India is known as the land of spices. Indian Spices are famous all over the world.
Indian Spices have a delicious aroma, great taste, unique color, and mouth-watering flavor. All these together make a perfect blend and are found in Indian foods only. The secret of the delicious flavor of Indian food is its rich Indian spices that are used for thousands of years all over the world. Indian and Egyptian spices are known as the world’s best spices in taste, their appealing aroma adds tang to foodstuff. The real amalgamation of spices was done at the beginning of the 14th century by Mughals; they make delicious foods with a perfect blend of different types of spices.
There are close to 40 Indian spices. No other country produces as much spice as India. Some spices like a stone flower, garcinia, etc are used only in selective regions.
Spices in India are not only used in food, they were used to cure ailments too. They flatter our sense of smell with delicious fragrance and tongue with a unique taste, eyes with vibrant colors. At present time India is one of the largest exporters of spice all over the world. The environment of India is perfect for the growth of different spices. In a country like India, people grind the spices in the mortar and paste, which gives a unique tang to food. Grinned spices have more taste as compared to machinery grinned spices.
Indian Spices like turmeric, methi (fenugreek), cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and many others are used as medicines from ancient times. These spices have a lot of health benefits like turmeric cures stomach ulcers and also provides glowing skin, fennel seeds aid in digestion & pepper acts as an antihistamine.
Apart from the above functions, Indian spices also prevent the rotting of food. They can slow down the growth of bacteria and aids in preservation. There are many places in India where people are still preserving their food through this technique due to the unavailability of electricity. Some spices like cloves, fennels, and cardamom are used as mouth refreshing agents and they are used all over the world. These spices aid in proper digestion curb nausea and cures heartburn in the body.
Some of the common Indian spices are as follows:
Cumin seeds (Jeera) :
Cumin seeds are a staple in Indian foods & curries. Generally, cumin seeds are used whole and fried in oil at the beginning of the cook before any other ingredient is added.
Green Cardamom (Elaichi) :
The flavor of cardamom is something you can’t miss. It’s fried in hot oil at the beginning of cooking any Indian recipe. Usually between two and six whole cardamoms are used. Cardamoms are also used to bring amazing flavors in sweet dishes and even Indian tea.
Fenugreek (Methi) :
One of the mildest yet powerful spices is methi known as fenugreek. They are bitter but provide enormous health benefits.
Cinnamon (Darchini) :
Another common ingredient used in cooking Indian dishes is cinnamon. These are also added in hot oil before the beginning of cooking an Indian dish. The flavor it imparts is just unbelievable.
Fennel (Saunf) :
Fennel seeds and star anise both have a very intense flavor and are used as a whole spice in many Indian food dishes like tadka and other curries. Indian restaurants serve sweetened fennel seeds after dinner as they aid in digestion.
Mustard Seeds (Rai) :
Mustard seeds are essential in Indian cooking. These seeds can be yellow or black and can be used for giving a strong flavor to many curries and are often used in cooking Indian fish dishes.
Black Pepper (Kali Mirch) :
The flavor of black pepper is unique and sharp. The heat in most of the foods comes from black pepper itself. Its flavor is so distinct that no other spice in the world can duplicate that flavor.
Nutmeg (Jaiphal) :
Nutmeg is a very common ingredient across India. It can either be used as a whole or parts of it can be shaved and used.
Mace (Javitri) :
Mace is a leaf-like spice that wraps the seed of the nutmeg. Its flavor is, even more, muskier than nutmeg. It’s generally fried whole and has an extremely strong flavor.
Cloves (Labang) :
Cloves are strong. When added too much, their flavor overpowers the flavor of the dish. Cloves are very important ingredients in nonveg dishes like Chicken curries and Indian biryanis and also are used to impart a beautiful aroma in many Indian curries.
Indian Spices are not just confined to Indians only, they are famous globally. Western people also started to add them to their foods. People are using them for medicinal purposes too, which also stimulated the agriculture industry!!!