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Variety is the ‘spice’ of life. How often we have heard this quotation. Spices in anything and everything add an element of fun, excitement and interest. Our life revolves around many things that need spice as an element in them and one such important thing is “Food”.
Food is the basic requirement of every individual and his/her body. And a food that appeals to the mouth and stomach of the person has a brilliantly used set of spices which not only gives the food good looks and a whole lot of health booster substances but also an aroma and flavor which mesmerizes and bounds the individual to the food.
Indian food or cuisine has its heart and soul in the variety of spices that are used in each and every dish to make it aromatically and flavor-wise different and appealing. Spices are used in various forms: whole, ground, roasted, fried, sautéed, chopped and as toppings. Spices also find their values as they provide health benefits, preserve food, medicinal purposes and to prevent diseases.
Let me now tell you about some of the many spices that are used in almost every Indian kitchen:
Named as the ‘devils dung’, or the ‘stinking gum’, the smell of the spice is strong and pungent in its raw, uncooked form. The raw form of Hing tends to contaminate the other spices because of its strong aroma. But, this pungent smell almost disappears when added to hot oil or ghee.
TejPatta is used to add flavor to different types of curries and rice. They are first browned in oil so as to increase its aroma as they have a slight hint of the fragrance of cinnamon.
These are the tiny, pungent, grayish color seeds used in the Indian kitchen as it has very strong flavors. They possess a slightly bitter and sharp taste on the tongue. They are used for seasoning a dish. It is popularly used in North Indian regions in their “Parathas”.
Apart from the culinary use, it is also used as an antiseptic and to aid in digestion.
It is the most commonly used spice in the food. It is deep orange-yellow in color and thus gives a yellowish color to the food. It is also well known for its antiseptic qualities and medicinal properties.
It is made up from dried chili peppers. They are made from different kind of peppers with different colors and aroma.
These are the dry seeds of the daily used coriander. They come in either light brown or golden color with a nice earthy, nutty flavor. The seeds are used for tempering whereas they are ground into a powder to flavor food.
It is one of the most used spices all over India. It is either used in its raw form or cooked in hot oil or ghee. It has a warm earthy aroma and it is warmed to release its aroma. The roasted and fried cumin seeds impart a very unique, smoky flavor to the food.
To make sure they are clean and safe to use, for the health and medicine purpose, it is best to go the organic way. This gives the surety to use the spices’ product without the tension of adulteration.
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