Welcome to the Tamarind Indian Cuisine blog! We’re glad you stopped by.

Besides making incredible, authentic dishes at our Indian restaurant in Sterling, Virginia, we like to share our knowledge of Indian food with those who enjoy it as much as we do and want to make it themselves!

We know that in today’s busy world, you may not always have time to concoct an elaborate, full-course Indian dinner. Not only do Indian food recipes require many steps and ingredients you may not keep on hand in your household, but they can also be a daunting task for those not familiar with Indian cuisine. But if you’re craving Indian food and your search for “Indian food near me” comes back with less than promising results, then making your own is certainly the way to go!

And the good news is, if you follow the following tips, you can cut down the cooking time and hasten the process when it comes to cooking Indian food.

The following are some steps you can take to have yourself an authentic Indian dinner in just 45 minutes or less that rivals the delicious flavors of our authentic dishes at our Indian restaurant. If you live in the Sterling area and are in a crunch for time, order Indian food online from Tamarind! Or if you’d rather take your family or special someone out for a truly authentic dining experience, come by our Indian restaurant tonight!

5 Tips for a Quick, Homemade Indian Dinner

Use that Pressure Cooker

It goes without saying that the pressure cooker is one of the most utilized and prized possessions in any Indian restaurant’s kitchen. Beans and lentils go from rock-hard to melt-in-your-mouth in a matter of minutes, and meat and poultry become so tender that they literally fall off the bone. It’s no wonder that in any Indian city, at any given time, you will hear the hissing of the pressure cooker during the few hours prior to lunch and dinner times.

Don’t Be Afraid of the Freezer

One way to get ahead of the curve when you plan on having Indian food for dinner during the week is to meal prep! You can choose to cook your beans and lentils beforehand or cook extra while following this guide and freeze them to use for another Indian meal in the future.

For beans and chickpeas, allow them to soak overnight and pressure cook them in water until tender. Then set them aside to drain and cool before portioning them into bags to stow in the freezer. This step of prior prep can cut the cooking time in half for dishes like Rajma or Chana Masala by simply making a quick curry base.

For lentils, cook them until they are soft to the touch yet retain their shape — before they get  mushy. You should also keep a steady stock of frozen veggies like peas, carrots, corn, and cauliflower in the freezer. These can come in handy for a quick stir fry recipe or for tossing in a salad to up the nutrient value.

Keep the Rice Ready

When starting the process of cooking Indian food, you should always begin with the rice. Not only does rice take a while to cook, but it’s also easy to keep meal ready in a pot or rice cooker until you are ready to combine the rest of your ingredients into your final Indian masterpiece. Rice also freezes extremely well and can be a lifesaver when you have a number of hungry mouths to feed. Fried rice with a mix of veggies, spices, and protein is always a sure hit.

Make Use of Spice Mixes

There is certainly no shortage of Indian spices to choose from when concocting your Indian dishes, but by premixing your favorite blend of spices for curry and other items, you can save time. Rather than adding pinches of this, dashes of that, and taste testing along the way, have your favorite flavors bagged up and ready to toss into your ingredients. You can also save time by utilizing a blender or mini food processor for blending ginger, garlic, and onions rather than chopping them up individually by hand.

Cook Extra and Appreciate Leftovers

It’s always a smart move to make large recipes in order to freeze extra for a rainy day. Many Indian meals — including Dals, Rajma and Chana — cooked in an onion-tomato base freeze extremely well and often stay good for a few weeks when frozen.

Indian food doesn’t have to be hard. If you follow these tips and plan ahead for your Indian cravings that you know will come around, you can easily have your favorite Indian dishes ready for a delicious dinner in a matter of minutes. If you’d rather enjoy your Indian food while leaving the cooking to the experts, stop by Tamarind Indian Cuisine for a one-of-a-kind Indian dining experience! Browse our menu to see everything we have to offer and make a reservation online today!