Spices add taste, flavour, aroma, colour and “bite” to all Indian food.The history and culture of Indian spices is probably as old as human civilisation itself.Spices
Aromatic spices are the essence of Indian cuisine, giving Indian foods its distinct flavour. Spices were originally used in Indian cooking to not only season, but to preserve food as refrigeration was not around. Many spices also have medicinal uses and are used for many home remedies. The story of Indian Spices dates back to 7000 years into the past.
It is a checkered history of lands discovered or destroyed, kingdoms built or brought down, wars won or lost, treaties signed or flouted, favours sought or offered.
Indian Culinary Terms & Spices
Chillies – a gift from the Gods
It is hard to imagine Asian food without chillies. Chilli is grown throughout India and is used in almost all dishes. Chillies are of numerous variety and their degree of pungency varies. As a general rule the smaller the chilli, the hotter it is. Fresh, dried, powdered and flaked chillies are used in sauces, sambals and pastes. Chillies are used in various dishes. Dry chilli gives a red colour and makes the dish attractive. In India, chillies are soaked in yoghurt and salt and dried in the sun for storing. These are called ‘chilli tairu’, and are treated like fiery papadums, being fried in oil until crisp and eaten with rice.