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Spices in Indian Cooking

A range of Indian spices and seasonings in our online store are available. Our whole Garam Masala blend and Panch Poran spice blend are of great quality. We also have mango powder and tamarind paste to add a sour taste to curries.

Here are some popular Indian spices - the soul of Indian cuisine. We have an extensive line of spices in our store and have listed descriptions of the spice and uses of the spice - in many cases a recipe is included.

Spices in Indian food are not heavy and although Indian food is not bland, most Indian dishes are delicately spiced to enhance the flavor of the main cooking ingredient. Curry powder sitting on the grocers shelf may be like saw dust when one compares it to the fine spices roasted, combined  and dry ground or wet ground in the traditional

Indian traditions. Fresh ground spices are the order of the day in an Indian home and will be chosen according to the nature of the dish, season, and to whom it will be served to.

The role of spices and herbs goes beyond just cooking. Ancient Ayurvedic texts prescribe the herbs and spices for curative and therapeutic functions. Ayurvedic scripts dating back to 3000 years, list the preventive and curative properties of various spices.

1. Curative Properties:  An Indian cook has learned to use this knowledge and weave them into everyday dishes. 

Ginger prevents dyspepsia, garlic reduces cholesterol and hypertension, and fenugreek is good for building resistance to common colds and sicknesses. Turmeric is used for stomach ulcers and for glow of the skin.
2. Preserving Foods: Spices have been used to make the food last longer in the days when refrigeration was absent.
3. Aiding Digestion: India substitutes for the western after dinner mint are fragrant spices such as fennel, cardamom or cloves. Effective mouth fresheners aid digestion, prevent heartburn and curb nausea. Others such as asafetida and ginger root, have been known to counteract flatulence and colic, and are added to lentils.
4. Balancing Tastes and Properties of Food: Each spice has a property; not just a taste property but a warm or cooling property to it. It also has many other properties.

Masala is a word that is often used in an Indian kitchen. It literally means a blend of several spices. Garam (hot) masala is the most important blend masala and an essential to North Indian preparations, added just before serving the dish to enhance its flavor. The rational Garam masala is a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Masala may be in dry, roasted ground or paste form. Each state in India has its own blend and each family is partial to their own blend. Every cook is partial to their own blend, which may change on a daily basis.
South India has a wonderful blend of wet spices where the spices are ground  to create savrious spices, fresh herbs and nuts.

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