The Ajowan or Ajwain (lovage) plant is native to India. Ajowan seeds gives a sharp thyme like aroma and flavor. Ajowan is particularly used in savory Indian food such as snacks, pastry and in vegetable dishes and breads.
Amchur (or Amchoor) is a uniquely Indian spice made by powdering dried green (unripe) mango flesh. It gives tart acidic flavor to many Indian dishes. It is especially used in marinades and achar (chutney).
The name Anardana comes from the word anar (pomegranate) and dana (seed). Anardana is sundried seeds of pomegranate fruit. Anardana is used as spice mainly in northwestern part of India. The grounded Anardana are often used to give flavor to many common foods such as vegetable curries (Samosa).
Asafoetida, also known as Hing or Heeng, is derived from resin-like sap extracted from the stem and roots of the plant Ferula assafoetida. It has strong smell, similar to garlic and used in wide variety of Indian vegetarian food for its flavor and auroma. Hing, although universally used in India, is frequently used in food of devout Jains and others, who do not eat onions or garlic.
Tej Patta, commonly known as bay leaf, is dried aromatic leaf from Cinnamon tree (cassia tree) or Malabar leaf. Tej Patta have a subtle similarity to aromatic cinnamon bark and milder in flavor. Indian Bay leaf is a misnomer because it is desnot comes from the plant bay laurel, the source of European bay leaf. However, the use of word “bay leaf” has stuck. Tej patta is use to add sweet aromatic flavor to curry sauce, rice, and stews. Normally, a couple of whole dried Tej Patta are fried in oil or ghee and braised with sauce. At the end of the cooking, it is removed, before serving the dish. Tej Patta is not usually broken down and mixed with sauce as European bay leaf. Also spelled "Tez Pata".
Cardamom is used for its pods. Cardamoms give distinct sweet, pleasing and slightly lemon like flavor. There are three kinds of cardamom black, green and white. Traditionally, Indian cooking uses only black and green cardamoms. Green cardamom is smaller and softer than black cardamom. The seeds are used as whole, ground or with pods. Cardamom pods contain fragrant seeds, used throughout the world in both savory and sweet dishes. Many Indian meat, rice and dessert recipes use cardamom as one of the main spices. Cardamoms are also essential parts of spice mixtures such as Garam Masala.
Information coming soon!
Chat Masala is a spice blend, which is called "masala" used in Indian snacks called "chat". Chat or Chaat literally derived from word “tasting” and is found in crispy snacka, vegetables (e.g. boiled potatoes, onions, tomatoes) and yogurt-based saucea. The spice blend of Chat Masala defers but usually consists of amchur (dried mango powder), cumin, black salt (Kala Namak), and coriander. Other ingredients may include black pepper, asafetida, capsicum, dried red chili powder (mirch), carom seed, nutmeg, caraway seeds, cloves, bishop's weed, musk melon, pomegranate seeds, etc. Also spelled "Chaat Masala".
Coriander seeds or Dhania seeds are obtained from coriander plant (Coriandrum sativum). Coriander plant, especially leaves, are used widely in many culinary culture commonly known as "cilantro" (derived from its Spanish name) in the United States. Coriander seeds are used as either whole or ground. Ground coriander powder is also part of spice mixture such as garam masala.
Cinnamon is tree bark obtain from a plant native Sri Lanka. The word "cinnamon" is actually derived from the word Ceylon, the former name of Sri Lanka.
Laung, commonly known as cloves, are a dried bud that are essential component in many curry powders. It has a distinctly sweet, astringent and aromatic flavor and scent and is used for cooking in many cultures around the world from everything from meats to dessert. Cloves are both used as whole or ground in many Indian dishes such as rice and sauces. Sometimes Laung are taken separately after meal to freshen ones breath. Also spelled "Luang".
Jeera (or Jira) is usually used both as whole seed or ground in any curry dish, making it one of the most important of all Indian spices. Cumin seeds can be either white or black. Black cumin seed have slightly more sweeter and delicate flavor than the white seeds. It gives a powerful aroma which many people associate with Indian food. It has bitter and nutty taste. Cumin is an ancient spice dating back to Egyptian times, used by Greeks, and referenced in middle age Europe. Cumin is also known to be an appetite stimulant and believed to ease stomach disorders.
Information coming soon!
Fenugreek (Methi) seeds provide a tangy flavor and powerful curry scent to vegetable and lentil dishes. Fenugreek seeds are used in a wide range of curry powders and can also be used as a fresh herb. Fenugreek seeds are always roasted before using. A Light roasting gives a mellow flavor, while a dark roast adds bitterness. Sometimes the seeds are soaked overnight, becoming easier to combine in a curry paste. Soaked seeds can also be used as main ingredient for a vegetable or chutney. Fenugreek plants are used and grown throughout the South Asia. It grows 2 feet tall with light green leaves and white flower. Each Fenugreek pod gives from 10 to 20 seeds. Fenugreeks are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.
Garam Masala literally means "hot" (Garam) "spice" (Masala), though it is not a spice by itself. Rather, it is a spice blend used throughout India and the rest of the Indian sub-continent. This special blend of spices is used in a small quantity to add a subtle flavor to various Indian dishes.
Also known as "Gol Kali Mirch".
Kalijiri Seeds is a cultivated Himilayan herb.
There are two types of mustard seed commonly used in India. black mustard seed (Rai) and yellow mustard seed (Sarson). South Indian recipes generally use rai seeds while Bengali cuisine and other north Indian cuisine more frequently use sarson. Mustard seeds can be used as part of spice mixture such as garam masala or are fired whole in hot oil to give nutty spicy flavor. Generally, the whole rai are typically fried and used with dal, achar, and other Indian vegetarian dishes. Sarson goes well with vegetable curry or fish. Mustard seeds have canonical use in India where it is used an agent to ward off evil spirits during illness. Buddhist canons often cite the use of mustard as a spice.
Kalonji (Nigella seed) is also often reffered to as onion seed, though not related to the onion plant. Nigella seed gives flavor nutty, bitter flavor similar to oregano. Nigella seed are integral part of east Indian spice mix, Panch Phoron.
Panch phoron literally means "five fried". It is a spice blend made from five whole spice seeds - fenugreek, nigella seed, rai (black mustard seed), fennel seed and radhuni (celery seed). Panch phoron is very popular in eastern India and is an integral part of Bengali, Assamese, and Oriya cuisines. This mixture of five spices is usually fried in ghee or oil, which is known as Phoron in Bengali. After drying, the mixture is added to vegetables or dal. Sometimes it is often used with Bengali fish.
Dried red chili (lal mirch) is added to dish to increase hotness. Lal Mirch is often ground for use, though sometimes whole chilis are fried in oil and added to a dish.
Kesar, commonly known as Saffron, is the world's most expensive spice by weight. It comes from dried stigma from inside the flower of the saffron crocus (Crocus sativus) plant. In the Indian sub-continent, Kesar is grown in the Kashmir. It takes 150,000 flowers to get just 1 kilogram of saffron! The red-ish, dark orange thread gives food a bright yellow color with a peculiar subtle aroma and flavor. Usually, dry kesar is soaked in warm water or milk to extract its flavor before being added to a dish. It is used in many rice dishes, like Biryani, and in desserts such as kesar ras malai.
Sambhar (or Sambaar) masala is a classic spice blend commonly used in south Indian cooking. It is especially used in cooking dal (or dahl) and mixed vegetables. Sambhar masala commonly consists of turmeric, coriander, cayenne, fenugreek, and cumin
Saunf, or fennel seed, has an intense, aromatic, sweet, menthol-like flavor. It's often confused with anise due to its strong anise-like flavor. It is used throughout the world as spice and is an integral part of east Indian cuisine such as panch phoran.
Imli fruit, or tamarind, is used for its tart, sour taste. It is especially used in south Indian cuisine with dishes such as sambhar and rasam.
Haldi (turmeric) is similar to ginger, and is used in powder form after being boiled and dried. It gives an intense yellowish color, and a sort of woody flavor and scent to food. Almost all Indian vegetable and meat dishes use turmeric either as separate spice or in the spice mixture. The use of haldi (turmeric) dates back nearly 4,000 years to the ancient Vedic culture of India. Since then, it has been used as important spice, beauty product and in religious ceremonies.
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