Jun 11, 2009

My mother-in-law’s secret…

When I got married, my mother-in-law passed on a family secret she had also passed on to her other two, older, daughters-in-laws. Well, it is more of a cooking tip than a secret but it is such a family staple that everyone know about but no one talks about (well, till now!) that I think of it as her ‘secret’.
Well, as all things brilliant go this one is actually quite simple. Indian households, including my MIL’s, use large quantities of ginger-garlic paste in preparation of curries and other varied recipes. With three growing sons and a husband fond of good food, she learned early on that it made her life a little easier if she ground ginger-garlic-green chillis and cilantro into a paste and stored it in the fridge to be used when needed.
As her three sons grew older and eventually got married, the tip was passed down to every new bride. To me, who had not cooked a lot before getting married, the simplicity of the tip was just brilliant.
A jar of this paste in the fridge lasts about 10-14 days, if you don’t finish it all off first. It is really handy when you are cooking for a lot of guests or if you make curries that call for ginger garlic paste. I also use it for marinating meats and fish.

1 cup coriander
14-15 cloves of garlic
4 inch of ginger
5-6 green chillis (vary according to preference)
1 tsp of salt

Grind the ingredients together to form a smooth paste. The salt helps preserve the paste for a couple of days.
The addition of green chillis and cilantro to the paste gives the curries and marinades a flavor that is hard to describe but tastes very good when the dish is cooked.


  1. I think this might be a staple in our family as well. Although we don't use coriander much so it's just garlic, ginger, olive oil and sometimes green chillies. Makes cooking so much easier!

  2. YUM...that was a delicious sounding secret -- thanks for sharing! :)

    Yes, I did buy a bottle of wine for a party because I liked the label - it was called "Yellow Tail" -- and had a picture of a kangaroo on the label! I guess my secret's out too!

  3. this is a good tip indeed,there are times I don`t even get fresh Jalapenos or hot peppers on this island...hmmm..thanks for the reminder.

  4. I wish I could get my act together and do such prep each weekend. My blender is pathetic and will probably snap in half if I threw a piece of ginger in it. why type of mixie-thingy do you use to grind?

  5. This is by far the most amazing tip I ever came across . Thanx for sharing. :)


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