Today I am going to highlight Indian Herbs & Spices. Many of these spices are in the Asian Home Gourmet spices pastes the Marina Market staff favorite. They are easy to use and are all natural with no additives. As I have said before I do not limit myself to the recipe on the back of the package, I use the paste as a spice blend added to my normal seasonal cooking.
Cardamon / Elaichi
Cardamom is commonly referred to as the ‘Queen of Spices’. It is a very versatile spice with many uses in Indian cuisine and is also believed to aid digestion and act as a breath freshener.
Black Onion Seed –Kalonji / Nigella Sativa
Kalonji is the dried, seed-like fruit of a small herb. It is usually dry roasted or fried to develop the flavour. The seeds are used in bread doughs, such as naan and kulchas and are also used in salads and pickles.
Chillies / Mirch
Immature chillies are green - when they ripen they become yellow, orange, red, brown or purple. Chillies range in heat from mild to very hot. The heat from chillies comes from capsaicin in their seeds, fleshy parts and skin.
Cinnamon / Dalchini
Cinnamon is the bark of the cassia tree. It is used to flavour rice, curries and desserts. It is either sold as sticks or as a ground powder, which is an integral part of the standard blend of Garam Masala.
Clove / Laung / Lavang
Cloves are the unopened red flower buds of the clove tree and can be used whole or ground. Cloves have an extremely strong, pungent and aromatic flavour with warm notes of pepper and camphor.
Coriander Leaves, Cilantro / Hara Dhania
Coriander is one of the most commonly used herbs in India. The flavour of coriander leaves has both lemon and ginger notes.
Coriander Seed / Dhanina
Coriander seeds are greenish-grey in colour. Roasted coriander powder is an indispensable item in the Indian spice box.
Cumin / Jeera
The flavour of cumin seeds is rich, slightly bitter, earthy and warm. Cumin powder is also an important ingredient of Garam Masala and Panchphoran.
Curry Leaves / Kadi Patta
Curry leaves come from a small, deciduous tree that grows wild in the Himalayan foothills. Fresh curry leaves give off an intensely aromatic, spicy aroma with a citrus note.
Popular Indian Dishes
Tomato, Chilli Cumin (Hot)
A Vindaloo is traditionally one of the hottest dishes on an Indian restaurant menu. This popular Goan dish was introduced by the Portuguese, ‘Vinha dalhos’ which literally means ‘with vinegar and garlic’ are the key ingredients forthis dish’s marinade.
Tomato Coriander (Hot)
Madras is a region in southern India which is famous for its hot & spicy food.This dish has strong cumin and fenugreek notes.
Coriander Lemon (Medium)
Chicken Tikka Masala is a dish that was created in the UK -consisting of blending ‘Tikka’, the marinated chicken pieces which were traditionally cooked in the tandoor oven, in a ‘masala’ which means a mixture of garlic and spices.
Cumin Chilli (Medium)
Balti is a distinctive blend of tomatoes, onion, cumin and chilli. Balti’s literal translation means ‘bucket’ - the container which was traditionally used for serving food at Southern Indian wedding banquets.
Sweet Peppers Coconut (Mild)
Originating from Kashmir, Jalfrezi is the delicious sauce that blends together tomatoes, spices, coconut and red peppers - it is the peppers that bring the sweetness to this dish. The word ‘Jalfrezi’ means stir-fried dishes.
Coconut Almond (Mild)
With North Indian origins, Korma is a classic creamy Indian dish which was traditionally served in Royal Moghul households. The word ‘Korma’ literally means to braise.
Tomato, Garlic, Ginger Tamarind (Mild)
A rich, creamy tomato sauce, incorporating butter as its name suggests, with a distinctive chargrilled flavour - replicating the taste of the Tandoor oven used in North Indian cooking.
Tamarind & Ginger (Mild)
Tandoori is the generic name for any marinated ingredients cooked in the Tandoor oven. Ingredients marinated in Tandoori paste have a vivid pinky/red colour.