Can garam masala be used as a substitute for curry powder or vice versa?
No, not really. The flavor of Curry Powder (as used in the UK etc.) is more like that of Sambhar Powder, not Garam Masala. Unlike Garam Masala, Curry powder doesn’t have cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Curry Powder is heavily coriander and mustard powder based.
If you don’t have Curry Powder, buy a mild variety of Sambhar Powder, for example MTR Sambhar Powder or Eastern Sambhar Powder. Use less powder than what is specified in the recipe.
Take it to a service center (preferably that of the manufacturer).
The sparks (not ‘sparkles’) are an indication that there is a loose contact in either the oven heater connection, or somewhere else in the oven, which is preventing heating from happening.
A ‘loose contact’ prevents current from flowing properly. It is also likely that after the sparks incident, the connection is now open (disconnected) and the oven will not work anymore till it is repaired.
Is there really a difference in the taste of a dish if I use machine ground ginger garlic (mixer-grinder) as opposed to using a mortar pestle to hand crush it?
Definitely. And for a simple reason: quite a few volatile components go missing by the time the machine-ground ginger / garlic paste is bottled. That’s because the temperature of the paste rises in the process.
This doesn’t happen when one grinds small quantities in a mortar&pestle, or grates them.
One has to ask Ayurvedic specialist doctors (those who are involved in research) what effect different spices have on the human body. Most spices have been traditionally used to prevent or mask food spoilage, but modern cuisine uses spices because they have been used for 1000’s of years.
For example, turmeric has curcumin, which is a pretty strong anti-bacterial agent. In traditional home remedies, turmeric is applied to wounds to prevent infection.
First of all, ALL varieties of chillies start as green (or yellow or black) and then turn red on ripening. The other way of classifying would fresh (green or red) or dry (red).
If you are looking for health benefits, fresh chillies would be better as they contain higher Vitamin C than dried chillies.
There are no reputed brands for copper cookware in India - not enough business to warrant that. A quick check on Amazon or eBay should tell you that. IndianArtVilla seems to be the only one, and they don’t seem value for money at all.
What you should do is to go to the wholesale market for metalware in your city, for example Sadar Bazaar in Delhi. There will be many traders who sell genuine copper cookware, not copper coated ones. Quality is usually good.
Till date whatever kitchen appliances I or my daughter have bought on Amazon were authentic and affordable.
To be sure of the price of the appliance you want to buy, do a Google Search for it. Google lists the prices on different websites. Amazon is neither the cheapest, nor the costliest. The problem I have with the cheapest prices is a doubt on authenticity or quality.