Spices

Bay Leaf

It is also known as Tej Patta. These aromatic dried leaves are commonly used in Indian curries and rice dishes. It has mildly bitter taste and the dried leaves have a fragrance similar to thyme and oregano. The leaves are often put in preparations to impart fragrance and subtle flavour like soups, curries and stocks. This is also used as a pickling herb.

Cardamom

Cardamom is an aromatic spice with a very wide range of uses. It has a very warm aroma and pungent taste which it can retain for a very long time. Apart from using the entire pod as flavouring, its black seeds powdered and the outer covering are also used. It’s advisable to buy whole pods and ground the seeds as required since they lose their flavor when exposed.

The outer covering can lend a unique flavour to tea if added along with tea leaves and coffee as well. It is also one of the essential spices added to the garam masala mix and curry powder. It is also used in various savoury dishes like pulao, curries, biryanis etc. and sweet dishes like kheer, phirni, flans, porridge, halwa also taste better with its distinctive flavour.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is available in dried tubular structures known as quill or grounded powder. Known for its fragrant and warm taste, cinnamon is a popular choice among all spices. It is widely used in Indian curries, dal and sweet dishes. It is one of the oldest spices known to mankind.

Cloves

Cloves are a kind of spice used in cuisines all over the world. It is an aromatic dried flower bud that is said to native to Indonesia. It has a strong taste and smell and is therefore, mostly used as a flavour in curries or sweet dishes. They are also available in powdered form but it’s preferable to but whole cloves for the flavour and aroma. Store it in air tight containers.

Coriander Seeds

Coriander seeds are also known as Sukha Dhaniya. The dry fruits yielding from the coriander plant are considered as coriander seeds. In the Indian cuisine, the seeds are called Dhaniya and are an essential condiment in the spices. Carrying an aromatic and citrus flavor, the seeds are available both in dried seeds and grounded form.

These seeds are used in curry powder, curries, pickles and sauces. Sambhar and Rasam – famous South-Indian dishes are incomplete without coriander seeds. They are mainly used as a flavouring agent in various cuisines. Coriander seeds are also employed in brewing certain varieties of beer, mainly some Belgian white beers.

Cumin Seeds

Cumin seeds are also known as Jeera. Cumin seeds are used for their strong aroma and bitter warm flavour. Roasted Cumin seed powder is also widely used. Cumin has a very long list of uses and seasons many a dishes to help bring out their full flavour. Soups, vegetables, rice, tempering and spice mixtures feature cumin seeds. The seed fried in butter brings a whole new flavour to any dishes. It is prominent in the preparation of buttermilk too.

Saffron

It is also known as Kesar in India. It is also one of the costliest spices in the world. It can be found in threads or ground form. The dried stigmas of the flower are used as a seasoning and colouring agent in many cuisines. Saffron is not easily available everywhere and is therefore heavily priced. In India it is cultivated only in Jammu and Kashmir. It is used as a seasoning in many Asian cuisines.

Star Anise

As the name suggests, star anise is a spice in the shape of a star which is native to South China. It is brown in colour and has an aroma similar to that of a fennel seed. If kept away from sunlight and stored in an airtight container, it can last up to a year. It is used in Oriental cooking. It is usually added whole to the dish and discarded before serving. Both its seeds and husk is used as a spice for cooking. Star anise seeds are popularly used as flavouring agents for tea, soups and marinades.

Know Your Ingredients

Baking     ♦     Spices     ♦    Fresh Herbs     ♦    Nuts and Seeds     ♦    Dairy Ingredients     ♦    Other Ingredients

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