Indian Spices

Indian Spices

The secret of the masterly art of Indian cooking requires a thorough knowledge of the properties of each spice and its blend with other spices. So one can say that the characteristic of each curry relies entirely on the balance of herbs and spices that go into its creations. Local influence distinguishes curries from one region to another.

Masala is a word that is often used in an Indian kitchen. It literally means a blend of several spices. Garam (hot) masala is the most important blend masala and an absolute essential to north Indian preparations, added just before serving the dish to enhance its flavour. The rational garam masala is a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Masala may be in dry, rosted ground or paste form.

Curry Leaf

Curry leaves : Chalcas koenigii

They are used as a seasoning in Indian Cooking. The currey leaves lose their delicate fragrance when dried, you should try to obtain them fresh, don't waste your time with the dried stuff!
Indian Name: Kari patta, Kareapela, Karuveppilai, Karuvepila, Katneem, Bursunga, Bowala, Karepeku, Karivepaku, Girinimba, Suravi
Red Chilly

Chilly : Powder/fresh/dried : Cayenne Pepper

Now a basic Indian spice, used mainly for its pungent and fiery taste, one may use fresh green or red chilies instead.
Indian Name: Lal mirch, Hari mirch, Morich, Lanka, Lal marcha, mulagu, Marichiphala Ujjvala, Mirapakaya

Cardamom Pods : eliachi

There are two kinds of cardamom used in Indian cooking: green and black. They are used to flavor curries, masala chai and certain vegetables and Indian desserts and is one of the spices in Garam masala. Used for its strong but very pleasing flavor.
Indian Name: Eliachi, Choti elaichi, Yellakai, Elathari, Elakkaai, Yalukalu, Ellakai

Cinnamon : Cinnamomum verum

Used for its sweet and pleasing flavor. It is the bark of the cinnamon tree and one of the spices in Garam masala. It is normally used to flavor curries, masala chai and certain vegetables and Indian desserts.
Indian Name: Dalchini, Erikkoloam, Dalochini, Durusita, Twak, Illavangam, Lavanga pattai, Lavangamu

Clove : Eugenia caryophyllata

Used for its pleasing flavor. and is one of the spices in Garam masala. It easily loses its flavor and is used to flavor curries, masala chai and certain vegetables.
Indian Name: Laung,Lavang, Lavanga, Labango, Grampu, Krambu, Shriisanjnan, Lavangalu
Black Pepper

Black Pepper : Kala Mirchi

Black pepper are used in Indian cuisine at all stages of the cooking process and as a table condiment.
Indian Name: Kala mirchi, Gulki, Menasu, Kuru mulagu, Marichan, Vella, Krishnan, Krishnadi, Savyamu, Miriyalu

Ginger : Rhizoma Zingiberis

A basic but not essential Indian spice, used for its warming properties and wonderful aroma and taste.
Indian Name: Adrak, Sonth, Alla, Inchi, Ada, Adraka, Shringaveran, Sringaaran, Allam, Ingee

Tamarind Pulpa Tamarindorum

The Juice of dry Tamarind are adequate to add a touch of sourness in the curry. It is extensively used in south indian cuisine and is normally used as a replacement for tomatoes.
Indian Name: Imli, Amla, Huli, Hunise mara, Puli, Imbli, Tintiri, Tintiddii

Fenugreek : Semen Foenugraeci

This is a basic but not essential Indian spice which is actually a lentil and is used for its strong, bitter taste. After turmeric it has the most medically useful item in the Indian kitchen. If it is burnt it gets very bitter and should be thrown away.
Indian Name: Methi (seeds), Kasoori methi, Sag methi (leaves), Mente, Methri, Vendayam, Mentikura, Mentula

Spices are defined as "a strongly flavored or aromatic substance of vegetable origin, obtained from tropical plants, commonly used as a condiment". A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring.

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