STAR ANISE

Taste: Sweet, anise and licorice like flavor

Look: A striking star shaped woody fruit of a tree in the magnolia family

Smell: Licorice and fennel like aroma

      star anise  The warm, sweet, floral star anise pod has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years   Taste:  Sweet, anise and licorice like flavor   Look:  A striking star shaped woody fruit of a tree in the magnolia family   Smell:  Licorice and fennel like aroma  cook  Star anise works well in savory or sweet dishes and is commonly used in Kashmiri cooking. It is a sweet spice addition to masala chai or for sweet chutneys and a necessary component of garam masala. It enhances ‘meatiness’ to meat curries and fragrance to biryanis. It is a strong spice so use it sparingly.   tips   Store in air-tight containers and they can be good for over a year.   If boiling, use the whole star or just a few points. Otherwise grind the whole stars and sprinkle very lightly. A little goes a long way.    health benefits   The official flu fighter, star anise has been used to treat all kinds of respiratory illnesses. It is also used as a digestive to aid gas or bloating and to spark an appetite.  Make a tea with star anise, black pepper and jaggery to aid in a sore throat or cough.Treat stomach aches.   Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough        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 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

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 mixed with tamarind.   tips   You can find it on amazon or at your local Indian grocer.   Best to buy in more of a block, should retain a good amount of moisture. If it is very broken apart it is too dry.    health benefits   Treat respiratory infections.  Since it is unrefined, it retains vitamins and minerals that we strip 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 will not look wrinkly like green or black pepper. 

Smell: Barnyard-like scent.

      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 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   Buying quality white pepper can be tough since it is such a time consuming process to create.   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.   Tellicherry is a very high quality of Malabar (black) pepper from the southwestern coast. They are more moderate in heat than other peppers but have an intense flavor with citrus notes.    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.    

GREEN PEPPER

Taste: Fresh, herbaceous notes, not as hot as black or white pepper.

Look: Bright green, imperfect spheres. 

Smell: Usually a slightly fermented smell since they are often preserved in brine. 

      green pepper  AKA, the “King of Spices”. There are many different types of pepper. Peppercorns are fruits that all come from the same vine, but are grown in different regions, allowed to ripen to different maturity, dried, brined, or processed in a unique way. All of these things give the pepper it’s unique flavor.    Green peppercorns are unripe black peppercorns. They are usually stored in brine or vinegar and are bright green. The type you see here is dried green peppercorns.    Taste:  Fresh, herbaceous notes, not as hot as black or white pepper.   Look:  Bright green, imperfect spheres.    Smell:  Usually a slightly fermented smell since they are often preserved in brine.   cook  Use in sauces, fruits, salads, and vegetables.  Pairs well with dill, ginger, lemon peel, onion, and rosemary.  tips   Buy whole kernels and grind yourself with a pepper-mill. Black pepper already ground can have olive pits in it to add weight. Not a health risk, but olive pits are not spices.   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.   Tellicherry is a very high quality of Malabar (black) pepper from the southwestern coast. They are more moderate in heat than other peppers but have an intense flavor with citrus notes.    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.

      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.  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.   Beware! 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.       

SAFFRON 

Taste: Floral, sweet, aromatic taste.

Look: Bright red to orange threads. 

Smell: Distinctive musky, woody, with a hay-like fragrance.

      saffron   Known as the “Queen of Spices”, it is the most expensive spice in the world today.     Taste:  Floral, sweet, aromatic taste.   Look:  Bright red to orange threads.    Smell:  Distinctive musky, woody, with a hay-like fragrance.  cook       Use in desserts, biryanis, and meat dishes.    Flavors teas and yogurt drinks.    Steep whole in warm water or milk before adding to a recipe. Or toast first and grind in a mortar and pestle then add to liquid.     Pairs well with almond, clove, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, and mint.     tips   Look for a bright red ribbon (the stigma of the flower) when purchasing saffron. If it is ground it is more likely to be an adulterated form (safflower is the main imposter, it will color food, but not flavor it).    Saffron can range in color from orange to deep burgundy. The deeper red the color, the higher concentration of crocin, which indicates better quality.   To test whether or not your saffron is the real thing, put it in a bowl of warm water. It should bleed yellow instantly. If it bleeds orange or red it is not authentic.    health benefits   Antiseptic  Diuretic and mild laxative  Effective anti-depressant  Strengthening to the body  Relieves dry coughs and bladder ailments  Aids in breast milk production in women and virility in men        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. 

      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 in teas, and in 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, a bit tough in a mortar and pestle.  Buy nutmeg seeds whole and grind 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. 

      black mustard seeds  This refers to black mustard seeds, which we use most often at the restaurant.    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 dark 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).   Increase circulation  Ease 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. 

KALONJI

Taste: Slight bitterness, a warm, toasted-onion flavor with an oregano-like quality.  

Look: Black, rounded, pear-shaped seeds (often mistaken for black sesame seeds).

Smell: Faint, peppery aroma. 

      kalonji   Often called Nigella, black onion or black caraway seed.     Taste:  Slight bitterness, a warm, toasted-onion flavor with an oregano-like quality.     Look:  Black, rounded, pear-shaped seeds (often mistaken for black sesame seeds).   Smell:  Faint, peppery aroma.   cook    Use whole on naan dough, samosa dough, pickles, and chutneys.    Grind in a spice grinder after toasting and season vegetables or legumes.     Pairs well with caraway, lemon peel, mustard seeds, paprika, and thyme.     tips   Toast before grinding to make the seeds to make them a bit more brittle and easier to grind.   Add to salads, omelettes, and soups for a delicious texture and bite.   Great replacement for sesame seeds without the sweet element.    health benefits   Believed to be an insect repellent.   Helps control blood pressure.   Oil tempered with kalonji is often used as a headache and sore joints remedy.         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 we are accustomed to. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes. 

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

Smell: Anise-like aroma. 

      fennel   Indian fennel, known as Lucknow fennel, is what we use at Pondicheri and is described below.     Taste:   Slightly sweeter and more delicate than the traditional spicy anise flavor that we are accustomed to. Adds a herbaceous, pine-like bitterness to dishes.    Look:  Light tan, greenish seed. Looks 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.

BLACK SALT

Taste: Smoky and tangy, not super salty like the name denotes.

Look: A light pink colored powder.

Smell: Sulfurous, noxious boiled egg with onion aroma. 

      black salt   aka kala namak    Taste:  Smoky and tangy, not super salty like the name denotes.   Look : A light pink colored powder.   Smell:  Sulfurous, noxious boiled egg with onion aroma.   cook       Sprinkle over snacks, appetizers and starters.    Great in vegan dishes to give a savory, egg-like taste. Try it in popcorn or where you would use nutritional yeast.     Pairs well with cumin, chili powder, cayenne, orange peel, rosemary, and sesame. The main ingredient in India’s infamous chaat masala.    tips    There are two different types of black salts that you will see in the stores, the one that we are :  Careful which salt you are buying! It is easy to see black salt and immediately think that’s the one. Look for the powder that is pinkish in color.  Black lava salt is sea salt mixed with activated charcoal. It has an earthy taste and is often referred to as Hawaiian Black salt and is black in color.  Kala namak, or black Indian salt, is a natural rock salt that contains many trace minerals, with sulfur being the most pronounced. Whole, the rocks are a deep reddish brown color and when ground become a pink powder.       health benefits   Stimulates bile in the liver which aids in digestion  Can reduce symptoms of heart burn and indigestion         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 CARDAMOM

Taste: Slightly harsh, rich and strong flavor with smoky overtones. 

Look: About an inch long dark brown pods with visible seeds.

Smell: Smoky and savory. Reminiscent barbecue sauce. 

      black cardamom    The black cardamom pods are larger than the green pods.     Taste:  Slightly harsh, rich and strong flavor with smoky overtones.    Look:  About an inch long dark brown pods with visible seeds.   Smell:  Smoky and savory. Reminiscent barbecue sauce.   cook       Use in curries and pilafs.    Traditionally, use in savory dishes but can be paired with dark chocolate or fruit.     Pairs well with cumin, fennel, garlic, and lemongrass.     tips      Use sparingly. Can easily overpower a dish.   Remove from dishes when you use whole pod. Not pleasant when mistaken for an olive!    health benefits      As a digestive stimulant and diuretic  Cures kidney and gallbladder stones  Induce sleep and improve appetite  Can help to cure diseases of the teeth and gums  Cleanse the palate and freshen the breath after a spicy meal        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.

CARDAMOM

Taste: Sweet, mild, floral, with a faint citrus note. Often referred to as the “vanilla of India”.

Look: Bright green clover shaped pods. 

Smell: Warm, sweet, intense camphor-like aroma.

      cardamom    There are 3 types of cardamom; green, white, and black. The type described here is green cardamom and black cardamom follows.     Taste:  Sweet, mild, floral, with a faint citrus note. Often referred to as the “vanilla of India”.   Look:  Bright green clover shaped pods.    Smell:  Warm, sweet, intense camphor-like aroma.       

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              cardamom seeds  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              Ground cardamom seeds  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


       cook   Use in desserts like custards, ice creams (like kulfi), and cakes.   Flavor meat curries like goat and lab.    Use in chai and coffees.     Pairs well with caraway, cinnamon, cumin, dill, mustard, and fennel seed.    tips      The pods themselves are inedible. It is the seed inside that is ground and used. You can use the pods to boil in liquids like tea.   When you see the ground cardamom in the store, it has lost a lot of its aromatic volatility. Best to buy the unground brown seeds which found inside the green pod. Green pods can only be found in an Indian grocery store.  If you are buying already ground, look for a fairly dark brown colored powder. If light gray in color it is ground from the whole pod and is of lesser quality.   It is the third most expensive spice after saffron and vanilla. Buy in small quantities to save your wallet and to make sure that the pods stay fresh (should remain green in color. Once they are yellowed they are not as fresh).       health benefits   Soothes the stomach   Mouth freshener   Reduces coughs, toothaches, and headaches  Strengthens the heart and is a stimulant  Clears mucous, cough, and congestion   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.

CORIANDER

Taste: Intense, lemony tangy flavor when whole and slightly more mild when ground.

Look: Pale yellow delicate round pods with a green tint.

Smell: Warm, nutty fragrance.

      coriander  Cilantro, an herb, is grown from coriander seeds, which are a spice. Very different in flavor.    Taste:  Intense, lemony tangy flavor when whole and slightly more mild when ground.   Look:  Pale yellow delicate round pods with a green tint.   Smell:  Warm, nutty fragrance.  cook       Thickens curries and sauces.    Marinade for seafood, kebabs, and meats.    Use in raitas (a yogurt condiment) and on top of lassis (yogurt, water, and fruit beverage).     Pairs really well with cumin, allspice, cardamom, coconut, ginger, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic.      tips      Best toasted. Do not toast if you are going to use in a dessert.  European coriander (spherically shaped, tan in color) is easiest to find and does not have the same lemony flavor that Indian coriander (egg-shaped, pale yellow with greenish tinge) does.  Will balance your dish if you have gone too overboard on spices like clove or cinnamon.   health benefits      A remedy for stomach aches, indigestion, constipation, and gas  Reduces redness and inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and rosacea  Lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol)  Can help with asthma, coughs, general weakness, and worms  It is a cooling spice which alleviates the body of excess heat        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. 

      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 teamchili

CHILI

Taste: Hot. Can have a fruity or sometimes smoky flavor. 

Look: Bright red coarse powder.

Smell: Do not directly inhale, will burn the inside of your nose. 

india1948 teamchili
     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              whole, dried chilis  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     chili  There are many different types of chilies used in Indian cuisine that are used fresh and dried. This a general description of chilies.    Taste:  Hot. Can have a fruity or sometimes smoky flavor.    Look:  Bright red coarse powder.   Smell:  Do not directly inhale, will burn the inside of your nose.   cook     Great in pickles, sauces, masalas, and curries.     Pairs well with amchur, cardamom, cumin, fenugreek seed, onion, and turmeric.      tips   “Chili powder” in grocery stores is typically a mix of cumin, oregano, powdered garlic, dried chilis, and other ingredients. To buy a pure chili powder, like what we use in our recipes, look for these:  Hungarian paprika.   Cayenne  Ancho chili powder  Degi mirch (bright, red powdered chili)  Reshampatti (a powdered Kashmiri chili)    Do not touch your eyes after handling. A point that cannot be overstated enough.    health benefits    Capsaicin, where the chilies get their heat, is responsible for most of their health benefits which include….   A bounty of antioxidants and minerals such as potassium and magnesium  Proven pain killer  Increases metabolism and decreases appetite        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 CUMIN

Taste: Nutty, peppery, slightly bitter, warm and pungent with a smokey flavor.  

Look: Dark grey blackish seeds

Smell: A bit mellower than regular cumin, slightly floral, and sweeter.

      black cumin   Taste:  Nutty, peppery, slightly bitter, warm and pungent with a smokey flavor.     Look:  Dark grey blackish seeds   Smell:  A bit mellower than regular cumin, slightly floral, and sweeter.  cook     Add to biryanis (mixed rice dish), pilafs (also mixed rice dish, less spiced than biryanis), breads and biscuits, chutneys, lamb, potatoes, and even mango.     Pairs well with cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, pumpkin seed, and turmeric.     tips      Quite rare and expensive, treat it like you would saffron  Does not require roasting, but is recommended to intensify the flavor     health benefits      Anti-inflammatory (the extracted oil)  Stronger diuretic than that of regular cumin  Immunity booster (used on an ongoing basis)  Can reduce risk factors that contribute to heart disease        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).

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).     

  

  	
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          
           
              ground cumin  
           
          

         
      
       
    

  


     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    Looks similar to the caraway seed, be sure you are get what you are looking for    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). 

      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. Essentially any place that you would use a lemon.    Use a meat tenderizer.    Combines well with cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, and chiles.     tips   Buy powdered already, 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.