Spices have been closely connected to magic, cultural traditions, preservation, medicine and embalming since early human history. India is heaven of exotic spices and has attracted countries of the globe for centuries and even wars have been fought for them. Spices were a key component of India’s external trade with Mesopotamia, China, Egypt and Arabia, along with perfumes and textiles – as far back as 7000 years ago – much before the Greek and Roman civilizations.
Turmeric is the boiled, dried, cleaned and polished rhizomes of Curcuma longa. Most likely known for its health benefits, turmeric is a powder ground from the plants rhizome. Turmeric is a main ingredient in masalas, curry powders and pastes. Turmeric can also be used as a natural coloring for foods or even clothing, as the powder’s intense color will stain cooking ingredients, your clothes and even your hands. Turmeric oleoresin is used in brine pickles and to some extent in mayonnaise and relish formulations, non-alcoholic beverages, gelatins, butter and cheese etc. The color curcumin extracted from turmeric is used as a colorant.
India got it’s first taste of chilly, a strong spice in 1498 by Vasco-da-Gama. Contrasting, to the general belief that chilly is bad for stomach, the truth is completely opposite. Chilly is good for digestion and has been used in Indian ayurvedic medicines to cure disease. When eaten, you will experience sweating, runny nose hard to breathe, and hiccups. Despite this people want to spice up their food with chilly. Why? Because chilly is addictive. When you intake chilly, the capsaicin present in chilly will make the brain produce endorphins, a natural pain killer. Today it is unimaginable to think of food without chilly. Cuisines such as Mexican, Indian, Thai and Italian food have chilly as chief ingredient.
Coriander is probably native to the Middle East and southern Europe, but has also been known in Asia and the Orient for millennia. The plant that produces coriander seed is one of three plants that produce both herb and spice. The herb produced by this plant is Cilantro. Coriander is popular in Indian and Mexican dishes and provides a warm earthiness to dishes along with citrusy undertones. It is a popular ingredient with beer brewers. The most common use of coriander seed is in curry powders, where it is the bulkiest constituent. The seeds can be likewise used in stews and soups.
Cumin is the dried, white fruit with greyish brown color of a small slender annual herb. Cumin seed have an aromatic odor and bitter taste. The Cumin Seeds is consistently elliptical and deeply furrowed. Cumin Seeds (known Jeera in India) are the seeds of the caraway family. Cumin has a distinctive, slightly bitter yet warm flavor. It is used as a condiment, and is an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of breads, cakes and cheese. Cumin has long been an essential ingredient in cuisines around the world, and is used to add spicy taste to many dishes worldwide. It has a unique and potent flavor crucial to Indian curries, where cumin is often roasted before grinding to impart a toasted, nutty flavor.
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