Last Updated on January 4, 2019 by Maite Aja
The popularity of Indian food is increasing day by day all over the world. People love to have different Indian dishes because of their delicious taste and fantastic aroma. Gone are the days when it was quite hard to find an Indian food restaurant in any location outside India. Nowadays, it’s easy to have a delectable Indian dish at a local restaurant in your own country, whether it’s America, China, England or Canada.
India is a country of diverse cultures and traditions, and this diversity is reflected in the taste of its foods. The country has two major regions, the North and the South. Both areas have their own cooking style and ingredients to prepare a food item. Therefore, you will certainly find something different in the taste.
Most people, when eating Indian food for the first time, fall in love with it. Moreover, they become curious to find the secret of its uniqueness. If you are also looking for the secret ingredients that give Indian food its excellent taste, take a look at the following Indian spices.
TAKEAWAY: In a research, scientists found that it’s a variety of spices that make Indian cuisine palatable. Researchers analyzed 2500 recipes and found that Indian food uses over 200 out of the 381 ingredients used in the world.
Coriander is one of the oldest known spices in the world. It is also a key element of garam masala, a blend of spices typically used in Indian cuisine. Its color is usually brown or golden and provides a nutty and fruity flavor. Coriander can be used in the form of seeds or powdered. Besides, its green leaves can also be used for garnishing a dish once it is fully prepared. The leaves provide a nice aroma, taste, and an attractive look to a cooked recipe.
Cumin is normally used whole and mixed with other spices. It has distinct ridged brown seeds and an intense fragrance. Most Indian recipes seasoned by using it. One thing that is necessary to keep in mind is to roast this Indian spice with care as it burns easily. And burnt cumin seeds give a bitter taste. It is also a main ingredient of garam masala.
Turmeric is another common Indian spice used in vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine. It not only provides a pleasant flavor to the food but also a light yellow or gold tone. It can be used fresh or dried. The fresh turmeric gives stronger essence in comparison to its dried form. So, be careful when you add it to your recipe. Always use a small amount of it; otherwise, you will have to eat a bitter meal. The yellow/golden powder of turmeric can be found at your local grocery store easily.
Mainly, there are two kinds of cardamom used in the Indian kitchen; green and black. Green cardamom is used basically to prepare sweet dishes. It gives a sweet aroma to the meal. It is also the primary element of masala tea. Indians love to add it to their tea with other ingredients because of its medicinal properties. They believe it is quite useful to reduce common cold and fever.
Black cardamom is highly potent and smoky; therefore, it needs to be used with a lot of caution. No doubt it can give a great essence to your dishes but make sure that you are only using its seeds. If the whole pod is added, you will serve a highly spicy meal to your guests.
This is the most expensive spice in the world. The finest saffron is dark-red in color and grows in Kashmir (India), Iran, and Spain. Most people compare its value with gold. Saffron is the stigma of crocus flowers and needs to be picked by hand very carefully. Consequently, for buying a small quantity of it you will have to pay a substantial amount of money.
Saffrom is used to prepare Indian desserts such as kheer, rasmalai, rabri and more. This Indian spice gives a nice zesty flavor and color to a dish. That’s why every casual Indian restaurant makes use of it to keep customers pleased.
People of India also believe that if given to a pregnant woman mixed in a glass of milk, a healthy and pretty child will be born. Isn’t it interesting?
Black Pepper is hard to grow. According to the recipe, you can use it powdered or in whole seeds. This Indian spice should be added vigilantly because a little carelessness can make your cuisine very spicy. Indians also use black pepper powder because of its various health properties.
These are some popular ingredients or spices that make Indian food delicious and loved worldwide. If you are a real foodie, you must try such different flavors. They will make you crazy for India and its taste.
About the Author: Harry Michael is a passionate lover of Indian food. He has a deep knowledge of Indian culture, tradition, and cooking style. Besides this, he loves to travel around the world to know more about the different countries, cultures and their food preparing style.