Mexican Cuisine Essentials | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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Mexican Cuisine Essentials

South of the USA lies the beautiful land of Mexico and this country is also known for some of the most delicious food. From Nachos to Tortillas to empanadas- It’s all Mexican. And with it being one of the most popular cuisines in the US, it has gotten fairly popular in India too. If you want to experiment with some delicious Mexican delicacies, keep these classic ingredients in your pantry ready.


Mexicans are known for using various kinds of chillies in their cuisine. The chillies can be added to spice it up (like poblanos), or to add some flavour like jalapenos. Having the right kind of chilli will help you get the authentic Mexican flavour in your dish.


While this fruit might have gained mass popularity in recent times, this rich, buttery fruit is a true Mexican staple. Avocado adds a Mexican essence to basic as well as traditional recipes. It is popularly used to make salsa or the beloved Guacamole. Just make sure you pick the freshest produce available as they’re known to go bad pretty soon.


Did you know that Beans are actually indigenous to Mexico? It clearly makes sense that it is such an integral part of Mexican cuisine. While there are many varieties of beans, pinto beans and black beans are two favourites in a Mexican household. In India, Rajma can be used as a substitute for this. From burritos to enchiladas, beans are everywhere. They add really cool texture and flavour to the dish that’s indescribable in words. They can be used a topping over the nachos as a salsa or a dipping sauce to the side.


A Mexican spread is incomplete without tomatoes. Be it in a fresh salsa to the filling in a burrito, its presence in Mexican cuisine is uncountable. It is also used to make numerous kinds of sauces. Adding its juicy texture and tangy flavour to a plethora of Mexican dishes, they’re an indispensable part of a Mexican household.


Corn is another staple in Mexican cuisine. Another ingredient indigenous to Mexico, corn is used in various forms. It is used as a flour for Tortillas and Nachos, or a crunchy filler for salads and burritos. It is also the ingredient behind the delicious and comforting tamales. The applications of corn are as versatile as corn itself and Mexican cuisine is truly incomplete without corn.


Cilantro or coriander is known to bring its fresh flavour to the dishes it is added to. From soups to the main course. It is one of the most popular herbs in Mexican cuisine. Make sure to pick the freshest produce to get the strongest flavour and fragrance for your dish.


Amidst the carnival of flavours, the one ingredient that provides a distinct comfort is Cheese. Used in numerous classic Mexican dishes like Tacos, enchilada etc. Mexican cuisine uses a special kind of Mexican cheese to add a distinct flavour and texture to its dishes called queso Oaxaca. This is a white cheese which is ideal for quesadillas. If you can’t find it, you could use mozzarella to get a similar taste. Queso fresco is another Mexican cheese which is soft, crumbly and is known to add a touch of saltiness to dishes like enchiladas. If you can’t find this you can switch to a Mild Feta to get a similar taste.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.