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A Guide to Spices in Indian cooking

by Sasha (follow)
Asian (483)      Indian (223)      Curry (173)      Spices (59)      Guide (1)     

Indian Spices

Indian cuisine mostly consists of the following spices. These spices are usually sorted together in curries or the famous biryani for an aromatic taste.They are usually sauteed together in Ghee to create a volcano of flavours and taste.

Aniseed :

A spice or herb, it has a slight sweetness and liquorice taste. Commonly known as star aniseed, it is mostly used in Indian and Mediterranean dishes. Usually one or two seeds do the magic. They are also used in baking of bread, biscuits etc to give a varying taste to the usual.

Star Aniseed

Fennel Seeds :

Somewhat similar in taste to the aniseed, it is usually used in the non vegetarian Indian dishes. Roasted fennel seeds are usually had after a meal for its digestive properties and also as a breath freshener.

Dried Fennel seeds

Cloves :

A popular spice, it has a strong flavour and is widely used in Asian and African cuisine. Usually sautéed in curries or used in marinades to compliment chicken, lamb and beef. They expand as roasted and leave a significant taste and flavour to the dish. Cloves are usually chewed on as a temporary relief to tooth ache, however should not be swallowed.


Cinnamon :
Another popular spice. Often used in cakes and biscuits for a savoury and sweet taste. Cinnamon is also widely used in tea for some aroma and flavour. It is usually sautéed in curries compliments meats like chicken, lamb and even beef.


Cardamom :
A famous spice for it's aroma and flavour, it is often used in the preparation of Indian sweets as whole or in the powdered form. They are also sautéed along with other spices to make curries with chicken, lamb and beef. It is also a main ingredient in Masala chai.


Poppy seeds :
The reason I include them with other spices here is because they are commonly used ground for curries to give the thickness and texture to it. Poppy seeds are usually soaked in water for an hour or so before using them along with grated coconut and ground to a fine paste.

Poppy seeds

With all the above in place, creating an Indian dish should be easy, fun and aromatic.

Related Article :
Nuances of Sautéing the Indian Way

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