How to master an authentic Indian meal with under 10 ingredients 

Spice and easy: how to master an authentic Indian menu with under ten ingredients 
With a few flavourful ingredients, and quick, simple recipes, you can make crowd-pleasing Indian food a cinch Credit: Gareth Morgans

Most people, even those who love Indian food and cook it often, tend to think that it is complicated to make, takes for ever and needs a long list of ingredients for the dish to be any good.

There is no doubt that Indian cuisine is complex, given that it is shaped by so many factors, such as climate – which can be so varied in such a vast country – geography and religious practices, as well as foreign influences that have introduced a huge variety of new ingredients.

For example, tomatoes and chillies were brought to India by the Portuguese only around 500 years ago. But it is a myth that every Indian recipe requires lots of ingredients and processes that take for ever to prepare.

My own working day is long and 
I often spend it cooking at my classes and demonstrations. When I get back home, turning out another meal is the last thing on my mind. But for years 
I have prepared easy dishes from store-cupboard ingredients, such as rice, 
pasta, oats and flour, along with quick-cooking fresh vegetables, fish and meats that are wholesome, hearty and extremely satisfying.

Monisha Bharadwaj cooks up healthy, quick and easy suppers from her new book  Credit: Gareth Morgans

I have learnt to pre-prepare some ingredients so that cooking a quick meal is not a chore. I often chop vegetables while having my morning cup of tea and put them in the fridge to use later, and I always have a tub of ginger-garlic paste that I made earlier.

Indian cooking, like many other 
cuisines, has moved seamlessly into 
 the 21st century, so that now people 
are cooking lighter, healthier meals better suited to busy lifestyles. These dishes can be rustled up quickly when you want something home-cooked 
and delicious.

‘Indian in 7’ by Monisha Bharadwaj is published by Kyle Books (£17.99). Order your copy from books.telegraph.co.uk