Every dish you cook will taste different when different spices are used. Spices and herbs add that extra taste and flavor to the food. The taste and flavor of the food improves when these are used in right combination with right food.
Most of the herbs can be got fresh as well as dried. Fresh herbs and spices have stronger flavor. Dried herbs give better flavor when used with water, oil or butter.
Different parts of the plants are used as spices, which are used in dried form. Cardamom, coriander, cumin are seeds of the plant, saffron is the stigma of the flower, cloves are the buds, ginger and turmeric are roots and cinnamon is the bark of the tree.
Right Use of Spices and herbs
Sweet spices – Some spices like cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, are known as sweet spices and they taste good with sweet dishes, cakes, cookies, etc. These spices also blend well with salty dishes like curries, rice, roasted dishes, etc.
Whole spices – Whole spices give out more flavour when they are simmered in the food slowly, for a longer time.
Ground spices – Spices in powder form can be added to a dish at any time during cooking. Freshly grounded spices have more aromas.
Spices – used in food
- Bay leaves – These have a unique flavour and aroma and are used in curries, soups, sauces, rice.
- Cardamom – It is one of the most popular spice and has a strong exclusive taste. It is used in sweet dishes, pickles, curries, meat, spice cakes, soups, tea, rice etc.
- Chilli Pepper – These are available from hot to mild variety. It is used in almost all salty dishes to add hot flavor like curries, soups, dry vegetables, meat and egg dishes.
- Coriander – Coriander is used fresh or in dry form, whole seeds or powder. It has a mild unique taste like that of a lemon and sage. Seeds taste good in poultry, fish and in dry vegetables. It is also used in curries and dry vegetables.
- Anardana – These are the dry seeds of pomegranate fruit. It adds a sour taste to the food. It is used for making sweet and sour sauce, in vegetables, chutneys, etc.
- Black Pepper – This is used in foods all over the world. It has a sharp aroma and pine like flavour. It is used whole or in powder form in meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, soups, and sauces.
- Cinnamon – It is used in pies, stewed apples, pan cakes and puddings. It is also used in curries, stews, sauces, vegetables, tea, etc.
- Cloves – It is used in sweet as well as in salty dishes. It is used in sauces, soups, curries, plum pudding, cakes, tea, green vegetables etc.
- Cumin – It is the second most popular spice in the world. Name an Indian dish and cumin is a part of it. It is used in soups, curries, vegetables, curd, chat, tomato sauce, meat dishes.
Spices are wonderful agents to flavor food, they also enhance the flavor of other ingredients. But remember not to add too much of any spice. Be creative, experiment with spices and create your own dishes.