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paprika250px IMG 1735Paprika comes from sweet, mild peppers and capsicums that are sun-dried then ground to a fine brilliant red powder. It smells and tastes sweet and lightly pungent, then faintly bitter. The combination of turmeric and paprika adds the vibrant orange red colour to many Indian dishes. Store in a dry, dark place for upto 2 months.

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IMG 1714The dried seed pod of a herbaceous perennial of the ginger family native to south India and Sri Lanka, it is known as the ‘queen of spices’. The pods are used either whole or split to release the seeds. Green cardamom has an intense, pungent, sweet scent and flavour and is widely used. The black variety tastes rather medicinal and is used mainly in northern Indian cooking to flavour meat, pulao and rice dishes. It’s also an important ingredient in many hot spice mixes or garam masalas

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IMG 1712 asafoetidaA dried resin gum extracted from the rhizome or taproot of two species of a giant fennel plant. It is sold as a resinous gum but is sometimes available as a dry yellow powder. Raw, it has an unpleasant, pungent aroma and tastes extremely bitter. However, cooked it tastes like fried onions

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Cumin Seeds

IMG 2580 cuminThe seeds of an annual herb of the parsely family, and a major constituent of curry powder. Cumin seeds are long and oval, and yellowish-brown in colour. They have an earthy warm, pungent aroma, and taste pungent, spicy and sweet, with a bitter edge. Dry-roast the seeds lightly to enhance their unique flavour and scent and use them in meat and vegetable curries, spicy salads and yogurt.

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Garam Masala

garammasala250px IMG 1717The name means a mixture of spices, and the blending of spices is fundamental to Indian cookery. There are infinite different combinations, and every one imparts its own distinctive flavours. Blends of garam masala vary enormously, according to local or regional tastes. Each Indian household produces its own unique blend of spices to produce a garam masala. However, commercially blended garam masala is available in most major supermarkets. Store garam masala in an airtight container for upto 6 months.

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