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Have you imagined Indian cuisine without spices! These infact are the heartbeat of every kitchen. Traders have travelled around the globe collecting and tasting spices. Every state in India has a different climate resulting in different types of spices being produced. Besides adding color, taste and flavor, spices have great medicinal value. They blend well with food to bring out the flavor and making each dish different from the other. Here are some spices which hold an intrinsic value in every Indian kitchen:
Turmeric – Yellow spice has given has become one of the principal element in cooking. It is part of the ginger family, but is different in taste and color. Because of its medicinal properties, it is used for healing wounds and minor cuts. One very distinct benefit of turmeric is its power in helping to cope with diabetes. This spice has zero cholesterol and zero calories and is rich in iron, potassium, fiber and manganese. Indian food is incomplete with the color of this spice.
Cumin – Cumin is widely found in North Africa, China, America and India and is native of Egypt. This spice is great in improving immunity to piles, treats insomnia, asthma, common cold, improves lactation in new mothers, anemia and the list is endless. Cumin along with ghee has Ayurvedic value and is a primary ingredient of most of curries. It also gives great flavor in stews, chicken dishes and lamb based food. It gives your palette a distinct taste when combined with plain rice and beans.
Asafoetida – Asafoetida has a unique smell and flavor and is extensively used when cooking legumes and few vegetables. It has found its way in food where onion and garlic is not used. In the south and west part of the country, this spice gives flavor to vegetarian soups and pickles. Many dishes made from fish get seasoning from asafoetide.
Cloves – Clove has been identified all around the world for its culinary qualities and medicinal value. These are a great source of manganese, vitamin K, iron, magnesium and calcium. It has various anti-bacterial properties as it contains methylene chloride, thymol and flavonoids. It has a very intense flavor and therefore care must be taken about how much quantity should be used in cooking. Besides being used for cooking purpose, the biggest benefit of clove is its power in giving relief from tooth pain and soar throat.
The list of spices being used in Indian kitchen in any part of the country is endless. No doubt, India is known as the land of spices.
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