Many people find Indian cooking intimidating as it requires a number of spices and condiments. However, spices India has to offer are quite simple to figure out if you can identify and understand them.
Here is a list of 10 of the most important spices in India:
Clove’s anise-like flavor can be quite potent. Hence, it should be used with caution, as it has the ability to overpower other spices that are used in Indian cooking.
Spice exporters export two types of cardamom. These are black and green cardamom. The green variety is common and used in desserts as well in savory dishes. It is one of the main ingredients is the famous Indian garam masala. Black cardamom is quite flavourful and hence, used minimally. Usually, just the seeds and not the pod is used.
Cinnamon is one of the most important spices in India. It is used in curries as well as in desserts. It is extremely flavourful and hence, should be used with caution.
4. Black Pepper
Black pepper is used whole or ground in Indian cuisine. It is one of the magical ingredients in garam masala and is used to give dishes a piquancy that is different from chilies.
Cumin can be used whole or in a spice mix in India dishes. It has a smoky flavor and an intense fragrance. It burns very easily when it is dry roasted and hence, you should not roast it longer than 30 seconds, at the most.
6. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds perhaps are one of the most common spices used in most Indian homes. The seeds are tiny and come with citrus overtones. It is an aromatic spice that is usually ground and used on its own in curries or in a spice blend.
Nutmeg is used in many Indian preparations. Nutmeg is a long-lasting spice and it is best to buy it whole and grate as and when required. It has a delicate flavor, which deteriorates quickly once the nutmeg is ground or grated.
8. Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds are black, brown and yellow in color. The nutty and smoky flavor of the seeds enhances spice blends and curries. It is ubiquitously used in western and south Indian cuisine.
9. Fenugreek Seeds
It is one of the most important ingredients in the famous Madras curry powder. It is responsible for imparting the curry flavor to the powder. The fragrance of the fenugreek seeds is quite potent and hence, should be used in limited quantity.
Indian cooking cannot take place without turmeric. It is used in powder form and imparts a lovely golden color to curries. It is an antiseptic and also a flavor enhancer.
These are the most common and important spices in India. You will be able to find all these spices in Mumbai and any other Indian cities with ease. Spice exporters also ship these spices to different corners of the world so that people can enjoy Indian cuisine anywhere and anytime.