Indian cuisine is famous for its use of a wide range and complex use of spices that are married together to make intense, aromatic and flavourful dishes. These spices, which are referred to as masala in the Hindi culture, are the fundamental requirements of any authentic Indian kitchen.
Many people are afraid even at the very mention of spices. However, these people fail to realise that the use of spices doesn’t mean that it will make your food hot and spicy. The majority of Indian spices are used in order to give the food flavour, rather than heat. Different spices and different combinations of spices give each dish a unique, distinct and aromatic flavour, that won’t always have you breathing fire at the first bite.
Each individual spice has its own unique characteristics and flavours. However, when they are combined with a selection of other spices, the flavours interact and merge together, creating a very different taste and changing their unique qualities. This fusion of contrasting flavours is what makes Indian cuisine so popular today.
Many spices also have health benefits and are used for medicinal purposes and even for the prevention of diseases. Some can also be used for the preservation of perishable foods.
Depending on the area of India, or Asia, where each dish originates from, different spices will vary in their use, availability and popularity. For example, some spices that are very popular in southern India, may not be held in such high regard in the northern areas.
Some of the most commonly known and widely used spices in Indian cuisine include: Saffron, Cardamom, Chilli, Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander seeds.
So, if you’re guilty of hiding behind a Chicken Korma because you have been scared to try the flavours of traditional Indian spices, remember that using them will not always make a dish fiery hot. If you’re ready to try something new, visit Westbourne Spice and get ready for a taste sensation you will not forget.