Flavours found in Indian cuisine are so different from the food we eat in other parts of the world and that is mainly because of the wide variety of spices we use while cooking. India is ranked no.1 in the world when it comes to the production of spices and did you know that Khari Baoli in Delhi is the largest wholesale spice market in Asia. Let us see what are some of the essential spices used for Indian cooking.
Cumin is the most common spice used while cooking any dish especially in the northern part of India. It has an intense fragrance which adds the aroma to the whole dish. It can be used in its whole form or powdered form.
Mustard Seeds –
This is another commonly used spice, like cumin seeds are used in the north, this is used in almost all the food items prepared in the southern part of India. It adds a smoky and nutty flavour to the curries and chutneys.
Turmeric is among one of the most essential spices used for Indian cooking. It can be used in its raw state or in the powdered form and has been known globally for its health benefits. It gives a strong yellow colour to food and is a little bitter in taste so use it carefully.
This is again used vastly, be it in the vegetables or curries, desserts or even Chai. It is of two types, green and small in size, black and a little bigger in size. The green colour cardamom is used vastly as compared to the black cardamom. It can be used as a whole or in the crushed form.
This is another spice which has health benefits attached to it that are recognised globally. However, it has a very strong taste so use them minimally while preparing anything. It is one of the essential spices used for Indian cooking and has a very strong flavour.
Cinnamon is a light brown colour spice which is obtained from the inner bark of the tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. It has a sweet flavour and is very aromatic and is added to a variety of dishes, desserts and also to the chai. It can be used as a whole or in a powdered form.
Black Pepper –
Another important spice with a unique taste,it is primarily grown in the western parts of India. However it’s a bit difficult to grow this spice as it depends on many natural factors and therefore is a little expensive.this spice can also be used as a whole or in the powdered form.
You can use fenugreek seeds while cooking and this will enhance the flavours of your dish. It has a characteristic aroma when added to the hot oil though a little bitter in taste, it should be used in minimal amounts. The seeds are small yellowish in colour and dried fenugreek leaves are also used in Indian cooking,called Kasuri methi.
This is another important spice used widely while cooking Indian food. It can be used in its whole or powdered form. It is one of the oldest known spices in the world and has a characteristic aroma and taste attached to it.
Saffron is an intense spice which is used in very small quantities. In India, it is only produced in Kashmir and is considered to be of very good quality. It has a significant aroma and colour attached to it. It is one of the most expensive spices in the world giving a unique flavour and fragrance to the dish.