There are always some basics of any cuisine that we got to learn before we embark on that journey. And Ginger Garlic paste or Allam Vellulli Mudda, Allam Tellapaayalu Mudda as we call, is one such basic one for any Indian Cuisine. We call the Garlic Tellagadda for the simple reason it is white in colour. This paste is a must for us for cooking the different kurmas or the non-veg dishes. Ginger Garlic paste is a must for any non - veg dish. And it also gets its presence felt in most of our other dishes too. There are always other spices or ingredients added to this and stored. But I store it as a very basic one, with just Ginger and Garlic.
At times, we can grind it with Coriander or Kothimeera. Or at times with Cloves, Cinnamon, and Fennel as I need for my Tomato Rice. But we can store all these if we plan our menu to revolve around these dishes. But since I don't make these dishes every week, I store just these two in the fridge. I make quantities enough to run me for 4 to 6 days. Amma always makes sure, she grinds this paste fresh on Sundays. She says that fresh paste adds a lot of flavour to the meat.
I remember many Sunday mornings, spent peeling the garlic and grating the ginger. I especially love peeling the garlic. When I have seen others lamenting that they hate this job, I have always done it with love. There is a knack to peel the garlic, you take a pod, and press it with little force on a hard surface, it gives way. Whereas I have seen others trying so hard with their nails, and in turn burning the tips. Another mess-free one is to soak the garlic in water for 10 mins and the skin just peels off. We always add equal quantities of Ginger and Garlic. This proportion may vary for each one. But this is the way Amma has told me.
Method to prepare
Take equal portions of Ginger and Garlic. Clean and peel the outer skin.
Chop into fine pieces. My mixie doesn't run if it's big chunks. so I kind of chop them into small pieces.
In the mixie, take both and run it once or twice. Do not add water. The quantity is enough, there is no need to add water. If it's not fine paste, just add 1 tsp of water, just enough to get a smooth paste.
Store it in an airtight container. Storing without water gets the paste to retain its smell and life span.
I add about a teaspoon of this paste to dishes that involve chicken or Meat. But most of the time, it would be less too. I don't' like the dish to have too much of this paste's presence. Just enough to add taste and flavor.
For vegetarian dishes, about a quarter of tsp or half. Some are of the opinion that it has to be added more to give more taste to non-veg dishes, but I feel it upsets tummy if we eat more of this paste and also the taste and smell changes.
Note; Never add water, this way you can even store this for nearly a month. But if you have time and need fresh flavour, grind it every week!
This is the first in the series of Basics in Indian cooking and I am planning to feature more of my basics things I have around me, to have a more organized way of cooking healthy and fast, in this hurried and hectic lifestyle.
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