Spices are the heart of Indian cuisine.Every part of India has the distinctive list of spices which is used in the cooking.I grew up in North Indian household.For higher studies and work thereafter i moved around to South India.Food could not have been any different.I had lots of adapting to do.It took me a while to adjust to the taste of curry leaves and Tamarind.And i am so glad i did.
There are different category of spices used in Indian cooking.Each has different purpose and different use .I will keep adding to this list.For now,let me focus on the following.
Seasoning Spices:Indian cooking involves seasoning the oil,you are going to cook with.By that i mean,before we add vegetable or meat to cook in the heated oil.It is seasoned with mix of ‘whole’ spices.We let it splutter and bloom in the hot oil before adding anything to it.It is very important that Oil is hot,not smoking and burning, before you add the spices.If you add your veg/meat before spices had the chance to mingle with oil,it will hold back its essential taste.
Special Occasion Spices:This list of spices are fragrant.Tend to be too strong for everyday use but great for special occasion.If you are thinking why not make everyday occasion as special occasion.You can,however make sure your food can handle these potent spices and not get overwhelmed by it.
Exotic Spices:After coming to US,i have the oppurtunity to taste the spices which i didn’t growing up.I use lots of spices which either we didn’t use back home or we used differently.Like Oregano.We used Oregano seeds back home but not Oregano leaves.