One of the most important ingredients that make Indian food as good as they are, are the different signature spices and condiments that go along with every dish. Indian spices have an old and long history in Indian culture. They have been used for many, many years in the country. And as the world discovered the beautiful and distinct tastes of spices from India, more and more people have fallen in love with Indian cuisine as well. So if you plan on learning how to whip up authentic Indian cuisine, here are a few of the most well-loved spices and condiments used in Indian cooking today.
Also known as the devil’s dung, this herb is actually a relative of the parsley family and is most known for its distinctive and pungent taste. The plant is commercially available in powdered form and when cooked, gives out a beautiful garlicky smell. Asafoetida is mainly used for cooking lentils and beans and is a very important ingredient for cheewra – a dish made up of grains and various sorts of fruits and spices.
Bay leaves are available in whole dried form. They are used to flavor curries and other kinds of rice dishes.
Cardamon is the local name of the plant Elettaria cardamomum and is a member of the ginger family. The seed is the one mainly used for cooking. This spice has a sweet and pungent taste, and a citrusy, eucalyptus aftertaste. This is considered to be the second most expensive spice in the world. There are actually three kinds of varieties the green, the black and the cream cardamoms but the green variety is most common. They are mainly used to spice up curries and even ice creams and other sweet dishes or desserts.
This spice is made up of seeds from a certain plant belonging to the capsicum family. The seed has a variety of tastes, depending on the age that it was harvested. The smaller the fruit, the hotter and the spicier it gets. Cayenne has an attractive bright red hue and is a well loved ingredient not just for its taste but for its color as well. The spice is also rich in bate-carotene and vitamin A, which is a great plus for healthy dieters. Cayenne powder is not as hot as chili but has its own kick that will surely make that dish memorable.
Who does not love chilies And there are lots of them in Indian cuisine. This is considered to be the hottest spice on earth. And just like the cayenne, the smaller the fruit is, the hotter its flavor gets. Chilies are available in fresh or in powdered form. The chili powder has a rust red hue and is even hotter than the fresh ones because they are already in concentrated form.
So there you have it the heart and soul of Indian food. These are just a few of the many spices that Indian cuisine makes use of. So if you plan on cooking up authentic Indian dishes in your kitchen, make sure that you have these spices on hand.