Spices are the soul of Indian food. Along with adding flavour and colour, spices add many other benefits to our food. Each cuisine favours a set of spices that are locally available and indigenous to that region of the country. Often these spices are combined, roasted, and blended together to create spice mixes which can be stored and used for cooking. These spice blends form the base of many acclaimed Indian dishes. Having these spice blends on your kitchen shelf is a great idea as it can let you prepare some great dishes in a jiffy.
Here’s a list of essential spice blends to add to your shopping list.
One of the most famous spice blends in India, Garam Masala combines warming spices such as cinnamon, clove, turmeric, black pepper, etc. Although mostly used in North Indian food such as tandoori chicken and all types of biryanis and paneer gravies, garam masala has now become a common and permanent ingredient in kitchens all over India. Garam masala is an ayurvedic blend of spices that is good for digestion and beneficial to the whole body. Not only does it help in weight management, but it also helps improve one’s immunity and maintain cholesterol, which is a boon for one’s heart health. As this masala is widely used, it is easily available in stores. To get the authentic taste and goodness of, try Tata Sampann Garam masala which preserves the natural oils and uses only the best spices as ingredients.
As the name indicates, this spice blend consists of five different spices – cumin (jeera) , fennel seeds (saunf) , fenugreek seeds (methi dana) , black mustard seeds (rai) , and nigella (kalonji). These spices are known to have a positive effect on the digestive process, having health benefits such as better digestion, reducing acidity, and helping with nausea. Panch Phoron originates from Bengal and is frequently used in many Bengali dishes such as Bengali Charchari and Kumro-Chingri Botti. These spices are dry roasted and ground together before use. The combination of these spices transforms the whole dish adding taste and irresistible aroma to every preparation.
Concocted in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, this versatile spice is frequently used to flavour curries, meats, rice dishes and it is even used as a chutney! If you have tried Chettinad Kozhi, you have experienced the magic of this masala. Chettinad masala consists of a number of spices such a red chilies, black peppercorns, carom seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, mace etc. which contribute to spice quotient of this masala. Chettinad is a spicy and aromatic masala, the delicate balance of the various spices in this masala not only adds taste but also enhances the texture of the dish. Additionally, its antimicrobial properties help fight bacteria, and it aids in digestion as well as helps battle blood pressure-related health problems.
This spice blend comes from the coastal region of Maharashtra. Most Konkani dishes use this blend of more than 20 spices to create the signature taste associated with this cuisine. Malvani masala is used extensively to add flavour to sea food, curries and vegetables. This masala is made by carefully adding the spices in the right proportion, roasting and blending them together. Once made Malvani masala can be stored for months, ready to invigorate any dish. Next time you try some kombdi vade or lip smacking Konkani seafood, remember the secret to its mouth-watering taste is the Malvani masala. Also, doctors recommend the consumption of spice-laced masala foods, especially Malvani masala, especially in large polluted cities of India, to protect its inhabitants from harmful environmental impacts.
If you have these spice blends handy, you can try a variety of different dishes from these cuisines. Get the authentic taste by using only pure spice blends and spices with all of their natural goodness intact.
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