Spices

Learn about Spices used in Indian Vegetarian Cooking.


Ajwain

Ajwain

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Ajwain, also known as carom seeds, look and smell much like cumin seeds, Ajwain seeds are pungent. Ajwain compliments dals, breads and root vegetables. They also comfort diarrhea and stomach pains.

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Asafetida

Asafetida (hing)

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Asafetida (Hing) is very essential ingredient in Indian vegetarian cooking. Hing has very strong and unique smell and flavor. If this is used too much smell can be unpleasant. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine and good for digestive system.

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Bay Leaf

Bay leaf (tejpat)

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Bay leaf is the aromatic leaf and used as a herb to flavor the dishes.

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Black Cardamom

Black Cardamom (kali elaichi)

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Black cardamom is originated from southern India. Black cardamom is an important ingredient of the Indian spice mixture Garam Masala. Black cardamom is also used in dal and rice dishes.

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Black Pepper

Black Pepper (kali mirch)

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Originated in India, Black pepper is used around the world to flavor all different kinds of food.

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Black Salt

Black salt (kala namak)

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Black salt (Kala namak) is used extensively in Indian cusine as well as in Ayurvedic medicine. Kala namk has a distinctive taste. It is used in chutneys, raitas, provides the tangy fresh flavor in chaat and many other snacks. It is often used by people with high blood pressure or on low-salt diets because it does not contain significant amounts of sodium. It is also believed to relieve both heartburn and flatulence.

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Cinnamon

Cinnamon (dalchini)

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The sweet aroma and warm taste of cinnamon make very unique spice for cooking or baking. Cinnamon has a unique anti-clotting action and is used to control blood sugar.

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Citric Acid

Citric Acid (nimboo sat)

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Citric acid is made from citrus fruits. Lemons and limes have high concentrations of citric acid, accounting for their bitter taste. Oranges and tangerines are also high in citric acid. Citric acid is high in vitamin c. It is commonly used to flavor a variety of drinks, candies.

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Cloves

Cloves (long)

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India’s traditional ayurvedic healers have used cloves since ancient times to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. Cloves are said to have a positive effect on stomach ulcers, vomiting, flatulence, and to stimulate the digestive system. It has powerful local antiseptic and mild anesthetic actions.

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Coriander

Coriander (dhania)

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Coriander seed is generally used coarsely ground or more finely powdered, depending on the texture desired. It is best bought whole as, being brittle, it is easy to mill or pound in a mortar. Ground coriander is apt to lose its flavor and aroma quickly. The most common use of coriander seed is in curry powders. Coriander is an ingredient of garam masala, pickling spices. Coriander seed oil is an aromatic stimulant, a carminative (remedial in flatulence), an appetizer and a digestive stimulating the stomach and intestines. It is generally beneficial to the nervous system.

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Corn Starch

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Cornstarch is often used as a binder. It can be used as a thickener in many recipes, can be replace with arrowroot.

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Cumin seed

Cumin seed (jeera)

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This is my very essential herb for cooking. It is very aromatic, used in ayurvedic medicine in india. It is sad that cumin seed helps in headaches, nausea and liver problems.

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Fennel Seed

Fennel seed (saunf)

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The bulb, foliage, and seeds of the fennel plant are widely used in many of the culinary traditions of the world. Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, it is commonly used to treat asthma, bronchitis, colic disease, food poisoning and motion sickness

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Fenugreek Dry Leaves

Fenugreek Dry Leaves (methi)

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Fenugreek is used both as an herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed). The yellow colored fenugreek seed, commonly called methi, is frequently used in the preparation of pickles and curry powders. The young leaves and sprouts of fenugreek are eaten as greens. Fresh or dried leaves are used to flavor dishes. Fenugreek is mainly used as digestive aid. It is ideal for treating sinus, lung congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection.

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Garam Masala Mix

Garam Masala

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Garam Masala is a blend of several spices. Garam means hot and masala is mix of spices. This is a very aromatic spice mix which should be sparingly used. Garam Masala is very pungent but not as hot as chili powder. This is a popular spice mix In North Indian dishes. This is my Mom’s recipe.

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Ginger

Ginger (adrak)

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Fresh ginger added to tea is believed to relive sore throats and head colds. Ginger is used in cooking, pickles and drinks. It is valuable for disorders of the digestive system.

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Green Cardamom

Green Cardamom (elaichi)

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Green Cardamom is mostly used in sweets to give nice aroma and flavor.

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Mango Powder

Mango Powder (amchoor)

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Mango powder is made from raw green mangoes that are cut, sun-dried, and pounded into powder. Mango powder is used much like lemon. But it gives food a tangy, sour taste without adding moisture. Its tart flavor is used as a souring agent in soups, dals, vegetable dishes and chutneys.

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Mustard Seeds

Mustard seed (rai)

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Dry mustard seed has no aroma but hot flavor is released when this mixes with water. It is often used in indian cooking specially for pickling.

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Paprika

Paprika (dagi mirch)

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In india, a similar powdered spice comes from a fruit locally called ‘deghi mirchi’ the seasoning is used in many cuisines to add colour and flavour to dishes.

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