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The Basic or Essential Indian Spices
Ah! the wonder of Indian basic spices. Soothing and pleasing these spices are subtle in taste and are used in most Indian recipes. Basic spices go in before aromatic spices are added to the dish. The main four basic spices in Indian cooking are cumin or mustard seeds, asafetida in hot ghee (clarified butter) till they sizzle and pop and then we add coriander and turmeric then we add the main vegetables. We may then add more layering of flavors from a repetoire of more than 30 spices as in the spices above. The basic spices are all part of the Indian Spice Box.
The very basic of our Indian spice. Used liberally in North Indian dishes and had a lovely aroma and distinctive taste. May be sizzled in oil, roasted to release its flavor and used as a garnish spice or used ground which has a more sweet flavor.
Coriander Seeds (dhania)
Fresh tasting, mild and used to balance the other spices. As the coriander seeds are roasted and ground and and is the most liked spice in the Indian spice box. Coriander may be added when you cook food from any cuisine as it will enhance any taste.
Black Mustard Seeds (Rai)
In India the black mustard seeds are used instead of the yellow ones used in the west. It is simple, strong and nutty flavor. Mustard seeds like cumin seeds are sizzled in oil to release its flavor. Mustard seeds are a must in South India and are used in panch phoran, pickles and to flavor vegetables, rice and curries.
The most beautifully colored spice in the world, saffron-yellow it makes food have a glorious color. vegetables and lentils are made more apetizing with the beautiful color that turmeric adds to them. It is has a very scant ginger taste and adds a pleasing astingency to Indian dishes. It helps to sooth inflamations and is uded to prevent many disease. Indians add turmeric to skin lotions for beautiful skin.
Chilli Powder: Lal Mirchi
Lovely red in color and pungent to taste red chili adds a rich taste and depth to dishes.
Asafetida (Other Names:Hing, asafetida powder, asafetida, devil’s dung, ferula, foetida, heeng)
Originally used in Persian and Greek food it is now most exclusively used in Indian cooking. It is used as a medicine for digestion. It is used instead or with garlic and has many of the same properties of garlic without being as simulating as garlic and is more claming. Used in small quantities and is used for cooking vegetable, lentils and bean dishes.