Indian cuisine is known for its rich taste and vibrant colours. Spices made of dried seeds, leaves, roots, fruits, and barks are often crushed or ground into powder and used to create incredibly intricate Indian dishes that taste out of this world. If you are an experienced home cook, you should keep a wide range of flavourful Indian spices handy in the kitchen and use them when needed.
With that in mind, we are going to take a look at some of the most popular Indian spices and see just how to use them:
Mustard Seeds (Rai)- roasted mustard seeds are used in South Indian cuisine, especially for curries and sambar. To get maximum flavour and aroma, heat mustard seeds in oil, until they crackle and pop, then add them to your boiling curries to add hints of unique flavours.
Cardamom (Elaichi)- cardamom is one of the most popular spices to use for biryani, especially for its sweet scent. It is also a great addition for many Indian meat dishes. The best way to use cardamom is to grind the seeds after removing the skins and add them during the cooking process.
Coriander Seeds (Dhania)- coriander seeds are an aromatic spice and commonly found in the spice racks of Indian kitchens. In its powdered form, coriander seeds are a great addition to curries. Lightly roast whole coriander seeds without oil, until they release their fragrant scent. Grind with a mortar and add the powdered coriander seeds to your dishes.
Cinnamon (Dalchini)- cinnamon is the dried bark of the Cinnamonum verum, known for its mild, sweet scent. It is often used in Indian curries and sweet beverages. Using cinnamon is very easy. You can add cinnamon whole in your dishes or add a few pinches of its powdered form.
Cumin (Jeera)- it’s a popular spice for many vegetable- and meat-based dishes in India. With its earthy flavour, cumin is a great spice to use for tempering. Using cumin is as easy as adding it to your dishes.
Black Cumin (Shahi Jeera)- Indian cooks use black cumin if they want to add a smoky flavour to their dishes. Black cumin is also a part of the popular Indian spice blend, garam masala. Add powdered black cumin to your meat-based curries, pulao, or biryani.
Turmeric (Haldi)- turmeric adds a yellow or orange-ish colour to many Indian dishes. It has a mild earthy flavour. If possible, get fresh unpeeled turmeric and keep it in your fridge. Before using fresh turmeric, wash, peel, and grind it.
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