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Inside Kendall

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Indian Spices

The complex and fragrant dishes Indian cuisine is known for can be quite intimidating,Indian Spices - Easy Indian Recipes even for accomplished chefs. If you’re ready to try your hand at some of your favorite Indian dishes first buy a reliable cookbook with a variety of easy Indian food recipes.

Leave the more complicated dishes for after you’ve mastered the elements of Indian cooking. There’s no need to travel to a local Indian market to find the right spices – simply shop for these main ingredients to start:

  • Turmeric – Turmeric provides a host of health benefits: turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and an antibacterial. Not to mention that turmeric increases the antioxidant capacity of your entire body! The strong color that you probably associate with Indian food is due to the turmeric present in nearly all curry powder. Turmeric should be considered as a base spice that blends well with other spices and complements most anything you’d add to an Indian dish.
  • Cumin – The distinct earthy flavor of cumin is prevalent in many classic Indian dishes. Many yogurt-based sides can be brought to life by adding a dash of cumin to bring out a nuttiness and depth that otherwise might be missing. The unmistakable brown seeds and intense smoky fragrances that accompany them are a staple of any kitchen where Indian food is prepared. For the most concentrated flavor make use of cumin in your dishes right after grinding the seeds.
  • Coriander – The gentle golden coriander seeds are arguably the oldest known spice in the world, and ground coriander is used as the base spice for countless Indian spice mixes.  Coriander boasts a refreshing zing of citrus-y lemon flavor to balance out more intense spices. Coriander, like cumin, should be dry-roasted for the richest flavor profile. You can eat coriander seeds by themselves as a digestive or as a mouth refresher.
  • Mustard Seed – Mustard seeds are very aromatic, used in a range of dishes to flavor anything from vegetables and pickles to coconuts. Mustard oil is commonly used in North India in the kitchen as a general substitute for vegetable oil. Don’t be confused when you go to the store – black, yellow, or brown mustard seeds can be used interchangeably. Mustard seeds pack a punch: they’re great sources of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and omega-2 fatty acids.
  • Clove – Cloves are technically flowers, and if you decide to incorporate clove into one of your first Indian dishes flavor with caution: clove can overpower more subtle spices if you’re too excessive. The high concentration of essential oils within clove gives the spice an almost medicinal flavor. While you may not use whole clove in your recipes you’ll find that clove serves as a central ingredient for many Indian spice mixes. After a quick trip to your neighborhood grocer you can be preparing your first Indian dish.

Interested in learning more? incorporated into exciting Check out all the exciting recreational classes offered at Kendall to master several regional cooking styles.

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