin C to your diet. The same concept is applied in our Indian chats which are a blast of citrus and spicy flavours.

That concludes the five basic secrets of vegetarian cooking. Go ahead and make a five star meal with your new found information. Do let us know how it turned out in the comments.

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