Spice rack MUST HAVES if you plan on cooking Indian cuisine.
The most important or frequently used spices and flavorings in Indian cuisine are whole or powdered chili pepper, black mustard seed, cardamom, cumin, turmeric, asafoetida, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Below we have provided illustrations for these spices as well as other names that they are referred to as in English, Hindi, and Telugu.
Below are spices used in making Seasoning/Chaunk/Tadhka/Taalimpu:
[singlepic id=289 w=220 h=140 float=] Cumin seeds / Jeera / Jeela Karra
[singlepic id=294 w=220 h=140 float=] Mustard seeds / Sarson / Aavalu. Did you know that it helps boost metabolism and allows you to burn fat more quickly, thanks in part to its thermogenic properties. Scientists at England’s Oxford Polytechnic Institute recently found that eating just 1 tsp of hot mustard can “boost metabolism 20-25% for several hours after eating, resulting in an additional burn of 45 calories if a 700-calorie meal is consumed.
[singlepic id=290 w=220 h=140 float=] Curry Leaves / Kari Pata / Karivepaaku – Optional
The following are used to heighten flavor in dishes like biryani, chutneys, raitas, and desserts:
[singlepic id=285 w=220 h=140 float=] Bay Leaves / Kadhi Patta / Pulao Aaku. Used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance when making special dishes like biryani, jeera rice, rasmalai, payasm, or even soup.
[singlepic id=291 w=220 h=140 float=] Ginger / Aadrak / Allam. One of the main spices used for making pulse and lentil curries and other vegetable preparations. We also add crushed or grated ginger in making tea to give it a bit of kick.
[singlepic id=297 w=220 h=140 float=] Cardamom / Elaichi / Yalukalu. Enhance the flavor or any dessert by using this spice. When using this spice, do not throw away the chilka (skins); you can add them when making tea.
[singlepic id=287 w=220 h=140 float=] Cinnamon / Dalchini / Dalchini Chakka. One of the many spices powdered to make Garam Masala. The thinner sticks can be eaten by itself.
[singlepic id=288 w=220 h=140 float=] Coriander (also known as Cilantro) It is the most common fresh herb that is used as a garnish in our cooking. Coriander is also ground to make chutney or sauce for many appetizers such as pakora, fritters, samosas or chaat.
Running low on spices or short on time, then premixed packets are a great way to kick up it up a notch and create flavorful dishes:
[singlepic id=296 w=220 h=140 float=]Vangibhath powder
To bring in more flavor, add to any vegetable rice dish or curry such as the Funky Fast Fungi.
[singlepic id=295 w=220 h=140 float=]Sambar Powder
Primarily used to make sambar. It can also be added to some vegetable curries to bring in authentic South Indian curry taste such as the Tangy Tomato curry.
[singlepic id=293 w=220 h=140 float=]Coconut Milk Powder
Great for making rasams or chaaru.
[singlepic id=292 w=220 h=140 float=]Madras Rasam Powder
Used primarily to make rasam or chaaru. It can also be added to curries to bring in more South Indian flavor.
Jahnavi is the creator of Indian Khana, Made Easy. Jahnavi’s passion for cooking started in her freshman year of high school when she took an International cooking class. Her blog focuses on vegetarian Indian cooking.
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