Living Well

Guide to Indian Spices

Posted on: July 28, 2012

 

A Quick Guide to Healthy Indian Cooking
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Indian food is famous around the world for its rich aromatic taste. A harmonic combination of flavorful spices creates a pallet that is unlike any other cuisine. Best of all, many of these spices have been linked to wonderful health benefits. Here we have provided a short list of Indian spices that will not only add a kick of flavor to your meal, but also an assurance of good health! Good food and good health, what more could you ask for?

Cumin (Jeera)- Cumin, with its nutty taste, is known for bringing a toasty warm flavor to traditional Indian curries. It gives off a powerful aroma that many associate with Indian food. Cumin is a great source of iron, and has been praised for its aid in both digestion and stomach disorders like diarrhea.

Coriander powder (Dhania powder)- Coriander powder gives a slight citrusy flavor, and also helps to blend the other spices used in a unifying fashion. Coriander is a great source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and iron.

Turmeric (Haldi)- Turmeric has a slight bitterness and gives a woody flavor to Indian food. Its intense yellow color is prized in the making of several Indian curries. Turmeric is a natural liver detoxifier as well as a natural antibacterial agent (many people treat the common cold with turmeric).

Mustard Seeds (Rai)- These seeds add texture as well as a nutty and spicy pungent flavor to popular Indian curries and vegetable dishes. These seeds are very rich in minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants.

Red Chili (Mirch)- This chili, often used in the form of a powder, is the main source of spice in Indian dishes. It’s extremely hot so it should be used conservatively! Red Chili has been associated with everything from pain relief and reduced congestion, to weight loss and increased cardiovascular health.
Other than the red chili, these ingredients shouldn’t be used raw: dry roast them first in a hot pan or sizzle them in oil. Enjoy!

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