india1948 teamjaggery

JAGGERY

Taste: Between molasses and caramel, depending on the season. Not as sweet as refined sugar. 

Look: Yellow to golden brown in color, usually sold in a large block to be broken into chunks. 

Smell: Distinct, caramel sweet-like scent.

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india1948 teamjaggery
      jaggery  An unrefined sugar from the sap of palm trees or sugarcane juice is boiled down to make jaggery   Taste:  Between molasses and caramel, depending on the season. Not as sweet as refined sugar.    Look:  Yellow to golden brown in color, usually sold in a large block to be broken into chunks.    Smell:  Distinct, caramel sweet-like scent.  cook  Use in place of traditional sugar where you would like to add some sweetness. Really delicious to make your own candies and mix with nuts, coconut, or with tamarind.   tips   You can find it on amazon or at your local Indian grocer.   Best to buy in a block where it can retain a good amount of moisture. If it is very broken apart it dries more quickly.   health benefits   Treats respiratory infections.  Since unrefined, it retains vitamins and minerals that are normally stripped away in the refinement process.         Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.    

WHITE PEPPER

Taste: Herbaceous, earthy with a hotter and sharper heat than black pepper. 

Look: Cream colored delicate spheres. The husk is removed so it will not look wrinkly like green or black pepper. 

Smell: Barnyard-like scent.

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      white pepper  White pepper is the  black peppercorn  processed to have the skins removed.    Taste:  Herbaceous, earthy with a hotter and sharper heat than black pepper.    Look:  Cream colored delicate spheres. The husk is removed so it will not look wrinkly like green or black pepper.    Smell:  Barnyard-like scent.  cook  Best for raw or cold dishes, with seafood or dairy.   Pairs well with amchur, dill, fenugreek, ginger, and orange peel.   tips   Buy quality white pepper. It can be challenging to find since it is a time consuming process to remove the husk of each peppercorn.   White, green, and red pepper are from the same vine as black pepper, just picked at different stages of ripeness for a different flavor profile.    health benefits   Stimulent and a diuretic.  Prevents coughs, asthma, and colds.  Aids indigestion and constipation.        Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.    

TURMERIC

Taste: Sweet, slightly bitter, musky, nutty taste. More often used for the color it imparts rather than the flavor.  

Look: Orange root (when fresh) and an orange-yellow powder when dried. 

Smell: Bright, floral scent.

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      turmeric   Taste:  Sweet, slightly bitter, musky, nutty taste. More often used for the color it imparts rather than the flavor.     Look:  Orange root (when fresh) and an orange-yellow powder when dried.    Smell:  Bright yet earthy scent.  cook    An essential component of most curries, vegetables, dals, meat, poultry and fish dishes.     Often used as a coloring agent.    Pairs well with allspice, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, coconut, ginger, and onion.     tips   Raw turmeric is a bit harsh. To mellow out the flavors, head oil in a pan and sprinkle with turmeric. Stir with a wooden spoon so that it doesn’t burn. If you cannot smell its aromatic perfume, then the turmeric is expired.   Turmeric is not recommended for dairy dishes, since it masks its flavor.   Turmeric is used for dye, so be careful around your clothes. And do not be surprised if cutting the fresh root leaves some yellow on your fingers or using the powdered in a dish stains a Tupperware.    health benefits   Anti-cancer, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory (curcumin).  Prevents heart disease, Alzheimers, and arthritis.  Purifies the blood and increases circulation.        Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.       

NUTMEG & MACE

Taste: Warm, aromatic. Sweetish in nutmeg, a bit more bitter in mace. 

Look: Nutmeg is a large, round seed while mace is ribbony and tan with a pink hue. 

Smell: Fresh, rich, and warm with some floral notes. 

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      nutmeg & mace  Mace is the bright red/orange ribbon that exposes the brown black shell, inside which is the nutmeg. Mace is very similar to nutmeg, but is gentler and more delicate in all categories.    Taste:  Warm, aromatic. Sweetish in nutmeg, a bit more bitter in mace.    Look:  Nutmeg is a large, round seed while mace is ribbony and tan with a pink hue.    Smell:  Fresh, rich, and warm with some floral notes.   cook       Use in sweet and savory dishes.    Use to flavor pastries, cakes, doughnuts, infuse teas, and enhance rich north Indian curry dishes.    Pairs well with seafood and poultry.    Great with cabbage, soups, or curries with a coconut milk base.     Pairs well with allspice, amchur, cinnamon, clove, cocoa, coconut, ginger, lemongrass, and coriander.     tips   Grind mace blades in a spice grinder, tough to do in a mortar and pestle.  Buy nutmeg seeds whole and grate yourself for the best flavor. The oils are volatile and flavor dissipates quickly once ground.   Whole nutmegs will keep for a few years in a tightly sealed jar stored in a dry place.   Best to add freshly ground nutmeg directly at the end of cooking for the most rich, powerful flavor.   health benefits      Aphrodisiac.  Digestive.  Calming, anti-anxiety effects.  Reduce cholesterol and memory loss.         Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

BLACK MUSTARD 

Taste: When fired in oil, they develop a flavor that is nutty and pleasantly sharp.

Look: Small, round black to slightly grayish seeds. 

Smell: Unlike most spices, the whole seeds have virtually no smell. The sinus-opening aroma happens when they are ground and combined with liquid. 

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      black mustard seeds  the outside shell that covers the yellow mustard seed, also known as rai kuria.    Taste:  When fired in oil, they develop a flavor that is nutty and pleasantly sharp.   Look:  Small, round black to slightly grayish seeds.    Smell:  Unlike most spices, the whole seeds have virtually no smell. The sinus-opening aroma happens when they are ground and combined with liquid.   cook    Pop and add to salads, veggie dishes (especially cauliflower and Brussels sprouts), and curries.    Use in pickles, soups, or grind as a marinade.     Pairs well with ale and beer, allspice, cinnamon, clove, coriander, cumin, star anise, tamarind, and turmeric.    tips    Best when used whole and toasted. Great for longer-cooking dishes.   Rule of thumb: the darker and smaller the seed, the hotter. Brown mustard, still often called black mustard, is easier to find and is less pungent. It is quite difficult to find black mustard and brown will do in a pinch.   health benefits      Helps manage diabetes, prostate problems, and heart disease.  Diuretic and a stimulant.  Cancer fighting (member of the cancer-fighting plant family, crucifer, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage).   Increases circulation.  Eases pain in muscles and joints.        Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing. 

FENNEL

Taste:  Slightly sweeter and more delicate than the traditional spicy anise flavor that is often used. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes. 

Look: Light tan, greenish seed. Appears similar to cumin except is smaller with a greener color. 

Smell: Anise-like aroma. 

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      fennel  Referring to Indian fennel which is known as Lucknow fennel.   Taste:   Slightly sweeter and more delicate than the traditional spicy anise flavor that is often used. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes.    Look:  Light tan, greenish seed. Appears similar to cumin except is smaller with a greener color.    Smell:  Anise-like aroma.   cook       Use in pickles, pilafs, and seafood dishes.    Compliments tomatoes well.    Add for special flavor to breads, fruit salads, compotes, and scrambled eggs.     Pairs well with allspice, bay leaf, cardamom, coriander, cumin, tamarind, and turmeric.     tips   Look for the bright green fennel seeds, these are better quality than the greenish-yellow ones.   There are two types of fennel:   Florence fennel: licorice-flavored (most common in stores).  Lucknow fennel: sweeter, and more delicate in flavor (harder to get and more expensive). Seeds are a bit smaller and thinner than common fennel seeds.    Best when lightly toasted.  Can be used whole or ground.    health benefits      Appetite suppressant.  Aids in digestion.  Reduces menstrual cramps and can aid in lactation.  Nerve stabilizer.  An antidote for insect bites and food poisoning.  Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.        Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

CLOVES

Taste: Sweet, bitter, and somewhat peppery flavor. When eaten on their own can produce a numbing sensation. 

Look: Dark brown spice shaped like an nail.

Smell: Warm and strongly aromatic smell. 

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      cloves   Taste:  Sweet, bitter, and somewhat peppery flavor. When eaten on their own can produce a numbing sensation.    Look : Dark brown spice shaped like an nail.   Smell:  Warm and strongly aromatic smell.   cook    Use in desserts, pilafs (lightly spiced rice dishes), and meat curries.    One bud in your tea acts like a sweetener.    Also the distinctive flavor in Worcestershire shire and an ingredient in garam masala.    Pairs well with allspice, amchur, chili, cardamom, nutmeg, tamarind, ginger, and cumin.     tips      Temper this overpowering spice by cooking and using in small amounts.  Best to buy whole and ground as needed.  Toasting is not recommended.   health benefits   Aids as a stimulant, astringent, and rejuvenator.  Fights infections and aids in digestion.  Relief for toothaches and sore gums.    Alleviates congestion.  Oil can be used as a mosquito repellant.        Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.
india1948 teamcumin

CUMIN

Taste: Peppery and slightly bitter taste, adds warmth to your dishes.

Look: Long, light tan seeds.

Smell: Pungent, warm, slightly nutty, with an earthy aroma (very noticeable when crushed).

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india1948 teamcumin
      cumin  Sometimes called the “bacon of vegetarian food”.   Taste:  Peppery and slightly bitter taste, adds warmth to your dishes.   Look:  Long, light tan seeds.   Smell:  Pungent, warm, slightly nutty, with an earthy aroma (very noticeable when crushed).     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
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     cook      Great in breads, pickles, chutneys.   Essential for a classic curry.    Pairs well with strong spices, like chili powder, ajwain, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, ginger, mustard, saffron, tamarind, and turmeric.     tips   Toast before grinding to intensify the flavor.  Use judiciously, tends to overpower other flavors.    Careful to not mistaken for the similar looking caraway seed   health benefits   Alkalizes the body (decreases acidity).  Strengthens the liver, intestines, and kidney.  Reduces blood sugar to prevent/help treat Type 2 Diabetes.  Rich in phytoestrogens, which keep calcium in bones.  Aids in digestion.  Increases milk production in mothers.  Is known as an aphrodisiac.         Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

AMCHUR

Taste: Sour, slightly sweet. Like a powdered lime. 

Look: Light grayish brown powder - keep away from humidity to prevent clumps.

Smell: Citrusy and fresh (made from dried green mangoes). 

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      amchur   Taste:  Sour, slightly sweet. Like a powdered lime.    Look:  Light grayish brown powder - keep away from humidity to prevent clumps.   Smell:  Citrusy and fresh (made from dried green mangoes).   cook    Sprinkle on buttered popcorn, roasted potatoes and fish, in apple pie, or to sour chutneys. A finishing spice for anywhere lemon is used.     A meat tenderizer.    Combines well with cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, and chiles.     tips   Buy already powdered, very difficult to grind at home.  Do not be alarmed by the gray color! Gray means that no turmeric was added to the blend (this takes away from the potency of the spice).  1 tsp amchur can replace 3 T of lemon juice to get a similar tart, sour flavor.   health benefits   Prevents chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes.  Balances blood sugar.  Reverses gum disease.  Strengthens the thyroid.  Aids in digestion and is a mild laxative.         Disclaimer:  The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.