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Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food


Discussions on "Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food" in "Healthy and Nutritive Foods" forum.


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    Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    India is very famous for its spices and herbs that not only add flavor to the food but also are of great importance in evidencing real health benefits. They are the foremost things that associate the world with the sub-continent. Here are some top seasonings of India.


    1. CORIANDER


    Coriander or Cilantro or "Dhaniya" is the most commonly used herb in almost every Indian household. It is under usage since 5000 BC and spreads sweet aroma all around when used in sufficient quantity. It provides 'lighter' look to many dishes due to its pungent nature. Dal, curries, seafood dishes, biryani are some dishes which taste good on adding coriander. Essential oils present in it are used in sausages and other meat products.

    It has been considered that coriander has antipyretic, stomachic, acrid and cooling properties which play a big role in curing many gastrointestinal disorders. Coriander leaves are used frequently for garnishing on the top of prepared dishes while on the other side, coriander powder imparts flavor to the food.


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    Last edited by Nishahameetha; 5th Oct 2012 at 08:36 PM.
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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    2. CINNAMON

    Cinnamon is a bark derived from a hardy tropical evergreen tree possessing a sweet, warm, earthy and soft taste. Initially they are grown as bushes and then harvested further for use. It is available in powder as well as in the form of sticks. It is a light-yellowish brown colored flavoring agent and is native to India.

    Cinnamon is used in medicinal field for regulating blood circulation and blood sugar levels. It is popular for treatment of toothaches as well as bad breath. It has significant use in baked foods, milk, pulao, fruit desserts, mulled wines, certain curries, coffee and many more.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    3. SAFFRON

    Saffron is the most expensive yet beautiful and delicate reddish-yellow spice which serves as a coloring agent as well as a seasoning agent. It is basically a dried stigma of the flower called Saffron Crocus. Its flavor is somewhat intense, pungent and bitter. The drying properties of Saffron are quite appreciable as a very little Saffron work as a whole. It gives attractive look to the food.

    It has gained advantage in reducing anxiety and depression. Saffron is very useful to women as it has the ability to release symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It can be used in variety of foods but its use in rice, kheer, ice-creams, is well-known.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    4. CAYENNE PEPPER

    Commonly known in terms of Red chili powder (King of all spices) but is also famous as Guinea pepper, or Bird pepper. Cayenne pepper is basically a powdered spice which comes from berries of pepper tree and manufactured after passing through all processes like drying, grounding, baking, and sifting. This spice is a rich source of vitamin A, B6, C, K. It is a major ingredient to flavor up the hot sauces, cheesy bites and soups.

    Cayenne pepper manages the functionality of cardiovascular system, promote healthy skin, reduce pain, boost immune system, and decrease the formation of dangerous blood clots. The presence of antioxidants makes it more noticeable in medical science. It is necessary to keep it away from coming in contact to direct sunlight.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    5. GINGER

    Ginger is a spicy taste stem of an Indian perennial plant called Zingiber officinale. It has excessive use in North-Indian and South-Indian dishes. This herb contains over 25 different antioxidants and some anti-inflammatory properties. It is actually called as "Root Ginger". Ginger rhizomes which are young are quite juicy whereas ripe ginger is a dried fiber.

    It has exclusive advantage of making Ayurveda drug. Ginger tea is again a very famous medicinal drink.in medical area; it manages to relieve osteoarthritis pain cholesterol, nausea, heart diseases.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    6. CUMIN

    Cumin also known as "Jeera" is developed from the fruits of a tropical plant. This hotter taste spice is available all throughout the year. It is a seed which is pale green in color and have aromatic odor. They are found in three colors: amber, white, and black out of which amber is widely available. It can also be used in powdered form but smell best when used in form of seeds.

    Curry powder adds cumin in its main contents. It shows its flavoring property only after flames heat its seeds. This flavoring agent makes the food more delicious when used with beans, lamb, peas, soups, eggs, etc.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    7. CARDAMOM

    Cardamom is the most unique and traditional spice of India scientifically called Elletaria cardamomum. Generally, it is known in two forms that is Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom. It can be described as a shell with black seeds (intensely flavorful) in it. It adds classic flavor to sweet dishes specially. Even a small amount of it spreads tempting flavor. The powdered form of Cardamom provides smoky, concentrated and unique taste.

    It is a famous 'tridoshic' herbal medicine that helps to recover from digestion problems, common cold, and some urinary tracts. It also has detoxifying properties which performs body cleansing. Physiology of a person decides its quantity of consumption.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    8. TURMERIC

    Turmeric is a goldenrod-colored mild smelling spice which adds zest to Indian flavorful dishes. It is derived from a plant belonging to ginger family. Turmeric also known as 'haldi', has a peppery warm and bitter flavor. It is used a lot as a supplement of lentils. It is a major ingredient to make curry.

    Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin which plays a vital role in supplying total health benefits. Tumor cell growth is inhibited while inflammation can be quelled if it is added in the food. Breast cancer treatment is enhanced through it as it possesses powerful antioxidants.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    9. ROSEMARY

    Rosemary is a fresh evergreen needle shaped woody herb having sharp odor. It is very easy to use rosemary leaves all throughout the year as it is a very little drought tolerant plant which can be grown even in a pot. It has a great property of imparting wonderful flavor to food. In addition to all this, it contains high amount of iron, calcium, and vitamin B6. For roasted foods, it is generally preferred to use before roasting the food. It adds extra taste to food when used with olive oil and garlic.

    Rosemary has been highly recommended for students as it helps to lift away depression by improving memory and concentration. It prevents the birth of a very dangerous cancer causing compound known as Heterocyclic Amines (HCA’s). Immune system can be strengthened and chest congestion can be avoided if it is added into food.


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    Re: Top 10 Indian Herbs and Spices That Add Flavor to Food

    10. ASAFOETIDA

    Asafoetida is pungent odor latex produced from perennial herb. Basically, sap of a plant is used to prepare it after drying. Asafetida is very tough in nature so an extra tool is required to break it. The most famous name from which it is actually known is "the devil’s dung". It is called so because asafetida smells like devil’s dung if not kept in the tight air tight containers.

    It growth is popularly seen in parts of Punjab and Kashmir but it is also imported in large amounts to India. Sauces and pickles found its maximum use. It is preferred for curing breathing problems, cough, flu. It also has widespread use in cosmetics.


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