Herbs and Spices
Indian Herbs & Spices
Many of us are familiar with India’s cuisine and love the herbs & spices used to flavour the food. Here we will take a look at some of the herbs & spices from India used by our chefs at the Dhaka Restaurant, such as cardamom, fennel and turmeric as well as the spice blends of curry and garam masala. We hope you find the list informative and also helpful in making your choice from our menu.
ANISEED is revered as a sacred herb in india. There are 40 varieties, but the most common is bush basil.
BAY LEAF is mainly used in pulaos and a few curries.
CINNAMON is the dried bark of the cinnamon tree. It is moderately pungent and sweet in taste. It is a tonic as well as an antiseptic. It also helps to lower high blood pressure.
CLOVES A powerful antiseptic and is used as an aromatic culinary spice. Indians valued cloves highly as a breath-freshener as well as a painkiller for toothache, long before clove oil became a popular remedy in the Western World.
TUMERIC It is the root of a plant, which is boiled, dried and powdered. It adds colour and flavour to the curries. This spice reduces fat, purifies and helps circulate blood, enhances body colour and is an effective antiseptic.
MACE It is the aril or inner coating of the nutmeg. It is scarlet in colour and its flavour resembles that of nutmeg. Its flakes are crushed and added to the masala powder.
NUTMEG The dried seed of an aromatic tree, mainly found in Kerela. It has a very strong flavour and is added with caution to curry powders.
CUMIN It is the seed of an annual herb and is a member of the parsley family. It is used whole or in powder form.
FENNEL An aromatic seed that is mainly used in Kashmir! dishes
FENUGREEK Its seeds have a pleasantly bitter taste and are copiously used as an ingredient in pickle masalas. Its green leaves are rich in iron, calcium and sulphur, and are extensively used in Indian cooking.
GARAM MASALA Certain spices blended, powdered and used for 'piping up' the curries. Added either after the curries are done or during the cooking process.
SAFFRON An expensive and exotic pistil of a flower (grown in the Kashmir valley). This spice has a great reputation as a stimulant: it is very rejuvenating and is considered to be an aphrodisiac.
TAMARIND Is a very good palate-enhancer, and is excellent for digestion.
GARLIC Originated in India. A sovereign root to ward off colds and flu, and is effective against pain. Good for blood circulation and helps relieve any joint aches; also relieves sore throats and head colds, not to mention its aphrodisiac properties.
YOGHURT During the past few decades, the West has woken up to the excellent health qualities of yoghurt, but in India, yoghurt has been used for thousands of years in food and as a meat tenderiser. It helps lower cholesterol, prevents common digestive tract ailments, reduces hypertension and enhances the immune system.
KARAHI A curved, heavy iron pan akin to a 'wok' used by Chinese cooks.
TAWA A skillet or griddle made of cast iron and used for making paratha or chapattis.
TAN DOOR Tandoori cooking is recognized as the most flavourful and healthy cuisine. This method is, in fact, a combination of grilling, baking and smoking simultaneously, and thus creates a unique tandoori flavour unmatched by any other technique.