It is said that turmeric was used nearly 3000 years in the ancient Vedic culture of India. It has and is being used as an important spice, beauty product and in spiritual ceremonies. Uses of turmeric powder range from food to medicines. Turmeric Powder is used widely in Indian Dishes. Almost all Indian vegetable and meat dishes use turmeric either as separate spice or in the spice mixture. It is a principal ingredient in curry powder. Brine pickles and to some extent mayonnaise and relish formulations, non-alcoholic beverages, gelatines, butter and cheese etc. use turmeric oleoresin. Turmeric is used in the preparation of medicinal oils, ointments and poultice. It is stomachic, carminative, tonic, blood purifier and an antiseptic. It is also used in cosmetics. The botanical name for turmeric is Curcuma longa L.
Bengali: Halud, Pitras
Gujarati: Haldhar, Haldi
Marathi: Halede, Halad
Chilli powder is the dried, pulverized fruit of one or more varieties of chilli pepper. It is a powder produced from the grinding of dried chillies. Chillies are the fruit of the Capsicum plant. Chilli powder is fine to medium. It is used as a spice to add piquancy and flavour to dishes. The chillies are most commonly either red chilli peppers or cayenne peppers, which are both of the species Capsicum annuum. The odour is aromatically strong and the taste is characteristic, strong and spicy. It is free from musty odour and rancidity.
Indian chilli powder is made by drying and grounding the red chilli to give highly pungent red powder. The pungency in the chilli powder depends on the variety of the chilli used in preparing the powder. The low oil content helps in retaining its red colour which will not fade away with time. Chilli powder is one of the spiciest masala in the spice family. It gives great taste and flavour when added to any delicacies. Chilli Powder is one of the easiest ways to bring a dish to life. This powder is used extensively as an additive in curries and other dishes. Chilli powder can add a lot of taste to many mouth-watering dishes. Chilli is used to achieve the characteristically hot flavour of Mexican, Creole, Cajun, Thai, Szechuan, and Indian cooking. It also is used in Spanish rice, and barbecue sauce as well as meats, salads, and casseroles.
Peppercorns are the dried fruit of the piper nigrum or pepper vine, which is native to Southern India. Though occasionally fresh varieties are used in Asian cuisine, we normally use dried ones. Ground peppercorns are simply sold as black pepper in most markets. Pepper is ranked the third most added ingredient to recipes. Pepper, known as the King of Spices and the Master Spice, still accounts for one-fourth of the world’s spice trade. Although always prized as a flavour-enhancing spice, the peppercorn first gained fame for medicinal purposes as a digestive stimulant and expectorant. It’s hot and pungent flavour causes the membranes inside the nose and throat to exude a lubricating secretion, helpful to those in respiratory distress as an aid to cough up offending phlegm and mucus. Pepper was also used in an external ointment to relieve skin afflictions and hives.
The use of peppercorns in cuisine and medicine dates back to ancient history. In addition to being a common spice in cooking, they were used in embalming and were often found in the nostrils of embalmed Pharaohs. Peppercorns were also used to treat a variety of health conditions. Black pepper is such a common pantry item today, that it is be hard to believe it was once so valuable that it was used as currency.
Spices have been the inspiration for trade, exploration, war, and poetry since the beginning of civilization. Spices are evidenced from the beginning of hieroglyphic practice. Not only were many men’s fortunes made in the pursuit of spices, spices at many periods throughout history literally served as currency. That ground pepper you shake on your salad was once worth its weight in gold. Archaeologists discovered spices in Egyptian tombs as early as 3000 BC. The strong preservative quality of many spices made them ideal for embalming. Many of the spices had strong connections or affiliations with different Gods. Throughout many periods of history, spices have claimed attention for their mystical properties. Trading spices among different cultures and countries over the centuries became a means of acquiring and flaunting power and influence.