When it comes to Indian food, it doesn't take less than a potions master to understand and use the variety of herbs and spices that go into a single dish. These herbs and spices, each with a unique flavor, come together to add to the allure of Indian cuisine. While the correct combination of these herbs and spices can create flavourful magic, they also play a very important role individually to provide unique flavor profiles and cultural significance.
Let’s take a look at some of the herbs and spices most used in Indian cuisine and their importance.
Also called Elaichi, this one is a staple of every Indian kitchen. If you’ve ever had masala chai, one of the reasons for the rich flavor and the comforting tasting is the addition of cardamom to the chai. Cardamom, with its range of health benefits, is also famously added in many other iconic Indian dishes, including the biryani. Its versatile usage extends from drinks to both savory and sweet dishes. Used extensively in Indian cuisine, it not only adds aroma to the cuisine, but also provides it with a complex depth.
If you’ve tried and loved golden milk this winter, then you can thank Indian cuisine. Turmeric is the golden (literally) child of Indian cuisine, with its range of health benefits and rich color. Turmeric is a staple addition of almost each and every indian dish, making it a cornerstone of indian culinary tradition and giving it cultural significance. Its healing properties make it a winter favorite, with not only comfort but also good health being a promise of turmeric milk.
The very definition of small role, big impact; this spice is an extremely sublime but important addition to indian cuisine. Only a pinch of this pungent resin adds a distinct umami flavor to the dish, instantly enhancing the taste and richness of the dish. The masterful addition of this spice to the dish, by combining it with the other spices adds a layer of depth to any dish and makes it more Indian, instantly elevating the overall flavor.
Another one of the staple spices used in Indian cuisine, this spice is generally used in curries and stews in order to create a well-rounded dish. With a rich and nutty flavor, this spice is also celebrated for its medicinal properties and is a staple of every Indian household. Used in popular Indian dishes such as the butter chicken, Indian food would truly feel incomplete without this spice.
Used as a popular seasoning for curries, rice and breads, this spice is an underrated gem. With a warm and nutty flavor, black cumin plays a huge role in enhancing the taste and aroma of various dishes. Black cumin seeds are added to everyday recipes and contribute to the dish by not only adding flavor, but also by promoting digestion and improving gut health. Black cumin has a subtle presence in Indian cuisine but has an extremely distinctive presence.
Famous for its digestive properties, ajwain is an extremely important spice used in Indian cuisine. Used to add a more intense flavor to any dish, this spice is similar to thyme but considerably more aromatic. Its antibacterial properties make it important in ayurveda as well as cuisine. Therefore, ajwain holds a lot of cultural and culinary significance and is a staple of every Indian kitchen.
All of these, and many more herbs and spices together make up the various flavorful Indian dishes we enjoy so much. Chef Bombay brings each of these spices together in the perfect blend to allow you to enjoy the rich flavor of Indian frozen food.