Indian food is greatly influenced with chilli powder. The hot flavour of the chilli powder enhances the recipes. It is the base for making any flavoured, hot and spicy food. It is used in vegetarian and non-vegetarian cooking. It adds a lovely and wonderful red colour and sharp flavour in any recipe. Dishes can be easily enhanced and improved with adding a little amount of chilli powder in them. Besides, red chillies are highly incorporated with the contents like Vitamin C and pro vitamin A. Capsaicin is a proven and an effective treatment for sensory nerve fibre disorders. Red chillies are known to be natural pain relievers. They are effective in clearing the congestion of the nose and lungs.
Red chillies greatly help the obese people, as they are known to help in losing weight and boost the immunity in the body. Red Chilli Powder is an indispensable ingredient in most dishes. The Red Chilli Powder adds a hot flavour to the dish. Chillies contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. The capsaicin in chillies has anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties. It also found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels in obese individuals. Chillies contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Red chilli powder contains vitamin A and our body needs vitamin A for the maintenance of your eyesight as you age as well as to contribute to maintaining the health of your bones, teeth, skin, internal membranes and reproductive systems. Red chilli powder also contains vitamin C and vitamin C is an antioxidant. Vitamin C also helps strengthen your immune system and heal injuries. It is also rich in many important minerals.
Chilli has been the most important spice throughout the history. Chilli powder, when used in any dish, transforms the bland dish into a deliciously hot dish. Dried chilli contributes the major share among the spices consumed in India. It has a pungent and a pleasant flavour. Chillies stimulate our taste buds and thereby increase the flow of saliva which contains the enzyme amylase which in turn helps in the digestion of starchy or cereal foods etc. into glucose. It gives piquancy and spice to the dish. It is the easiest way to give life to the dish. Chillies stimulate our taste buds and thus increase the flow of saliva which contains the enzyme amylase which in turn helps in the digestion of starchy or cereal foods etc. into glucose.
Chillies help to clear the lungs, and stimulate digestive system and stimulate the taste buds. They act as detoxifiers as they remove waste products from our body and increases supply nutrients to the tissues. 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.
A blend of ground spices used alone or with other seasonings is called the Garam masala. Different regions prepare garam masala recipes in accordance to region and personal taste and thus varying combinations of spices are used as per the local flavour. The spices are carefully blended to achieve a balanced effect. The famous Indian Garam Masala is available as a commercially prepared ground mixture. It is often added at the end of cooking a dish to retain its aroma. The garam masala is the most popular spice blend used throughout India. It is the basis for Indian curries. It gives a delicious final touch to a dish. Some of the basic whole spices used to prepare the garam masala are….bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, peppercorns, cinnamon, mace, cumin seeds nutmeg, carom seeds, star anise, coriander seeds, etc. It has a pungent taste which is important to make the flavourful recipes.
The Garam masala is used in vegetable recipes, curries, dal and many such dishes. It can also be used as a great sprinkling powder, and can be used just before serving the hot and sizzling dishes. Using a small amount of garam masala powder is enough to bring out the richness of gravy and even vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Dal fry, dal makhani, simple dal can be topped with a pinch of garam masala for that unique touch at the time of serving. The Garam masala is to be stored in air-tight container and should be away from wet places.
Garam masala is known to be the heart of many Indian dishes. Spices actually slow down the ageing process while promoting weight loss. Black pepper used in the garam masala contains a type of antioxidant that is so powerful that it does a lot of good. Pepper is anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic. It increases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It is a natural metabolism booster, and also contains a compound that breaks down fat cells. Black Pepper is high in Vitamin K and manganese, which assists the body in metabolizing fats and carbs. Cardamom relieves gas, heart burn, and soothes stomach upsets. It increases blood circulation and also flushes the toxins from the body. It is a natural breath freshener. Cardamom reduces the formation of blood clots while lowering blood pressure and is a great source of manganese. It is also anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic.
Cinnamon is an excellent source of calcium and fibre. It is a natural painkiller and contains a potent antioxidant. It fights bad breath, and kills the bacteria responsible for it. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar levels while increasing insulin production. Cloves relieve tooth aches. Cloves have a blood purifying property and thus support a healthy immune system. Cloves boost the metabolism and remove toxins from the blood stream. They help cardiovascular health by preventing the formation of blood clots while regulating blood sugar levels. Cloves provide an excellent source of calcium and vitamin K. While low in Omega 6’s, cloves are impressively high in omega 3′s. So the famous Indian garam masala is not just tasty…but healthy too.
Turmeric is one of the most popular spices of India. It is also popular as medicine used as a part of home remedy. Turmeric is added to many dishes in India. Further, it is also regarded by the Hindus as something sacred for use in ceremonial and religious occasions. Besides flavouring the food, turmeric is believed to purify the blood and a remedy for skin conditions. Indians have known the magical medicinal properties for ages. Ayurveda used it for the treatment of many inflammatory conditions and diseases like arthritis and muscular disorders. It was also used to tackle asthma, flatulence, colic and ringworm. A pinch of turmeric powder put in your cooking every day is not just to give a vibrant yellow colour to your food, but also to antidote you. An Indian kitchen is rarely seen without a tin of turmeric powder on the shelf.
Turmeric is one Indian spice that continues to be reinvented and rediscovered throughout the world. In India and other Asian countries, the use of turmeric is mostly popular as food adjunct in many vegetable, meat and fish preparations. Turmeric not only adds to taste, flavour and colour of the dish but also, it is believed that it preserves the food. Moreover, due to its medicinal virtues, by consuming turmeric regularly with food in any form, it prevents many diseases. Turmeric, by dint of its aromatic oil content, flavours foodstuffs, acts as an appetiser and aids digestion. It is also used to colour liquor, fruit drinks, cakes and jellies. It is used to flavour and at the same time colour butter, cheese, margarine, pickles, mustard and other foodstuffs. Turmeric has been traditionally regarded as important source of medicine. It is said to be anti-oxidant, due to the phenolic character of curcuma. It is considered useful both for internal and external applications. It is considered useful for cancer patients. It is a stomachic, carminative, tonic, blood purifier, vermicide, and an antiseptic. It is taken with warm milk to act as expectorant. Mixed with lime it is applied externally to get relief from sprains and pains. Turmeric is considered as excellent natural cosmetic. Smearing turmeric paste on the face and the limbs during the bath is found to clear the skin and beautify the face. Many cosmetics available in the market are manufactured using turmeric as one of the ingredients.
Turmeric has been used worldwide since very ancient times. Several unique properties of the Indian turmeric make it an ideal choice as a food flavour. It also finds use in the preparation of liquors, dyestuffs, medicines, cosmetics and toiletries. It is used as natural colorant. The curcuma present in turmeric imparts its distinctive yellow colour. In beauty care, women have used turmeric paste since very ancient times. Today it finds use as an antiseptic and an anti-tanning agent. It prevents and cures pigmentation, making skin translucent and glowing. It cools and makes the skin smooth. It is used to purify blood. It also helps in protecting the skin from allergy.
Spices are dried aromatic parts of the plants, normally the leaf, flower, roots, bark or nuts of a plant, pods, stalks or berries, which are dried, maybe roasted and ground to be added to the other ingredients. Spices add flavour, aroma and add therapeutic value to the food items. It is actually hard to imagine cooking without spices. With us having a huge variety of ground spices of the finest quality…..the potential for cooking and creating delicious recipes at home has never been better!
The enthusiasm for trying different flavours lies behind the availability of ready spices. Use of spices dates back centuries and encompasses both cooking and healing roles. Today, there also a revival of interest in the healing power of spices and are becoming popular for their mild therapeutic qualities.
People throughout the world flavour their foods and beverages with spices. The traditional dishes of Asia feature large quantities of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper. Spices enhance the flavour and aroma of any dish. Each and every spice has its own merit. Pickling spices act as preservatives of meat and other foods which would otherwise spoil. Spices possess nutritional and medicinal merits as well. Today, there is a better understanding of the role spices play in our well-being. Ayurveda, the system of Indian medicine, inculcates a large number of spices in its combination of preventive and curative medicines. The extra zing that makes Indian food so popular all over the world is because of the spices used to cook Indian food dishes. The basis for Indian sauces is the ground masalas and spices. The popular Garam masala is used in many types of gravy and otherwise. The combinations of the different spices used in the Indian foods vary from region to region in India and this gives the unique flavour to the dishes. India is a vast country with many states. The spices are mixed together to make various combination spices which make the food more palatable and tasty. Spices add nutrients and flavour to the dishes without fat or calories.
Turmeric, an essential spice in Indian food, is used because turmeric inhibits blood clotting, reduces liver toxins, and helps the liver metabolize fats and so aids weight loss. . It is believed that turmeric could play a role in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Peppercorns have a pungent, woody aroma and are hot. The garam masala is a mixture of spices. Asafoetida is a resin taken from a plant, and is a distinctive and pungent spice. It is commonly found in the powdered form. Asafoetida is used mainly for its digestive properties, especially in the cooking of beans and lentils, as it is known to have anti-flatulence properties. All Indian spices offer significant health benefits and contribute towards a healthy life of the individuals. The five key Indian spices are cumin seeds, coriander seeds, ground turmeric, mustard seeds, and ground red chilli powder. All of these provide harmony in flavour of the food.