There is a saying “we live to eat and sleep.” This is a statement that is true for well at least most of us. We love to tuck into a diversity of cuisines especially if its Indian. Speaking of eating, do you enjoy cooking? I am sure you do, so are you trying to find ways to add flavours to your food? Spices is your answer. It says a lot about a cuisine of a place and is used in several savoury and sweet foods. Any dish can be made to look and taste interesting with a little spice. You can always look at recipes that have one or more spices in them. In fact, before we go any further, do you know where they come from?
List Of Spices According To Their Origin:
A part of a plant, the kind of flavour or spice mixture are some of the ways spices are categorised. For instance, cajun spice, curry spice, jerk spice and garam masala are spices that are often used together in creating a fine dish.
- Hot spices like pepper, cayenne pepper, hot paprika, chili and fennel
- Sweet spice like cardamom, cinnamon, saffron and coriander
- Common spice like black pepper, garlic and ginger
- Popular spices like paprika, garlic and chili
Different types of spices with their Pictures and Names:
As we know there are a lot of spices present across the globe so let’s have a look at them one by one as to how they are important and how you can use them in your kitchen to make your food more interesting and tasty:
Also known as Allium sativum, garlic is one of the most common spices used in every meal, all over the world. Despite the punjet smell, it is does give a unique taste and seasoning to a dish. In order to improve the taste and offer good seasoning, garlic can be crushed, chopped or used in powder form.
One of the oldest spices in the world, Cinnamon comes from Elettaria cardamom, a dried fruit, indigenous to southwest India. Used in Nordic baked goods and Arabic coffee, the spice offers a warm, sweet, floral and fruity flavour. Mysore, Eucalyptus notes, and malabar are the main kinds of cardamom.
Ginger offers a bold, pungent and sweet-spicy flavor, used in a variety of desserts like pumpkin pie and gingerbread. Most people have often described its taste as peppery and fierce with hints of lemon. With all kinds of health and medicinal benefits, ginger is used a digestive air and is known to cure a cold, flu and cough. Fresh ginger is used in various cuisines like soups, stews and curries.
A blend of bitter, spicy flavour, Turmeric is a famous Indian spice also known as Indian saffron and yellow ginger. Gained its fame to claim as the golden spice, it is now being used in drinks like the golden latte. Out of the millions of spices, turmeric is packed with anti-oxidant and anti- inflammatory properties. It is said to prevent cancer and cure arteritis. The consumption of Turmeric goes back to the Vedic culture in India.
Offering a highly distinctive taste, Saffron is known for its floral, honey like fragrance that offers food an aromatic smell. It is the stigma of crocus flowers and is a stunning rich dark red colour. The spice is used to treat dry skin, asthma and menstrual symptoms.
Consumed and used all over the world, pepper is added to every dish one can imagine. Originated from the Malabar region and Western ghats, black pepper comes from the berries of the pepper plant. Did you know besides being a spice, it was once used a currency as well? It is true and was also used a sacred offering. It does offer a spicy taste and used to offer a heat kick to several recipes and dishes.
Mace Spice consists of Aril which is a dried or lacy covering of the nutmeg fruit and tastes almost the same as Nutmeg but milder.Used in various desserts to savoury roast meats, Mace is a spice used in lasagne, stews, sausages, pastries, sauces for fish and pickle, jam and desserts.
As the name suggests, it is a nut or seed that can be grounded in fine powder to be added to sweet and savoury food to give it a warm spicy flavour. Nutmeg has a fragrant aroma and a warming sweet taste to be added to the different cuisines. Nutmeg is often combined with cinnamon in spices and used in different Indonesian, Indian, and European Cuisines to give it an amazing taste and aroma. Nutmeg can be used with tomato dishes and for drinks like mulled wine.
Universal seasoning and a ubiquitous item, Paprika is a blend of dried peppers, both hot and sweet. Used to season dishes, garnish foods and add colour to a recipe, paprika is a versatile spice. It can be mild and sweet to spicy to smoked depending on the kind of paprika.
From the family of capsicum, Cayenne pepper is also known as Capsicum annuum, said to be rich in Vitamin B,C, E and K. It consists of rich amounts of potassium, calcium, manganese and fiber. It is finely powdered from dried leaves of cayenne pepper.
Foeniculum vulgare also known as fennel, grows in countries France, Italy, and Spain too. Fennel spice is similar to anise seeds. In exotic dishes, the ground fennel seeds are used as a spice in Chinese food. Moreover, it is the main ingredient of Indian cuisine.
Coriander seeds are also another kind of spice that is sweet citrusy in taste and it is used in many Indian and Mexican dishes. The lemon flavour of any spice can be enhanced by adding a small amount of Coriander Seed.
Often used in baking, caraway seeds are often found in rye and soda bread. Besides in baking, caraway seed are used giving curries, soups, sausages and vegetables flavour. The seeds blended with garlic, pork and cabbage taste amazing. With seeds, the caraway seeds are often used as herbs in salads, soups and stews.
Rape, oilseed rape, rapeseeds and canola are some of the other names mustard seeds is known by and is one of leading source of vegetable oil in the world. It is rich in protein and an essential source of cattle and poultry feed. The use of mustard seeds as a spice dates back to 3000 BCE. The spice is used in Indian, Bangladesh, Mediterranean and German cuisine.
Member of the parsley family, cumin is a spice made from Cuminum cyminum, a dried seed of a plant. It is one of the most popular spices used in Latin American, Middle Eastern, North African and Indian cuisine. Apart from its unique taste and aroma, it is said that cumin seeds do have several benefits like rich in protein and dietary fibre.
Cloves are dried buds with an intense aroma and sweet taste. This spice is used in several cuisines, especially deserts across the globe. To improve the taste of a dish, cloves are said to be medicinal spices that work wonders for the body. This tiny spice is rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Folate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Vitamin D, Omega 3 fatty acids. Besides food, cloves are also used in tea for medicinal purposes.
Star Anise offers a whole new level of flavours and aroma to Indian and Chinese cuisine. It is an unusual spice known to most as star aniseed or Chinese or Indian anise. Fruit of an evergreen tree, it is native to China and northern Vietnam.
The botanical name of Sumac is Rhus Coriaria. These are red-colored berries that are obtained from the Sumac plant. This is a flowering shrub and it is found in Africa, Eastern Asian regions, and North America. These deep reddish-purple berries have a tangy lemon taste. It is known for its zesty tartness.
With a diverse range of spices, people can cook some of the most divine cuisines at home or tuck into some of the best at restaurants. Spices do bring out the flavours and aroma of a dish. So, which one would you prefer using or rather which one do you like the best?
Different spices, different tastes, and different moods!