Indian dishes are known for their strong taste and their extensive use of spices. These spices have rich flavours and add aroma to the dishes. whether you enjoy eating Indian food Greenway at the top restaurants or love cooking them at home, you need to have an idea about the different spices that you can add to make the dishes more delicious.
If you have been wondering how you can start to include Indian spices in your cooking and create delicious Indian meals, here is a list of the top 6 Indian spices –
Turmeric is one of the most common Indian spices that you’ll find in almost all Indian kitchens. It is a rhizome that looks like ginger in its natural state. The spice is known for its bright orange colour and has a warm and peppery flavour. You can use turmeric in many different ways. The most common way to use ginger is in powder form, where the turmeric is grounded into smooth powder form. You can also grate or roast the ginger to add to your food. Apart from being a staple Indian spice, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
All parts of coriander plants are edible, but coriander seeds form an important ingredient in Indian dishes. Coriander seeds are slightly roasted to release their tart with a hint of citrus flavour. The seeds can be grounded to fine powder or even fried and crushed in oil to make an aromatic paste. It is used in curries, dal, and other Indian dishes as its spice base help hold the gravy together.
Cumin is used frequently in Indian kitchens as a whole and in spice mix to add a smoky and nutty flavour to Indian dishes. These are usually dry-fried before use or dropped in hot oil until it starts giving out a roasted fragrance. It is used in most stuffed vegetables, flavour rice, soups, savoury curries, and more. It also combines well with cilantro to be used in chicken and beef dishes.
The Portuguese bought chilli to India from South America back in 1510, and not India is one of the biggest users and exporter of chilis in the world. Indian chilis are left to ripen and then plucked. Once they turn into powder, once they dry completely, It is redder in colour and less hot than Indian chilli powder. It is used in a variety of Indian dishes such as traditional curries, butter chicken, lentils dishes, Thai soups, and others.
Mustard seeds are widely used in Indian dishes, especially in those from Bengal and southern India. These are usually tossed in hot oil to bring out a nutty, warm taste. This oil is then used as a base for different dishes such as vegetable, subz ghost, or lamb dishes. Many people also grind the mustard seeds to bring out a sharper flavour and then use them for pickling. While brown mustard seeds have a richer and darker flavour, the yellow ones have a mild flavour.
Cardamom is the third most expensive spice in the world and is common in Indian cooking. It is a spicy-sweet flavour that enhances all kinds of dishes – savoury and sweet. It is quite versatile in its usage and can be used in many different food items such as masalas, spiced tea, curries, red meat, baked goods, and even in a variety of sweets such as surti ghari. Many people even use them as a garnish for rice dishes.
Other Honorable Mentions
Apart from the above, there are other spices that deserve special mention on the list. Here are some of the other Indian spices you can use in your dishes to add a distinct and new flavour to them –
- Garam Masala