There are roughly a dozen different herbs and spices most housewives and restaurants use. Most herbs and spices need grinding before adding to the recipes. However, some may be used as a whole.
Cumin Seeds (Jeera): This is a versatile spice. Cumin seeds – dried, whole and ground. Two types – Brown and Black. Cumin has a good effect on digestion. It brings relief in the abdominal area in cases of colic, diarrhea, and dysmenorrhea. Stimulates appetite, cleanse the blood. Good for pulmonary diseases.
Coriander (Dhania): This is mostly used in ground form. Coriander goes well with cumin, chili, mint, and garlic. It enhances the taste when cooking fish, poultry and meat dishes. Complements chutney, plum jam, and pickled vegetables. Coriander contains essential oils which help stomach and intestinal disorders and has a sedative effect on nerves. It strength Turmeric (Haldi): Generally used in ground form (either paste or powdered). It comes from the root of the Curcuma Longa plant. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Curcumin can correct the genetic defect responsible for cystic fibrosis.
Curcumin’s antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from radicals that can damage cellular DNA. It inhibits cancer cell growth and metastases. Turmeric is believed to lower rates of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer.
Cinnamon (Dalchini): Who doesn’t love a sprinkling of cinnamon on fresh apple pie or atop a chai latte? It’s just one of those spices that taste fantastic. But the taste is not the only reason to love cinnamon. Here are some good health reasons to love this super spice.
This spice is enriched in some healthy surprises and can be used all through the year. However, true cinnamon is the product of the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, which is native to Sri Lanka and South India. In North America, cassia is often used interchangeably with cinnamon; it is also native to Southeast Asia especially China and Vietnam. The flavor the more promising it is health wise.
The basic health benefits are:
1. True cinnamon promises to control blood sugar level.
1. The bark when eaten prevents the spread of cancer virus.
1. It acts as an odor neutralizer.
1. It is nutritious and is enriched with manganese, iron, calcium, and fiber too. By adding it to any recipe, you are increasing your minerals.
1. It is a very powerful antioxidant.
1. It controls gum and toothache.
1. It helps in reducing weight.
1. Manganese, which cinnamon is rich in, reduces mood swings and cramps during PMS and cinnamaldehyde, an active compound in cinnamon, can help balance hormones.
1. It is also very good for the heart.
It is used in curries and pilafs and in garam masala. It may be used to spice up chocolates, desserts, mulled wines, creams, and syrups. In Mexico, cinnamon is added to tea and brewed.
Brown & Green Cardamom Pods (Large & Small Elachi):
Five Whole Spices (Panchphoran):
Fennel Seeds (Mouri): Usually used in dry ground or paste form.
Mustard Seeds (Sorse): Used in dry ground and paste form.
Chilli: Fruit, fresh and dried, crushed or ground. Chilli fruits are Round, pointed, green, yellow or red.
Used for eating and seasoning. They contain Capsaicin, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Chilli promotes blood circulation, has antibacterial properties. If consumed in high doses induces perspiration.
Tamarind (Tetul): It is categorized as fruit. Has a pungent sweet taste. Usually used in pickles and chutney. Tamarind has a laxative effect, rich in vitamin c, is available in dried or paste form. The sour and fruity taste of tamarind goes well with sharp chili. It is sometimes used similarly to lemon juice or vinegar and is added to meat and fish dishes as well as to vegetable dishes and stew. Since tamarind is rich in pectin. It is used to thicken chutney, jelly, and marmalade.
Ginger (Adrak): Root fresh, dried, ground or pickled. Ginger tea or ginger baths are prescribed as an alternative medicine for rheumatism, muscle pain or colds. Ginger stimulates the appetite. Promotes digestion and relieves stomach cramps.
Garlic (Rasun): Bulb used as whole or paste. The Romans regarded garlic as an aphrodisiac. Regular use of garlic improves poor blood circulation as garlic has a sulfur compound. Roasted in oil or when cooked it loses its piquancy.
Basil Leaves (Tulsi):