TRADITIONAL DESI SPICES
In India, food was always considered important to a person’s devoutness. There were numerous rules and rituals regarding food. As it was believed that a person’s mind and geste was affected by nutrition, so food habits were taken seriously.
Due to the vast demographics in India, the region, religion influenced the Indian cuisine to a great extent. Indian culinary reflects an centuries of history of various groups and societies communicating with the Indian sub-continent leading to diversity of flavours and culinary in ultra modern India with the British,French and Portuguese style of cookery also having their share in impacting the unique and distinct Indian cooking.
The common cord still throughout the centuries remain the different mixing of spices that constantly gave Indian food its distinct flavour, aroma, and taste.
Spices have always played a vital role in Indian cuisine since centuries. Traditionally spices, as a part of diet have overall impact on health. India is the world’s largest consumer and exporter of spices, India produces about 75 of the 109 variety of spices listed. Being referred as the spice bowl of the world, India has also inspired numerous people from various countries to explore it. The varied climates of India encourage growth of different spices with strong, flavourful and numerous health benefits.
Spices are the most important items of the kitchen. The part of spices was not just limited to increase the colour, flavour and taste of the food but also used for its preservative and medicinal values. Spices is the part of numerous productions as Medical, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetic, Perfumery and several other.
Indian spices have displayed numerous properties that has health promoting and protecting benefits for chronic health conditions. Spices are good source of vitamin B, Vitamin C, Iron ,calcium and other antioxidants. The spices act as anti-proliferative, anti- hypercholesterolemia, anti-diabetic and anti -inflammatory effects. Spices aid in curing numerous ailments like diabetes, cardio- vascular conditions, arthritis, cancer and AIDS.
Some of the essential spices of the kitchen are:
Turmeric is a pungent, earthy Indian spice used in almost all dishes. It gives a beautiful golden colour to the dish. It has enormous health benefits in ailments like Cancer ,Parkinson’s infection ,Alzheimer’s and AIDS. It is an antioxidant and reduces inflammations.
It is a part of several masala mixes and is used both in grounded form and whole. Jeera has pungent taste and smell which is easily recognisable. It boosts the immunity ,relieves from stomach pain and also acts as an iron supplement.
Cardamom is a sweet and flavourful spice with a rejuvenating taste. It is used in food, sweets and is also added in tea for its flavour. It relieves cold, joint pain and also regulates blood pressure.
Black Pepper has a spicy aspect to its taste and it is a native spice of Malabar seacoast of India. It is used in a lot of dishes and is a common addition to dishes world-wide. Its health benefits include relief from constipation, diarrhoea, ear pain, gangrene and heart conditions.
Clove is a uniquely warm, sweet and flavourful spice which is also an essential part of garam masala. Laung is a sharp flavoured spice which freshens the breath also and is eaten after food. It can be used to fix an upset stomach and is an expectorant.
- Mustard Seeds
Mustard Seeds has a slightly sour and slightly bitter taste which hits the nose intensely. Whether as seeds or as Mustard oil, it is an essential part of cuisines, with a rich flavour adding to the taste. It provides Vitamin B Complex and prevents asthma, arthritis, rheumatoid condition and muscle pain.
Nutmeg is used widely in cooking. Its excellent flavour makes it one the favourite flavours in India. It has antioxidant properties, encourages red blood cell formation, cures sleep disorders and also freshens breath.
Cinnamon has a sharp but sweet flavour which is an essential element in non-vegetarian curries. Its strong flavour masks the taste of meat. Cinnamon has variety of medicinal properties and is an antioxidant. It has the capability to control blood glucose and diabetes.
Coriander is one of the oldest known spices i and is used all over the world. It is a base for numerous spice mixes because of its freshness and citrus notes. Coriander is useful for digestion, lower cholesterol, diabetes and it also improves hair and skin quality.
Saffron is the most highly priced spice in the world due to its labour intensive process and exceptional qualities. It is costlier than gold by weight. It is a unique and strong spice which has a floral aroma. Saffron is helpful in digestion and appetite.
The intoxicating aroma of Indian spices have been savoured around the globe since centuries and it is an essential part of cooking not just in India but all around the world. The health benefits combined with the unique taste make for a significant combination .