Spice box found in all Indian kitchen. This acts both as a time saver as well as a space saver.
This Indian spice box contains basic spices for daily use all at one place. This box saves a lot of time as it does not require opening several lids.
Each spice has a unique flavour, health benefits, & medicinal purpose to prevent disease & also to preserve food.
People keep different kinds of spices in their spice box depending on what they mostly use in their kitchen.
My box contains:-
- Jeera (Cumin Seeds) :- Has a warm earthy aroma. Used in mostly every dal and vegetable in tempering. Roasted cumin seeds impart a very unique and smoky flavour to food. Cumin seeds not only promote taste but promote the digestive system and help in losing weight.
- Haldi (Turmeric Powder) :- Gives yellow colour to food and has numerous antibacterial properties.
- Dhaniya Powder (Coriander seeds powder) :- Gives that fulfilling taste to almost every sabzi aka vegetable also helps in treating skin inflammation & improves skin appearance. Avoid using store bought packaged coriander powder. As they sit on shelves too long and lose all its freshness. Buy coriander seeds and grind in the mixer in small quantity to be used until a month.
- Lal Mirch Powder (Red Chilli Powder) :- Made from dried red chilli and add spiciness or hotness to the food. It is a natural way to expel parasites in the stomach when mixed well with food. It also enhances immunity and maintains good eye-sight. Should be used in moderation or else cause other problems.
- Ajwain (Carom Seeds) :- Used in bread, parantha & in various other snacks. Whenever my tummy was upset my mum used to give me a spoonful mixture of carom seeds and hing. Oh, and there is this amazing recipe of Masala swirl bread with Indian herbs a must try.
- Salt:- Everything tastes bland without salt. So its a must in everyday cooking except in sweet dish.
Some other important spices of Indian cooking
Hing (Asafetida) :- Usually hard solid form & to be powdered before it is used for cooking. Hard solid form retains its aroma longer than ground powder & use a mortar & a pestle to grind it as you need. Should be stored in airtight container. Gives smooth pleasant flavour when added to the oil. Also, an important ingredient while making tadka in Indian cooking. It’s extremely beneficial in Indigestion, gastric and other tummy related problems.
Rai Mustard Seeds:- These seeds usually used to temper/season food by adding them to hot oil. Also used in making pickles. Good for fighting Cancer and Asthma.
Garam Masala:- Different spices such as jeera, jaiphal, javitri, badi elaichi, tej patta, laung, peepal, saunth, kali mirch grind together in different proportions to form this all-purpose spice mix. Can be added in any dal(lentil) or sabzi(vegetable) to enhance its taste.
- The very basic thing of cooking most any vegetable you are preparing is to heat a tablespoon of oil and add different spices such as hing, jeera, haldi, dhaniya powder, lal mirch or any other spice you want to add. Then immediately after one minute add boiled or not boiled vegetable to it. And then roast or cook properly on medium to low flame.
- While you prepare any dal of your choice what’s important in that is to add tempering, prepare that oil and spice mixture and add it over boiled lentil or dal. And then just cook for a few minutes.
- Don’t overdo your dishes with herbs and spices
- Some less frequently used spices are cinnamon, cloves, cardamom etc. I’ll edit this post later to add some extra spices and their uses and benefits.