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12 Essential Spices for South Asian Cooking


 

Just a pinch of spice has the power to add a unique distinctive flavour to your food. In this blog we will be exploring many of the signature spices used in Indian cooking. We've put together the ultimate reference guide filled with a global list of spices. Ready to get cooking?

The infinite variations & combination of spices bring incredible variety to any food.


WHAT ARE SPICES?

Spices are aromatic flavorings from seeds, fruits, bark, rhizomes, and other plant parts. Used in to season and preserve food, and as medicines, dyes, and perfumes, spices have been highly valued as trade goods for thousands of years.

✅ Did You Know? - The word spice comes from the Latin species, which means merchandise, or wares.

 

ORGANIC SPICES

If you are looking to explore about spices, do check out our full range of organic spices on bloomorganicbazaar.com. Click here. The Bloom Organic spices are not only well known for their taste, freshness, colour but also are certified organic, Heavy Metal tested and never irradiated. The premium quality spices are grown in regions which are traditionally famous for a particular spice and are sourced from farmers directly which ensures full traceability, certification of each package and ethical fair trade practices. 

 

Turmeric (Haldi)
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Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice that comes from the turmeric plant with a powerful compound called curcumin. It belongs to the ginger family and naturally occurs in Southern Asia and India. It has a fragrant aroma and slightly bitter taste. It is used as a common culinary spice in Indian cuisine to flavour or colour curry powders, and curries.

✅ Did You Know: Turmeric has a limited bioavailbility. It is best absorbed in the body when paired with good quality, healthy fats, black pepper (or both). One study concluded that Pepper (piperine) increases the bioavailability of Turmeric (curcumin) by 2000%. lTurmeric has a low solubility in water. However, curcuminoids are lipophilic The curcumin will bind to fat and is then more easily absorbed by our gut.



Cinnamon (Daal Chini)
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Cinnamon Sticks comes from the family of Cinnamomum and is an ethically sourced hand-selected spice. A natural whole spice and enriched in mineral content. Bloom Organic Cinnamon sticks are free of any chemical pesticide, chemical fertilizer, additives, preservatives and are non-irradiated. This delicious spice not only delights the taste buds but also acts as a wonderfully invigorating tonic to enliven the body and mind.

✅ Did You Know: Cinnamon is often used in traditional medicine and also has many alternative benefits such as for beauty products and the house.





Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
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Cumin seeds also known as Jeera are oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged extremely aromatic with a warm spicy, slightly bitter and earthy flavor.  An essential flavour in many cuisines, cumin seeds have many health benefits and medicinal properties.

Cumin Powder (Jeera Powder)
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Cumin powder is made from grounded cumin seeds. Cumin powder is used in Asian cuisine as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma.


✅ Did You Know: Modern research has confirmed cumin may help rev up normal digestion. Cumin also increases the release of bile from the liver.



Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
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Distinctly aromatic coriander seeds are one of the common spice ingredients popularly known as Dhania in India. Coriander seeds are plump and brown in colour, have a hollow cavity which bears essential oils that lend to the flavour of the dishes when used in cooking.  Apart from being a popular spice in the kitchen coriander seeds are also known for their medicinal properties.

Coriander Powder (Dhaniya Powder)
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Grounded from coriander seeds, coriander powder is an essential condiment in the Indian cuisine. Very few dishes can be made without the touch of coriander powder. It has a pleasing aroma and savour. 


✅ Did You Know: Coriander was mentioned in the Bible, and the seeds have been found in ruins dating back to 5000 BC.



Mustard Seed (Rai Daana, Sarson Daana)
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The mustard seeds has been celebrated in ancient scriptures of many cultures. But what the world knows and appreciates more is the great taste and flavour it lends to several popular dishes, especially the seeds originating in the Indian subcontinent. Bloom Organic Mustard Seeds are richer in flavour and free of chemical contaminants. 

✅ Did You Know: Mustard is one of the world’s oldest spices and condiments known to mankind! More than 700 million pounds of mustard are consumed worldwide every year!


 



Fenugreek Seeds (Methde, Methi Daana)
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Fenugreek is an herb similar to clover that is native to the Mediterranean region, southern Europe, and western Asia. Fenugreek is used in a wide range of culinary recipes either in the forms of whole seeds, sprouted, powder, sauce or as a paste.

✅ Did You Know: Fenugreek seeds have a healthy nutritional profile, containing a good amount of fiber and minerals, including iron and magnesium.




Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
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Fennel is a flowering plant species in the carrot family. Native to the Mediterranean, it has become widely popular in many countries for its highly aroma, flavour and its culinary and medicinal uses. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as an anise-flavored spice.

✅ Did You Know: Eating fennel and its seeds may benefit heart health in a number of ways, as they’re packed with fiber — a nutrient shown to reduce certain heart disease risk factors like high cholesterol.




Chilli Powder (Mirchi)
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Chili powder is made from dried chili peppers. It is used as a spice to add a spicy flavour to dishes. Cuisines such as American, Tex-Mex, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Mexican, Portuguese and Thai all use chili powder in their dishes.


Amchur Powder (Mango Powder)
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Amchur powder is a sour and tangy spice made from green mangos that have been dried and powdered. It is used to add sourness to recipes, much like one would use vinegar or lemon juice.

A great taste enhancer when added to dozens of traditional Indian dishes, Bloom Organic Amchur powder is especially well-received for its tarty/sweet taste and is delicious when added to Indian snack items like Chaats and Subzis. Add a spoonful next time you make your favourite dal tadka and taste the difference.


Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
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Ajwain (pronounced uj-wine) is a seed-like fruit often used in Indian cooking as part of a spice mixture. It looks similar to fennel and cumin seeds and is highly fragrant, smelling like thyme. Its taste, however, is more like oregano and anise due to the bitter notes and strong flavor. Because of its pungency, a little goes a long way.

✅ Did You Know: Because of its strong, dominant flavor, ajwain is used in small quantities and is almost always cooked. In Indian recipes, ajwain is used in curries and as a tadka in pakoras and dals, as well as a flavoring in breads. Ajwain is valued for its healing and curative properties and has been used for ages as a medicinal ingredient in Ayurveda.

 



Garam Masala
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Garam masala is a balanced blend of ground spices used extensively in Indian cuisine. The spices for garam masala are usually toasted to bring out more flavor and aroma, and then ground. The word masala simply means "spices," and garam means "hot." However, garam masala doesn't necessarily constitute a particularly spicy blend. Garam masala will usually consist of : Coriander, Cumin, Black Cardamom, Cloves, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Bay Leaf


✅ Did You Know:  If you are buying garam masala, you will need to read the ingredients in order to determine which spices are is included. 



 

SOURCE:
www.webmd.com
www.healthline.com

 

 

 

 

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