Spices in India

Indian foods or cuisines get its flavorful aroma from the usage of subtle and sophisticated herbs and spices. These herbs and spices characterize any Indian cuisine and play a very important role in Indian cooking. No Indian food is complete without the spices. Spices in India has a great role to play in adding flavor to the daily food. Some spices are used for making the food more flavorful, some spices are used for adding special aroma to the food whereas some spices are used for complementing other spices in the food.

In the ancient times, spices were regarded as precious as gold and such the variety of spices in India that traders from foreign countries used to sail to India for the trading of spices. India plays a very important role in the world market of spices. The spices in India are broadly categorized into three categories – basic, complementary and aromatic.

The basic spices are the ones that are used in most of our daily cooking. These spices are the basic stuff that you would need in your everyday cooking. The basic spices include jeera or cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black mustard seeds, turmeric, red chili in both powder and whole forms, Asafetida or hing etc. The complementary spices are the ones that are specially added to the Indian cooking to add some extra flavor to the food. These spices are used in combination of both basic and aromatic spices depending upon the dish that is being prepared. This category of spices includes fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, carom seeds and some others. The aromatic spices, as the name suggests, are the spices that add aroma to the food. The most commonly used aromatic spices are green & black cardamom, cinnamon sticks, cloves, nutmeg, mace, white & black peppercorns, saffron and bay leaves.

Certain spices in India also bestow certain medicinal benefits as well. The most common spice, turmeric, is one among them. Turmeric is an antioxidant and is known to fight and manage cancer. Turmeric also helps in curing inflammation of body joints and also in detoxification of liver. Asafetida or hing is useful in treating asthma, coughs and bronchitis. It also helps in improving digestion along with giving flavor to the food. Ginger, a commonly used herb, is beneficial in relieving from cold & cough, joint pains and regulating blood pressure. Other spices like black peppercorns, cumin seeds, cardamoms, cinnamon, clove and saffron also fall under this category.

The spices in India is a vast area of exploration. Just one blog post is not enough to describe every intricate detail of the spices in India. However, one thing can be stated that if you want your food to be spicy, flavorful and aromatic Indian spices would be your first choice.

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My Love for Cooking

Good food has always been a weak point for me. But it’s not that I just only eat… I cook too… Yes, you got it right. I love cooking.

Cooking is a kind of a refresher or a stress buster for me and I never get bored with cooking. I won’t say that everything I cook are mind-blowingly tasty… after all am not a professional chef… What I can say is most of my creations come out well. And the biggest critic for my creations is my wife Manasi. Who else can get these recipes tasted and tested.

My love for cooking is not recent. I started cooking since my teenage days. I started cooking from the time when I was in 8th standard. It was necessary that time as my mom had to go to the places, at least for few days, where my dad was posted for his job. I being the eldest among us three siblings I had to take care of the cooking. It started then.

I got into full-fledged cooking when I was doing my post-graduation studies. I used to stay in a rented house with a couple of my friends and I was taking care of cooking – well most of the time. I used to enjoy it and never used to get bored or annoyed. I started making experiments with my recipes and the best part was my roommates had never complained.

My cooking started taking the flight and I started loving it more in the last 5-6 years. I got my wife by my side. She is very supportive and also likes to experiment just like me. We together try making something or the other new and innovative using the regular stuff. I have experimented with a curry paste in my cooking journey, which is purely vegetarian. That curry paste can be used for preparing dum aloo. I’ve prepared it and captured in this video. My wife tried some experimental recipe as well. One of them is a chicken recipe that I have captured in this video here.

I feel pretty happy while cooking. My blog earlier was more like recipe documentation but as the time progressed it got changed into something different that captures everything. But my love for cooking made me to think of a name that goes well and hence I came up with the name The Mixed Flavors.

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