You will have heard that India doesn’t have Curry Powder, and that is sort of true. There is no such general-purpose mix of spices such as the Keens Madras Curry Powder that we all grew up with – bright yellow-orange powder that added the same taste to a variety of dishes that my mother cooked….
Dried Curd Chillies have been marinated in curd/yoghurt on and off for several days, to absorb the yoghurt, and then dried in the sun. The yoghurt tempers some of the spicy heat of the chillies, and they develop a tangy, yogurty flavor. They are commonly eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal, like a pickle,…
Talni Mirchi are dried chillies from Maharashtra. They are first stuffed with fenugreek and perhaps other spices, perhaps soaked in curd or yoghurt, and dried in the sun. To use them, they are deep fried or sauteed very briefly, then crumbled over dishes or eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal. They can also…
While India does not have a “curry powder”, it does have a range of masalas and podis that are used in specific ways or with specific dishes. For example, chole masala, chaat masala and garam masala. Not so in the Indian community of Malaysia. Influenced by Malaysian cuisine, curry powder is a common staple in…
How to make the spice mix that defines street food in India
The tangy lemon flavoured spice from the Middle East.
There are several Indian ingredients and techniques that you might not be familiar with.
My Kitchen Bench Spice Mix is an ever-changing blend of left over spices and herbs, dried, and all blended together in the spice blender. It is constantly changing and very seasonal in flavours.
A Life Giving spice – Turmeric.
This spice mix has lots of uses amongst non-vegetarians, but it is also great used to stuff small vegetables like okra, small zucchini, baby eggplants etc. It is hot, so just a little is used.
Nutmegs are the dried seeds of a round pear-like fruit. Mace is the red, lacy covering around the seeds of the nutmeg, which turn yellowish when dried.
Before trying them, people expect the peppercorns to have a pungent taste, but their taste is subtle.
A tadka is a mixture of spices fried off in ghee or coconut oil.
Roasting spices revitalises their fragrance. The time & method for roasting varies across SE Asia.
Fenugreek was known as “Greek Hay” to the Romans. It is an unusual Asiatic herb with aromatic and bitter seeds.
A classical Bengali five spice mix of 5 spices.
General Rasam Powder recipes.
All mustard seeds have Jekyll and Hyde characteristics. When crushed, they are nose-tinglingly pungent. However, thrown into hot oil and allowed to pop, they turn quite nutty and sweet.
Saffron is formed from the whole, orange-red dried saffron threads, the stigma of the autumn crocus, crocus sativus.
Native to India, pepper is a branching, perennial climbing plant from whose fruiting spikes both white and black pepper are obtained. Used as a spice and condiment. Whole peppercorns are added to rice and other dishes for a mild peppery-lemony flavour.
This is sometimes called lesser galangal or lesser ginger, but this is not quite correct as it is a different plant to galangal and ginger.