The fame of Indian cuisine and recipes is an offshoot of the superb spices and other ingredients. Spices lend rich aroma and taste to Indian meals. The use of spices is also an index of the Indian culinary culture which treats food as divine.
The wonderful, natural and healthy spices add a delicious flavor to food without fat or calories. Indian cuisine varies with moderate to high spiced dishes in both vegetarian and non vegetarian options. Some of the popular dishes names below will assert the supremacy of spices in Indian cuisine.
Malai Kofta: Malai Kofta is vegetarian balls coated in a thick sauce. It can be described as the vegetarian’s alternative to meatballs.
Palak Paneer: This dish is prepared by mixing cottage cheese (paneer) and spinach after adding many spices and mashed into a soft pulp.
Chole: This chickpea curry contains chickpeas, onions, and tomatoes. Spices such as garlic, ginger, cumin and coriander are used in preparing it.
Butter Chicken: This is the most popular Indian dish in the whole world. Also known as Murg Makhani it has ingredients of cinnamon, garlic paste, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, butter and many additives.
Chicken Tikka Masala: Thischicken curry of small pieces of chicken (tikka) is carefully marinated in a sauce before adding the gravy containing several spices.
Spices have the curative power over diseases such as the common cold, cough and cancerous tumors. For Indians it is unimaginable to have any meal without the following spices.
There are at least half a dozen main spices which have a uniform presence in all Indian dishes. The most common Indian spices are:
Bishop’s-Weed: Commonly known as Ajwain, bishop’s-weed is widely used both in food and the pharmaceutical industry. It is a food preservative and looks like powder.
Cardamom: Elaichi in the Indian subcontinent is found extensively in Scandinavian as well as Indian cuisine adding aroma and taste.
Clove: Clove is Laung resembling an iron nail containing a good amount of oil.
Coriander: Coriander or Dhania is used in both fresh (leaves) and dried forms. It adds a special aroma and flavor to food.
Turmeric: Haldi is one of the popular Indian spices and a wonderful medicine for improving skin complexion. Besides adding taste, it also lends color to the food.
In addition to making the taste buds sizzle, Indian spicy food offers direct benefits:
Weight-loss: Peppers contain capsaicin that activates metabolism and so the body burns calories faster. Capsaicin increases body temperature and contributes increase in heart rate. People who eat spicy food eat less and reduce their calorie intake.
Health Of Heart: Hot peppers improve the heart as blood clots get dissolved. It is low-density cholesterol or LDL or bad cholesterol that clogs the heart and resist oxidation when chillies are added to the diet. Indian spicy foods contribute less towards heart attacks or strokes.