The Heart of Indian cuisine
Since ancient days India has been world famous for its spices. In the Middle East and European countries there was a great demand for these spices. India plays a significant role in the global spices market. No country in the world produces as many kinds of spices as India and with unmatched quality. India’s share has been 15 per cent in the world market.
Be it flavoring or tempering cooked food and for preparing medicines and dyes etc. these spices have endless uses. The Main prominent spices include pepper, chilies, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, clove, areca nut etc.
Spices play a very important role in Indian cooking. Indian food is incomplete without them. Not only for their exquisite flavor and aroma, Indian spice up their food, teas, drinks and even sweets. Indian spices offer significant health benefits and contribute towards a healthy life of an individual.
Around the world, most Indian household store their spices in an Indian spice box what is called a masala dabba .This spice box is round and made of stainless steel with seven individual stainless steel bowls. It comes with a small measuring teaspoon and must have a tight fitting lid in between the compartment for the bowls and the main lid. This ensures that the spices do not get all mixed up. Each bowl is filled with the seven most favorite and most commonly used spices in the household.
India is the largest producer of spices with annual output of 4.4 million tons.
There are a few basic spices in Indian cuisine that go into most dishes. Often a very basic vegetable dish is made by adding cumin or mustard seeds and asafetida in some hot ghee (clarified butter) or oil until they sizzle and pop. Then the vegetables are added and steamed.
Other Names: Mixed Spice powder
Garam Masala is powdered blend/mix of spices (aromatic spices, see below) that may include cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black peppercorns, nutmeg, mace. Garam means “hot”, but not chili hot, hot in the sense that these spices are said to increase body temperature. It can be used a mix of whole spices as well.
Other Names: jeera, jeeragam, jilakara, black cumin, kala jeera, royal cumin, shah jeera, Comino, cummin
Other Names: dhaniya
Black Mustard Seeds
Other Names: Mohri
Other Names: Haldi
Other Names: Lal Mirch, mirchi powder