Most Commonly Used Spices in Indian Cuisine
Spices are an essential component of Indian cuisine; they are also one of the main reasons people love this type of food so much. The bold, unique and fragrant recipes that characterise Indian food are many people’s favourites, as they delight in each burst of flavour created by the many spices in the dish.
But do you know which spices you are most likely enjoying when eating your favourite Indian food?
An aromatic spice that is used in two different forms: black and green. Green cardamom is the most common variety, as it’s mixed with other spices and used in many dishes, from savoury to sweet. Its flavour is light and reminiscent of eucalyptus, and the pod is sometimes crushed to release even more flavour (especially in desserts).
Black cardamom is not as frequently used. This is because its flavour is strong and smoky and should, therefore, be used carefully and thoughtfully. If the pod is used instead of just the seeds, it should be taken out before serving.
This spice can be consumed in many different ways. If fried whole, it adds a smoky, sweet flavour to the dish; if it’s in powder form, cumin offers a savoury tang. Cumin is a strong spice and can be identified by its unique, ridged brown appearance. When freshly ground, cumin has an intense flavour and, when toasted, you’ll get to enjoy a smoky aroma that will tantalise your taste buds!
Ginger is considered a digestive aid, as it improves nutrient absorption, reduces stomach aches and nausea. This, and its spicy and unique flavour, is what makes it so popular. It is added to curries and other dishes, whether in ground-dried form or grated, for example, and offers a distinguishing taste loved by many. It is one of the main ingredients of chicken vindaloo.
One of the most distinguishing features of this spice is its colour; turmeric can be bright yellow and orange, colours that transfer to the dish when the spice is added. Turmeric is known throughout Indian and used in many different dishes, also because it provides many health benefits. It is commonly used in curries and mixed with other spices; turmeric can be used fresh or dried and its flavour is strong with earthy tones.
This spice is the most expensive in the world, considered to be more valuable than gold. However, it doesn’t exclude it from being used in many Indian dishes. Saffron has several tones, from dark red to orange and yellow; the deeper the colour, the fresher the spice. Saffron’s flavour is distinct, so it should be used in small quantities, so as not to overpower the dish.
Spices are a staple of Indian cuisine; they are not an optional component of the meal, but a necessary one. They offer flavour, health benefits and beautiful aromas that you will certainly enjoy in our restaurant, so book a table today and take a look at our menus – we have everything for everyone and every palate!