5 Indian Spices and Herbs You Should Use in Your Recipes

What sets Indian food apart from other global culinary traditions? It is a collection of spices used to prepare a dish. Rich spices like turmeric (Haldi) and cumin (jeera), which have been used in Indian cuisine for thousands of years, are now widely used around the world.

Do you ever wonder what elevates your regular Indian cuisine to the next level? It’s surprising how little effort it takes to achieve that “wow” factor. Adding one of the five spices and herbs from the list below to your cuisine might sometimes be as simple as that. It has the ability to transform ordinary components into aromatic and delectable meals.

Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

Starting with Kasuri methi, a popular hidden ingredient in Indian eateries worldwide. The herbaceous plant fenugreek is thought to have originated in the Middle East. The celery flavour of fenugreek leaves is complemented by a toasty, nutty flavour. It can be found in Indian bread such as naan and parathas, as well as in dishes such as chicken makhani, paneer masala, palak paneer, mixed dal, and subzis. Kasuri methi is crushed and sprinkled before serving as a spice. When making daal or sabzi, be sure to include Kasuri Methi. You’ll be surprised at how delicious the dish is and how closely it resembles a dish from your favourite restaurant.

Mango Powder (Amchur Powder)

Have you ever wondered what gives your achaar and chutneys their tanginess? It’s because of this potent spice. Amchur powder is prepared from unripe green mangoes, India’s national tropical fruit (and a mainstay in Indian cuisine). Mangoes are first cut, then sun-dried and ground into a powder.
The fundamental component in chaat masala, the tangy spice blend that goes on everything from pakoras to fruits, is amchur powder. Amchur powder gives Indian meals a sour, lemony flavour and acts as a counterbalance to spicy and sweet flavours. This spice’s touches of sourness bring the tastes together. Pav bhaji, chana masala, and aloo tikkis are some of the Indian dishes cooked with amchur powder.

Asafoetida (Hing)

Asafoetida, a spice native to Iran and Afghanistan, is a must-have in vegetarian cooking. The gum resin found in the roots of the Ferula plant is used to make this spice. It is dried and powdered into a coarse yellow powder after extraction. The spice is also known as stinking gum due to its strong odour. Hing, unlike other spices, is not something that can be sprinkled on top of a meal. Hing must be cooked immediately in the pan with ghee or oil in order for the powerful perfume to disappear and the bitterness to fade. The flavour has been compared to leeks and garlic. Hing has been used in dals and vegetable curries and is frequently combined with turmeric, cumin powder, and red chilli powder. Hing is utilised as a digestive aid in Ayurvedic medicine.

Nigella Seeds (Kalonji)

Nigella sativa is a Mediterranean plant from which these seeds are derived. “Black cumin”, “black caraway”, and “onion seed” are other names for them. The aroma and flavour of Kalonji are robust, with undertones of oregano, onion, and black pepper. The flavour is described as nutty and smokey. It is preferable to use them whole rather than ground, as this brings out their underlying bitter flavour. Kalonji is considered a top herbal remedy in many cultures. These black seeds can be found in naan bread and achari meals including achari aloo, achari paneer, and achari bhindi in Indian cuisine.

Nutmeg (Jayphal)

Nutmeg, like cinnamon and clove, is a traditional autumn spice because it evokes feelings of warmth. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice latte, and candied pecans are just a few of the dishes and drinks that contain this flavour. Nutmeg can be used in both savoury and sweet recipes. Korma, biryani,
puran poli, and ukadiche modak are some of the Indian recipes that use nutmeg. The seed of the tree is ground into nutmeg powder. It’s a powerful spice with a strong and distinct aroma. The flavour is characterised as mildly sweet and nutty.

Spices and herbs are essential components of Indian cuisine. The infrastructure of Indian food is spices. They come in a variety of forms, including whole, powder, a combination of many spices, and paste.

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