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ALL ABOUT SPICES
SPICE ENCYCLOPEDIA
NUSKHA
TIPS
SPICE ENCYCLOPEDIA
Cinnamon Coriander Cumin Turmeric Chili Ginger Garam Masala Cardamom Clove Curry Powder
Fennel Seeds Fenugreek Garlic Licorice Mace Nutmeg Oregano Paprika
Cinnamon
Once known as the emperor of spices, Cinnamon was so highly prized that it was fit to be a gift to kings and Gods. In ancient Egypt cinnamon was used medicinally and as a flavoring for beverages, it was also used in embalming, where body cavities were filled with spiced preservatives. In the ancient world cinnamon was more precious than gold.
The name itself comes from Greek kinnámmon, a word derived ultimately from Phoenician. The botanical name for the spice—Cinnamomum zeylanicum—is derived from Sri Lanka's former (colonial) name, Ceylon. In Malayalam it is called karugapatta and in Tamil pattai or lavangappattai. In Indonesia, where it is cultivated in Java and Sumatra, it is called kayu manis and sometimes cassia vera, the "real' cassia. In Sri Lanka, in the original Sinhala, cinnamon is known as kurundu, recorded in English in the 17th century as Korunda. In Sanskrit cinnamon is known as tvak or drusit. In Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and Hindustani cinnamon is called dalchini, in Assamese it is called alseni, and in Gujarati taj. In Arabic it is called qerfa.

The fabulous spice has found following since remote antiquity; the first mention of a particular spice in the Old Testament is of cinnamon where Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil; in Proverbs 7:17–18, where the lover's bed is perfumed with myrrh, aloe and cinnamon; and in Song of Solomon 4:14, a song describing the beauty of his beloved, cinnamon scents her garments like the smell of Lebanon. Before the foundation of Cairo, cinnamon was shipped from Alexandria. When the sieur de Joinville accompanied his king to Egypt on Crusade in 1248, he reported what he had been told— and believed— that cinnamon was fished up in nets at the source of the Nile out at the edge of the world. In Herodotus and other authors, Arabia was the source of cinnamon: giant Cinnamon birds collected the cinnamon sticks from an unknown land where the cinnamon trees grew, and used them to construct their nests; the Arabs employed a trick to obtain the sticks. The rise of the west in modern times could be partly attributed to the spice as the hegemony over the spice trade was slowly won by controlling cinnamon and establishing Asian colonies for the purpose. The demand for cinnamon was enough to launch a number of explorers’ enterprises. The Portuguese invaded Sri Lanka immediately after reaching India in 1536. The Sinhalese King paid the Portuguese tributes of 110,000 kilograms of cinnamon annually.

Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. Cinnamon comes in ‘quills’, strips of bark rolled one in another. The pale brown to tan bar strips are generally thin, the spongy outer bark having been scraped off. The best varieties are pale and parchment-like in appearance. Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly. Cinnamon powder is principally used as a condiment and flavoring material. It's used in the preparation of chocolate, especially in Mexico, which is the main importer of true cinnamon. It is also used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, such as apple pie and cinnamon buns as well as spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa, and liqueurs. True cinnamon, rather than cassia, is more suitable for use in sweet dishes. In the Asia and Middle East, it is often used to enhance preparations of chicken and lamb. In the United States, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavor cereals, bread-based dishes, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling.

In medicine it acts like other volatile oils and as a cure for colds. It has also been used to treat diarrhea and other problems of the digestive system. Cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. The essential oil of cinnamon also has antimicrobial properties, which can aid in the preservation of certain foods.

Cinnamon has been reported to have remarkable pharmacological effects in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and insulin resistance- the modern scourge. Recent advancement in phytochemistry has shown that it is a cinnamtannin B1 isolated from C. zeylanicum which is of therapeutic effect on Type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon has traditionally been used to treat toothache and fight bad breath and its regular use is believed to stave off common cold and aid digestion.

Cinnamon has been proposed for use as an insect repellent, although it remains untested. Cinnamon leaf oil has been found to be very effective in killing mosquito larvae. The compounds cinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl acetate, eugenol, and anethole, that are contained in cinnamon leaf oil, were found to have the highest effectiveness against mosquito larvae.
Regular drinking of Cinnamomum zeylanicum tea made from the bark could be beneficial to oxidative stress related illness in humans, as the plant part contains significant antioxidant potential.

Coriander
Practically synonymous with coriander chutney and the coriander sherbet , the spice has a glorious past. The cultivation of coriander goes back to most ancient species in the Mediterranean region. Coriander, indeed finds pride place and mention in the Holy Bible and has been an object of culiniary praise since the Middle Ages. Even Sanskrit texts mention coriander`s cultivation in ancient India almost 7000 years ago.

The name `coriander` is etymologically derived from French coriander, that deduces from Latin "coriandrum", which in turn was derived from Greek kopis. The Botanical name of coriander is Coriandrum sativum Linn, which is further classed within the Family name of Umbelliferae. Its called Dhania in Hindi; Dhane in Bengali; Kothmiri and Libdhana in Gujarati; Kothambri in Kannada; Daaniwal and Kothambalari in Kashmiri; Kothumpalari bija in Malayalam; Dhana in Marathi; Dhania in Oriya; Dhania in Punjabi; Dhanyaka in Sanskrit; Kothamalli in Tamil; Dhaniyalu in Telugu. Its fame spreads far and wide its called Malli in Malayalam, Ketumbar in Malay, kindza in Georgia (Sakartvelo), Kini in Turkey, xiang cai in Mandarin, heung choy in Cantonese, gosu in Korean, Chinese parsley or Mexican parsley in North America, coriandolo in Italian.

This special herb derives its fame as an incredible `Appetite stimulant` and coriander leaves (also referred to as coriander green) are utilised in almost all parts of Asia and has umpteen uses throughout India, Thailand, Vietnam and sections of China in the form of garnishing for an assortment of dishes. Fresh coriander leaves and its seeds are too well known to India and need no unveiling of its base or description, particularly to housewives, as coriander is used almost daily in dozens of curries, numerous dishes and above all, the paste of the leaves is popular as a chutney or sauce. Coriander seed is a key spice in garam masala and Indian curries, which often employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin. It also acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds, called dhana dal, are also eaten as a snack. It is also the main ingredient of the two south Indian gravies: sambhar and rasam. Besides the use of leaves for dressing a dish, coriander is also used as the dried ripe fruit of the yearly herb with numerous branches and notched leaves. Coriander , as a fragrant spice, is valued as much for its medicinal properties as for its use as an agent of flavoring and seasoning. Coriander finds far-reaching and widespread application in umpteen kinds of foods, beverages, liquors and perfumes . Even the world of ayurveda employs it extensively.

Outside of Asia, coriander seed is an important spice for pickling vegetables, and making sausages in Germany and South Africa (see boerewors). In Russia and Central Europe coriander seed is an occasional ingredient in rye bread as an alternative to caraway. Coriander seeds are also used in brewing certain styles of beer, particularly some Belgian wheat beers. The fresh leaves are an essential ingredient in Mexican salsas and guacamole. Today western Europeans usually eat coriander leaves only in dishes that originated in foreign cuisines, except in southern Portugal, where they are still an essential ingredient in many traditional dishes.

The coriander leaves also constitute one of the richest sources of Vitamin C (250 mg/100g.) and Vitamin A (5,200 I.U./100g.). The flowers of this plant yield ample nectar. The sieved `honey` of coriander is known for the taste as well as for its emblematic aroma. The honey is not only rich in vitamins and minerals, but also comprises more of unsaturated sugar as compared to saturated sugar. A type of Sodium soap prepared from Coriander oil possesses a pleasant odour and sound lathering properties; it is soft in consistency and green in colour. Coriander seeds yield a good quality oleoresin that can be employed for seasoning beverages, pickles, sweets and numerous other delicacies. Besides, it is also used for flavoring pastries, cookies, buns, cakes and tobacco products.

Coriander seeds considered to be carminative, diuretic, tonic, stomachic, antibilious, refrigerant, also serving as an aphrodisiac. Considering its various virtues, it just might also be possible to manufacture a number of medicinal products from the herb. Alcoholic extracts as `mother tincture` of this herb is exceedingly popular amongst the homeopathic professionals. Additionally, coriander juice (mixed with either turmeric powder or mint juice) is used by some as a treatment for acne, applied to the face like toner.

Cumin
The near magical properties of Cumin has been known to mankind since ancient times. Native Syria where it thrives in the hot and arid lands it was known to Turkey, Greece and found its way to Spain from where the word cumin passed on to Western Europe and the English language. In Northern India and Nepal, cumin is known as jeera (Devanagari) or jira, while in Iran and Pakistan it is known as zeera (Persian ); in Southern India it is called Jeerige in (Kannada)) or jeeragam or seeragam (Tamil ) ; jilakarra (Telugu) Cumin is also known to Sri Lanka as duru in Iran and Central Asia as zireh; in Turkey, cumin is known as kimyon and is called kemun in Ethiopian, and is one of the ingredients in the spice mix berbere. Cumin has always been used in these regions - seeds, have been found at the Syrian as well as ancient the Egyptian archaeological sites . It also finds extensive mention in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament (Matthew 23:23). The Greeks flavored their dining table spreads with cumin and kept it in its own container a practice that continues in Morocco. Cumin was also used heavily in ancient Roman cuisine. Cumin was introduced to the Americas by Spanish colonists. During the Middle Ages, superstition had it that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who carried cumin seed throughout the wedding ceremony and was also used in the treatment of the common cold by adding to hot milk.

Today, cumin has emerged as the second most popular spice in the world -black pepper takes the top spot in terms of popularity. It distinctive aroma makes it an ideal food enhancer in Indian, Pakistan, North African, Middle Eastern, Sri Lankan, Cuban, Northern Mexican cuisines, and the Western Chinese cuisines of Sichuan and Xinjiang. Cumin is also added to Dutch cheeses like Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is also a traditional ingredient Brazilian cuisine. Cumin also finds a prominent place in (often Texan or Mexican-style) Chili powder, and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat.

Cumin is used to season many dishes as it lessens the natural sweetness. Traditionally , it is an ideal enhancer for curries, enchiladas, tacos, and other Middle-Eastern, Indian, Cuban and Mexican-style foods. Added to salsa for extra flavor, it is one of the main ingredients in making authentic Mexican guacamole . Cumin has also been used on meat in addition to other common seasonings. The spice is familiar ingredient in Tex-Mex dishes.

Cumin is considered a herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a stimulant, carminative, and antimicrobial.

The Cumin plant is useful to mankind in every form and industries are built dealing with these raw Cumin seeds, all across the nation. Aqueous extract of cumin seed is frequently used for removing intestinal worms. The seeds have been considered as stimulant, carminative, stomachic, astringent and useful in diarrhea and dyspepsia. The essential oil is similarly used for flavoring various food items and as a basic perfume. The oil cake is a good cattle fodder. The flowers of Cumin during the season yield sufficient nectar, thus can assure us with tasty honey. Cumin honey is viscous, contains higher quantity of iron and has higher quantity of unsaturated sugar. In South Asia, cumin tea (dry seeds boiled in hot water) is used to distinguish false-labours (due to gas) from real labor. Toasting cumin seeds and then boiling them in water makes a tea used to soothe acute stomach problems, in Sri Lanka.

Turmeric
Integral part Indian rituals, Turmeric is vital to Indian culinary spread, appearance, health and even well being. A yellow spice with a warm and mellow flavor, it is used liberally in modern Indian cooking. Turmeric is added to nearly every dish, in every region - whether the dish is or non vegetarian. It is an important spice for many vegetable curries, rice preparation and other dishes. Not surprisingly, India produces nearly whole world’s turmeric crop and consumes 80% of it. With its inherent qualities, Indian turmeric is also considered the best in the world.

While the exact origin and history of turmeric in India remains unknown, but it is thought to have originated in the precise parts of western and southern India. Indians have been continuously using the spice for more than 5000 years now. Initially, cultivated as a dye as its vivid yellow colour works brilliantly as a coloring agent but over time they started using it for cosmetic and beautification purposes and eventually as a medicine. Turmeric had reached China by 700 A.D., East Africa by 800 A.D. and West Africa by 1200 A.D., and also had begun to become popular all through the world. It is also known that the Arab traders had carried with them turmeric to Europe in the 13th century. Marco Polo, while on his several legendary voyages to India via the Silk Route, was very impressed by turmeric.

Turmeric takes different names in various regions. Famous as Haldi in Hindi, it is treasured as Manjal in Tamil, Zard chub in Urdu,Kunyit Kunir in Indonesian , Kha min chan in Thai; Indian saffron in English; Safran des Indes in French ; Indischer Safran in German - all pointing to its India origins.

Used as a prime ingredient in curry powder and Turmeric finds extensive presence in Asian cuisines- being one of the principle ingredients of curry powder. It is an enhancer for chutneys, pickles, relishes, fish soups and blended with melted butter and drizzle over cooked vegetables, pasta, or potatoes. Because it imparts a vivid yellow color to the food it is cooked with; it is often used to color as well as flavor condiments, rice dishes and sauces. Turmeric is also used to add Eastern mystery to traditional curries, rice and chicken dishes, and condiments. In non-South Asian recipes, turmeric is sometimes used as an agent to impart a rich, custard-like yellow color. It has found application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatins, etc. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. Turmeric is used in savory dishes, not sweet ones.

Turmeric plays a part in umpteen Hindu rituals; since historical times it has used as a medicine for stomach-aches and disorders. It is employed to heal many health disorders like liver problems, digestive disorders, treatment for skin diseases and wound healing turmeric has long been used in Medicinal as an anti-inflammatory. It can be added into foods including rice and bean dishes to improve digestion, reduce gas and bloating. It is a cholagogue, stimulating bile production in the liver and encouraging excretion of bile via the gallbladder to improve the body's ability to digest fats.

Turmeric is beneficial for its influence on the liver and has liver protectant compounds and is especially helpful in treating liver conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and jaundice. Recent scientific research confirms that turmeric can restrain the growth of various types of cancer.

Since time immemorial, turmeric is very popular in cosmetic use especially for woman. Natural plant products like turmeric have been formulated to heal and prevent dry skin, treat skin conditions such as eczema and acne, and retard the aging process. Washing in turmeric improves skin complexion and also reduces hair growth on body. Turmeric can also benefit skin conditions including: eczema, psoriasis and acne. Curcumin from turmeric is also used in natural dye to produce a range of color from yellow to deep orange.

Turmeric is also very effective tonic and a blood purifier. It is also skin-friendly and constitutes an important ingredient of many creams and lotions. Turmeric is one of the main ingredients in leading radiator stop-leak sealant mixtures.

Chili
Long considered the hottest spice and a sure shot protector against evil, chilly is a fruit harvested from a berry bush. Its flavor intensity and fleshiness determines whether it will end up on the table as a vegetable (e.g. bell pepper) or as a spice (e.g. cayenne pepper).

Chili peppers originated in the Americas; and is now grown around the world, as a food as well as a medicine. Although unknown in Africa and Asia until its introduction from the New World by the Europeans, the chili pepper has since become an essential pillar of the cuisines of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Nepal, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Southwest China (including Sichuan cuisine), Sri Lanka, Thailand, West Africa and many other cooking traditions.

The fruit is eaten raw or cooked for its fiery hot flavor, concentrated along the top of the pod.

The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and capsaicinoids .When consumed, capsaicinoids bind with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are normally responsible for sensing heat. Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot. The stem end of the pod has most of the glands that produce the capsaicin. The white flesh surrounding the seeds contains the highest concentration of capsaicin.

Scoville scale is used to determine the pungency of the chilli. The Scoville Organoleptic Test was invented by a pharmacist, Wilbur L. Scoville, in 1912 while working in Parke Davis Pharmaceutical Company. Since that time, this scientific method of measuring the pungent property of chilli is now used widely across the world.

While the Indian mirchi is synonymous with spicy ,in Turkey, chilies are known as Kimz Biber (Red Pepper) or AchBiber (Hot Pepper), and are used in the form of either red pepper paste (Biber Salçasi) which can be hot or mild. Harissa is a hot pepper sauce made of chili, garlic and flavored with spices, originating in Tunisia and widely used in its cuisine, both as a condiment and as seasoning. Some of the most known varieties are the bell peppers, the jalapeños, cayenne, tabasco, Scotch Bonnet, habanero, rocotto peppers and aji peppers. You can find them in several colors like red, green, yellow and orange chilies. There are three groups of chillies: Bell peppers, sweet peppers and hot peppers.

Indian cooking has multiple uses for chilies, from simple snacks like bhaji where the chilies are dipped in batter and fried, to wonderfully complex curries. Chilies are dried, roasted and salted as a side dish for rice varieties such as daddojanam or Thayir sadam (curd rice) or Daal Rice (rice with lentils). The soaked and dried chillies are a seasoning ingredient in recipes such as kootu. It is called "mirapa" in Telugu.Sambal is a versatile relish made from chili peppers as well as other ingredients such as garlic, onion, shallots, salt, vinegar and sugar, which is popular in Indonesia and Malaysia, and also in Sri Lanka (called "sambol") and South Africa.

Chili pepper plant leaves are cooked as greens in Filipino cuisine, where they are called dahon ng sili (literally "chili leaves"). In Japanese cuisine, the leaves are cooked as greens, and also cooked in tsukudani style for preservation. The chili has a long association with and is extensively used in Mexican and certain South American cuisines, and later adapted into the emerging Tex-Mex cuisine. Chili peppers are used around the world to make a countless variety of sauces, known as hot sauce, chili sauce, or pepper sauce.

In Italian cuisine crushed red pepper flakes are a common ingredient on pizza among other things. It is also commonly used in Turkey as a garnish, called Biber Dövme.

Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene ("provitamin A"). Yellow and especially green chilies (which are essentially unripe fruit) contain a considerably lower amount of both substances. In addition, these are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular. They are very high in potassium and high in magnesium and iron. Their high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains.
Capsaicin is a safe and effective analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster-related pain, diabetic neuropathy, postmastectomy pain, and headaches. However, a high consumption of chili is associated with stomach cancer.

Ginger
Although often mistakenly called a “ginger root”, is actually a rhizome. Ginger grows on a perennial creeper plant, with an erect stem and lance-shaped leaves. Needing a tropical climate with both a heavy rain season and a hot dry season, it is harvested every year.

Not surprisingly Ginger is native to India and China and derives its name from the Sanskrit word 'stringa-vera' - “with a body like a horn”, referring to antler like shape. Traditionally, Ginger has occupied and important place in Chinese medicine for many centuries, and finds mention in Confucian writings. It is also mentioned in the Koran, indicating that Arabs knew about it as early as 650 A.D. One of the earliest spices known in Western Europe, gradually its popularity became so great that it was placed in every table setting, like salt and pepper. Ginger was amongst the host of articles imported into Europe during medieval and Renaissance trade. Its healing properties came to the fore in the fight against the plague. , it was one of the spices used. In the nineteenth century, small containers of ground ginger were strategically placed in the English pubs and taverns to be sprinkle beer — that began the preference for ginger ale.

Fresh ginger is usually whole raw roots with a piece of the rhizome, being called a ‘hand’. Peeling off its skin of brown to off-white color reveals a pale yellow interior. The pale buff Jamaican ginger is regarded as the best variety while the darker skinned African and Indian ginger is generally inferior.

In Asian cooking ginger is almost always used fresh, minced, crushed or sliced. Fresh ginger can be kept for several weeks in the salad drawer of the refrigerator. Whole fresh roots provide the freshest taste. Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger is made from fresh young roots, peeled and sliced, then cooked in a heavy sugar syrup. Crystallized ginger is also cooked in sugar syrup, and then air dried and rolled in sugar. Buy crystallized ginger. The root sliced paper-thin and pickled in a vinegar solution makes for pickled ginger. Its called gari in Japan as , and serves as a fiery accompaniment to sushi.

Fresh ginger is used in pickles, chutneys and curry pastes in Asia with the ground dried root being a major constituent of curry powders. Sliced tender young ginger is eaten as a salad while green sprouts are often added to green salad. Pickled ginger constantly accompanies satays and garnishes many Chinese dishes. The use of dried ginger is more prevalent in the West, and is mainly used in cakes and biscuits, especially ginger snaps and gingerbread. Preserved ginger is eaten as a confection, chopped up for cakes and puddings, and is sometimes used as an ice cream ingredient. Ginger is an ingredient in puddings, jams, preserves as well as in some drinks like ginger beer, ginger wine and tea.

Imbibed internally or externally, Ginger has forever been believed to be an aphrodisiac and finds mention in the Karma Sutra. In the Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific, it is employed to fan the Cupid desires, while in the Philippines it is said to expel evil spirits. Ginger is known to causes excessive sweating that made it an ideal plague medicine during the great London Plague. By increasing the production of digestive fluids and saliva, Ginger helps relieve indigestion, gas pains, diarrhea and stomach cramping. The primary known constituents of Ginger Root include gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. Ginger root is also used to treat nausea related to both motion sickness and morning sickness. Iit is extremely effective in curbing motion sickness, without causing drowsiness.

Ginger's excels as a healer of wounds and minor injuries as its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms. It effectively stimulates circulation of the blood, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin. It is also used for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems by loosening and expelling phlegm from the lungs. By warming the body and increasing perspiration, it facilitates in abating fevers.

Garam Masala
Garam masala is what makes most South East Asian food hot. Derived from Hindi garam, "hot" and masala "paste", it is a blend of- usually- ground spices and as an enhancer or a seasoning. It is common in Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani cuisines. It is a staple in most Indian curries and in fact stands at the heart of its taste. Besides its combination of different spices has so many permutations that its taste changes every 100 kms!
Garam masala differs according to region as new spices keep getting added in various regions. Some common ingredients are black & white peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, long pepper (also known as pippali), black cumin (known as shahi jeera), cumin seeds, cinnamon, black, brown & green cardamum, nutmeg, mace, and star anise, coriander seeds.These are used in varying combinations and often others added to create innumerable variants. many variants are formulated for a specific purpose but discovering what is the most authentic garam masala is impossible.

While some recipes blend Garam masala with herbs, others grind it with water, vinegar or other liquids, such as coconut milk, in order to make a paste. Sometimes nuts, onion or garlic may be added and the flavors carefully blended for balance. In rare cases a specific flavor may be emphasized for special dishes where this is desired but in most cases the Garam masala is cooked before use to release its flavors and aromas.

The North-West Indian garam masala is based around cloves, green and/or black/brown cardamom, cinnamon, cassia), and mace and/or nutmeg. Black pepper is added if the mix is to be used immediately, but if kept, the fragrance diminishes and may change character. The Northern garam masala also uses cumin and caraway). These ingredients are usually ground together, but not roasted. Garam masala is fairly pungent but rarely hot like chillies. While commercial garam masala preparations can be bought ready ground, as with all ground spice, they do not keep well and soon lose their aroma. Whole spices, which keep fresh much longer, can be ground when needed using a mortar and pestle or electric coffee grinder.

Garam masala comes in two forms: the whole where the individual spices are purchased and mixed separately, or a commercially pre ground and premixed packet. Commercially ground garam masala is usually added at the end of cooking so that the aroma is not lost. Whole garam masala usually emanates a more pungent flavor and is added with the fat/oil/ghee. many Indian chefs do not use commercially ground garam masala and insist on making their own from whole spices and herbs. These are heated in oil to release their aroma before being combined with food. This special blend of spice is used in a small quantity at the end of cooking or fried in the beginning of cooking to add a subtle flavor to the cooked dish.

Cardamom
Cardamom is one of the world’s very ancient spices. It is native to the East originating in the forests of the western ghats in southern India, where it grows wild. Today it also grows in Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Indo China and Tanzania. The ancient Egyptians chewed cardamom seeds as a tooth cleaner; the Greeks and Romans used it as a perfume. Vikings came upon cardamom about one thousand years ago, in Constantinople, and introduced it into Scandinavia, where it remains popular to this day.

Cardamom is an expensive spice, second only to saffron. It is often adulterated and there are many inferior substitutes from cardamom-related plants, such as Siam cardamom, Nepal cardamom, winged Java cardamom, and bastard cardamom. However, it is only Elettaria cardamomum which is the true cardamom. Indian cardamom is known in two main varieties: Malabar cardamom and Mysore cardamom. The Mysore variety contains higher levels of cineol and limonene and hence is more aromatic.

Spice Description
Cardamom comes from the seeds of a ginger-like plant. The small, brown-black sticky seeds are contained in a pod in three double rows with about six seeds in each row. The pods are between 5-20 mm (1/4”-3/4”) long, the larger variety known as ‘black’, being brown and the smaller being green. White-bleached pods are also available. The pods are roughly triangular in cross section and oval or oblate. Their dried surface is rough and furrowed, the large ‘blacks’ having deep wrinkles. The texture of the pod is that of tough paper. Pods are available whole or split and the seeds are sold loose or ground. It is best to buy the whole pods as ground cardamom quickly loses flavour.

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Culinary Uses
The pods can be used whole or split when cooked in Indian substantial meals — such as pulses. Otherwise, the seeds can be bruised and fried before adding main ingredients to the pan, or pounded with other spices as required. Keep the pods whole until use. The pod itself is neutral in flavour and not generally used, imparting an unpleasant bitter flavour when left in dishes.

Cardamom is used mainly in the Near and Far East. Its commonest Western manifestation is in Dutch ‘windmill’ biscuits and Scandinavian-style cakes and pastries, and in akvavit. It features in curries, is essential in pilaus (rice dishes) and gives character to pulse dishes. Cardamom is often included in Indian sweet dishes and drinks. At least partially because of its high price, it is seen as a ‘festive’ spice. Other uses are; in pickles, especially pickled herring; in punches and mulled wines; occasionally with meat, poultry and shellfish. It flavours custards, and some Russian liqueurs. Cardamom is also chewed habitually (like nuts) where freely available, as in the East Indies, and in the Indian masticory, betel pan. It is a flavouring for Arab and Turkish coffee which is served with an elaborate ritual..



Clove
The word ‘clove’ is from the Latin word for ‘nail’ – clavus. The clove is native to the North Moluccas, the Spice Islands of Indonesia. It is cultivated in Brazil, the West Indies, Mauritius, Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Zanzibar and Pemba. The Chinese wrote of cloves as early as 400 BC. and there is a record from 200 BC of courtiers keeping cloves in their mouths to avoid offending the emperor while addressing him. Arab traders delivered cloves to the Romans.

Spice Description
Cloves are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. When fresh, they are pink, dried, they turn to a rust-brown colour. Measuring 12-16 mm (1/2”-5/8”) long, they resemble small nails, with a tapered stem. The large end of the clove is the four-pointed flower bud.

Preparation and Storage
Cloves are best bought whole. As a powder flavour quickly deteriorates. Being extremely hard, it is difficult to grind cloves with a mortar and pestle so an electric grinder such as a coffee grinder is recommended. Store in an airtight container out of direct light.

Culinary Uses
Cloves can easily overpower a dish, particularly when ground, so only a few need be used. Whole cloves are often used to “stud” hams and pork, pushing the tapered end into the meat like a nail. A studded onion is frequently used to impart an elusive character to courts-bouillons, stocks and soups. Cloves are often used to enhance the flavour of game, especially venison, wild boar and hare. They are used in a number of spice mixtures including ras el hanout, curry powders, mulling spices and pickling spices. Cloves also figure in the flavour of Worcestershire sauce. They enjoy much popularity in North Africa and the Middle East where they are generally used for meat dishes, though rice is often aromatized with a few cloves.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Folklore says that sucking on two whole Cloves without chewing or swallowing them helps to curb the desire for alcohol. Traditional Chinese physicians have long used cloves to treat indigestion, diarrhea, hernia, and ringworm, as well as athlete's foot and other fungal infections. India's traditional Ayurvedic healers have used Cloves since ancient times to treat respiratory and digestive ailments. The medieval German herbalists used cloves as part of anti-gout mixture. Early American Eclectic physicians used cloves to treat digestive complaints, and they added it to bitter herbal medicines to make them more palatable. They were also the first to extract clove oil from the herbal buds, which they used on the gums to relieve toothache. A few drops of the oil in water will stop vomiting, and an infusion will relieve nausea. Essential oil of clove is effective against strep, staph and pneumomocci bacterias. Contemporary herbalists recommend vloves for digestive complaints and its oil for toothache. The primary chemical constituents include eugenol, caryophyllene, and tannins. Cloves are said to have a positive effect on stomach ulcers, vomiting, flatulence, and to stimulate the digestive system. It has powerful local antiseptic and mild anesthetic actions. Japanese researchers have discovered that like many spices, clove contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent the cell damage that scientists believe eventually causes cancer. On the other hand, in laboratory tests, the chemical eugenol, has been found to be a weak tumor promoter, making clove one of many healing herbs with both pro- and anti-cancer effects. At this point, scientists aren't sure which way the balance tilts. Until they are, anyone with a history of cancer should not use medicinal amounts of clove. For otherwise healthy non-pregnant, non-nursing adults, powdered clove is considered nontoxic. Additionally, dentists have used clove oil as an oral anesthetic. They also used it to disinfect root canals. Clove oil still is an active ingredient in several mouthwash products and a number of over-the-counter toothache pain-relief preparations. Cloves kill intestinal parasites and exhibits broad anti-microbial properties against fungi and bacteria, thus supporting its traditional use as a treatment for diarrhea, intestinal worms, and other digestive ailments. Like many culinary spices, Cloves helps relax the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract. And finally, eating cloves is said to be aphrodisiac..



Curry Powder
A Curry does not necessarily contain curry powder. Curry powder is in fact a blend of spices, varying according to regional preferences or traditions. As a result, there are literally thousands of "curry powders", each of which was uniquely suited for the produce and tastes of the region it developed in.

Indians tend to use garam masala (another type of curry powder, of which there are also many incantations) the way people in the west use curry powder. An exception is in the south they have developed a mixture called "sambhar powder" that is quite different from garam masala.

Actually, the word curry is derived from the south Indian word curriel, which was used in the local language (Tamil) for a fish stew that had tamarind and curry leaves (which is where these leaves also get their name even in local languages). This was then picked up and transformed into the present "curry" by the British. The word "curry", in its English sense, has no direct translation into any to India's fifteen languages, and Indians do not use the term even when speaking English.

Below are a few different blends of "English memsahib" curry powders. These mixes are similar to the "curry powder" you would find in a grocery store, and can be used in any recipe that calls for "curry powder". Blending it yourself has the advantage that the mix is likely to be fresher than the store bought version, and in addition you can adapt it to your own personal taste



Fennel Seeds
The sway of the feathery plumage of the delicate fennel leaves is a familiar sight in many a roadside in the United States, where it has naturalized - and in fact considered to be a weed. This plant originally hails from the Mediterranean region. Every part of this versatile plant, from the roots upwards, can be put to some good use; the bulb can consumed as salad or vegetable, its leaves as a seasoning herb, and its seeds ground into a spice.

History
It has a sweet and aromatic taste, similar to anise and licorice. Fennel was well-known and revered among the ancient Greeks and Romans. They enjoyed chewing on its sweet stalks, appreciated its medicinal qualities and even decked their heroes with it. In the Middle Age, it was used in amulets to protect from witchcraft. The Puritans dubbed the fennel seed as their "meeting seed" and chewed it during their long church services. Fennel is now grown in India, China, Egypt, Turkey, Australia and the United States.

Cooking
Fennel nicely complements almost any kind of fish preparation. Dry stalks of fennel placed under fish or shrimp being grilled or barbecued gives them a wonderful flavor. Fennel features in several Italian recipes such as tomato sauces and sausages. It is a key ingredient in several spice and herb blends such as Indian curry powders, Chinese Five Spices and the French Herbes de Province. The seeds give a distinctive flavor to baked goodies like bread, cakes and cookies. In some countries, fennel seeds are served with sugar as an after-meal mouth freshener.

Health Benefits of Fennel
Fennel's medicinal properties were discovered long before its use as a herb. The Roman naturalist Pliny extolled its virtues as an eye-strengthener. A few sprigs of fennel can be added to tea as a remedy for indigestion. It is also known that funnel can boost the production of milk in a nursing mother. Fennel is also a good source of Vitamin C. Also, the substance that gives fennel its anise-like taste - anethole - has been scientifically proven to fight against cancer and inflammation.



Fenugreek
Trigonella foenum-graecum
Fam: Leguminosae

Fenugreek is a native to India and southern Europe. For centuries it has grown wild in India, the Mediterranean and North Africa. where it is mainly cultivated. A limited crop grows in France. It was used by the ancient Egyptians to combat fever and grown in classical times as cattle fodder. Commercially, it is used in the preparation of mango chutneys and as a base for imitation maple syrup. In India it is used medicinally, and as a yellow dyestuff. It is also an oriental cattle fodder and is planted as a soil renovator. In the West, fenugreek’s therapeutic use is now largely confined to the treatment of animals, though historically. it has been used in human medicine. The name derives from the Latin ‘Greek hay” illustrating its classical use as fodder.

Spice Description
Fenugreek is the small stony seeds from the pod of a bean-like plant. The seeds are hard, yellowish brown and angular. Some are oblong, some rhombic, other virtually cubic, with a side of about 3mm (1/8”). A deep furrow all but splits them in two. They are available whole and dried , or as a dull yellow powder, ground from the roasted seeds.

Bouquet: Warm and penetrating, becoming more pronounced when the seeds are roasted. Ground, they give off a ‘spicy’ smell, pungent, like an inferior curry powder which would probably contain too much fenugreek.

Flavour: Powerful, aromatic and bittersweet, like burnt sugar. There is a bitter aftertaste, similar to celery or lovage.

Hotness Scale: 2

Where to Buy Fenugreek on the Internet
For online purchases we recommend buying through one of the reputable dealers associated with Amazon and their trusted and secure online ordering system. Click here to shop for fenugreek.

Preparation and Storage
Dried seeds should be lightly roasted before using (don’t overdo it though, or they will become bitter). After roasting, they are easily ground. A small amount will complement many other spices, but too much can be overpowering. If the seeds are required as part of a curry paste they can be soaked overnight to swell and soften, and be easily mixed with the other ingredients.

Culinary Uses
The major use of fenugreek is in curry powders, figuring in many mixtures, especially vindaloo and the hot curries of Sri Lanka. It is an ingredient of Panch phoron, the Indian five-spice mixture. In home-made powders, the amount used can be controlled, but in cheap bought powders it often overpowers. When fish is curried, particularly strong-tasting fish such as tuna and mackerel, fenugreek is frequently included in the spice mixture. Many chutneys and pickles incorporate it and it gives a tangy aroma to vegetables. The leaves, both fresh and dried, are used in meat curries, dhal and vegetable dishes and chutneys. The seeds are an ingredient of the Middle Eastern confection halva. Flour mixed with ground fenugreek makes a spicy bread. In India the roasted ground seeds are infused for a coffee substitute or adulterant. A tea can be made by infusing  teaspoon of seed with two cups of water for five minutes.

Attributed Medicinal Properties
Fenugreek is a digestive aid. As an emollient it is used in poultices for boils, cysts and other complaints. Reducing the sugar level of the blood, it is used in diabetes in conjunction with insulin. It also lowers blood pressure. Fenugreek relieves congestion, reduces inflammation and fights infection. Fenugreek contains natural expectorant properties ideal for  treating sinus and lung congestion, and loosens & removes excess mucus and phlegm. Fenugreek is also an excellent source of  selenium, an anti-radiant which helps the body utilize oxygen. Fenugreek is a natural source of iron, silicon, sodium and  thiamine. Fenugreek contains mucilagins which are known for soothing and relaxing inflamed tissues. Fenugreek stimulates the  production of mucosal fluids helping remove allergens and toxins from the respiratory tract. Acting as an expectorant,  Fenugreek alleviates coughing, stimulates perspiration to reduce fevers, and is beneficial for treating allergies, bronchitis  and congestion. In the East, beverages are made from the seed to ease stomach trouble. The chemical make-up is curiously  similar to cod liver oil, for which a decoction of the seed is sometimes used as a substitute. Many other properties are  ascribed to it in India and the East and not surprisingly include aphrodisiac. Fenugreek seeds contain alkaloids, including trigonelline, gentianine and carpaine compounds. The seeds also contain fiber,  4-hydroxyisoleucine and fenugreekine, a component that may have hypoglycemic activity. The mechanism is thought to delay  gastric emptying, slow carbohydrate absorption and inhibit glucose transport. Fenugreek may also increase the number of insulin receptors in red blood cells and improve glucose utilization in peripheral tissues, thus demonstrating potential anti-diabetes effects both in the pancreas and other sites. The amino acid 4-hydroxyisoleucine, contained in the seeds, may also directly stimulate insulin secretion.



Garlic
The word garlic comes from Old English garleac, meaning "spear leek." Dating back over 6,000 years, it is native to Central  Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent seasoning in Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Egyptians worshipped garlic and placed clay models of garlic bulbs in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Garlic was so highly-prized, it was even used as currency. Folklore holds that garlic repelled vampires, protected against the Evil Eye, and warded off
jealous nymphs said to terrorize pregnant women and engaged maidens. And let us not forget to mention the alleged aphrodisiacal powers of garlic which have been extolled through the ages.

Garlic has long been considered a medicinal food. It was used to protect against plague by monks in the Middle Ages. Hippocrates used garlic vapors to treat cervical cancer. Garlic poultices were placed on wounds during World War II as an inexpensive, and apparently quite effective replacement for antibiotics which were scarce during wartime.

Now science is beginning to prove the medicinal properties of garlic that our ancestors took for granted. Studies have shown garlic can suppress the growth of tumors, and is a potent antioxidant good for cardiovascular health.

Other studies show garlic can reduce LDLs or "bad" cholesterol and is a good blood-thinning agent to avoid blood clots which could potentially lead to heart attack or stroke.

All of this natural medicine comes at a cost of only 4 calories per clove



Licorice
Licorice. Just the word by itself evokes certain memories in each of us. Now imagine tasting some licorice right now; yum! In fact licorice has been enjoyed throughout the ages by pharaohs, kings, and people like you and I! Licorice comes in more varieties than the candy vines, it is used in teas, medicine, booze, food, and all sorts of candy. Let's take a look at how
licorice has become such a delectable treat worldwide.

Now, licorice wasn't always used in candy of course, it was often put into a drink consumed by the ancient Egyptians. Often time warriors would use licorice because it could help out on long marches when a thirst needed slaking. Many wise men in many countries like Alexander the Great and the Indian prophet, Brahma, encouraged the use of licorice for its healing properties. Even today the Aveda Company makes a comforting tea using the licorice root, Glycyrrhiza Glabra. Licorice has even been used to soothe coughs and heal peptic ulcers.

In spite of all its medicinal qualities, its most popular quality is its wonderful sweetness and its use in candies. It can be found around the world: In the United States of course, and in Germany, England, the Netherlands, and Nordic countries. Its popularity knows no boundary. In 1914 theAmerican Licorice Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois. Black Vines were born that year and have remained a popular treat ever since.The chewy black goodness evolved into "yummies" such as: Black Crows, Licorice Snaps, Black Scotties, and an all time favorite, Goodand Plenty. My favorite was a product call "Allsorts." These were originally manufactured in England and looked like beautiful candy jewelswith licorice surrounded by pink, blue, and yellow confections. They were cut into squares, cylinders, and rounds; usually layered so youcould see the licorice in the center of say a pink round candy. The look was tempting and the taste magnificent. You can still buy these today.

Eventually, in 1920 the classic Raspberry Vines made their debut, and while they weren't really licorice, they became synonymous with licorice because they were produced by the same company and had the same chewy characteristics as real black licorice. However, red licorice is made with strawberry or cherry extracts; they are not made with the licorice root, therefore, they don't taste anything like black licorice, but are delicious in their own right.

Licorice has been used for kinds of purposes throughout the ages. One thing that stands true is the tastiness and the memories we get when licorice is on our palate. We reminisce a bit about when life seemed to move a bit slower, or when  grandpa would hand us a licorice morsel out of his jar. Whatever the memory is, there is no denying the history and goodness of a licorice treat!

Christopher Pratt is President of Candy Warehouse, the leading candy store for bulk candy discounts and specialty candy for specific occasions. Candy Warehouse has novelty candy for many special occasions such as licorice for all your special  holiday needs.



Mace
Mace is the aril (the bright red, lacy covering) of the nutmeg seed shell. The mace is removed from the shell and its broken parts are known as blades. The history of mace is closely tied to the history of nutmeg for obvious reasons, though the two items have been treated  seperately . Because the yield of mace is much less than nutmeg’s it has had greater value. A pile of fruit large enough to  make one hundred pounds of nutmeg produces a single pound of mace. When the Dutch controlled the Moluccas (the Spice  Islands), one colonial administator sent orders that the colonists should plant fewer nutmeg trees and more mace trees.

Spice Description
In its natural state, mace is a bright crimson lace up to 35 mm (1-1/2 in) long, encasing the brown nutmeg in irregular, fleshy lobes. As it is dried, it develops its charcteristic aroma but loses its bright red colour. Mace from the West Indies is a yellowish brown colour and with fewer holes than mace from East Indian nutmegs which are more orange when dried. The  mace from either locale can become brittle and horny, though the best quality mace will retain some pliability and release a  little oil when squeezed. It is flattened and sometimes roughly broken into ‘blades’. It is also sold ground and sometimes  still enclosing the nutmeg.

Preparation and Storage
Dried mace pieces are not easy to crush. Ready-ground mace is easier to use, but will deteriorate much more quickly. Whole mace pieces can be steeped in liquid and then the liquid can be used, or the mace pieces can be removed after cooking. One  ‘blade’ is strong enough to flavour ameal of four to six portions.

Culinary Uses
Mace and nutmeg are very similar, though mace is somewhat more powerful. Mace is a lighter colour and can be used in  light-coloured dishes where the darker flecks of nutmeg would be undesirable. A small amount will enchance many recipes,  adding fragrance without imposing too much flavour. Mace works especially well with milk dishes like custards and cream  sauces. It contributes to flavouring light-coloured cakes and pastries, especially donuts. It can enhance clear and creamed  soups and casseroles, chicken pies and sauces. Adding some to mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes creates a more interesting  side dish. Some beverages improve with a little mace, especially chocolate drinks and tropical punches .



Nutmeg
The nutmeg tree is a large evergreen native to the Moluccas (the Spice Islands) and is now cultivated in the West Indies. It produces two spices — mace and nutmeg. Nutmeg is the seed kernel inside the fruit and mace is the lacy covering (aril) on the  kernel.

The Arabs were the exclusive importers of the spice to Europe up until 1512, when Vasco de Gama reached the Moloccas and  claimed the islands for Portugal. To preserve their new monopoly, the Portuguese (and from 1602, the Dutch) restricted the  trees to the islands of Banda and Amboina. The Dutch were especially cautious, since the part of the fruit used as a spice is also the seed, so that anyone with the spice could propagate it. To protect against this, the Dutch bathed the seeds in lime,  which would prevent them from growing. This plan was thwarted however, by fruit pigeons who carried the fruit to other  islands, before it was harvested, scattering the seeds. The Dutch sent out search and destroy crews to control the spread and  when there was an abundant harvest, they even burned nutmeg to keep its supply under control. Despite these precautions, the  French, led by Pierre Poivre (Peter Piper) smuggled nutmeg seeds and clove seedlings to start a plantation on the island of  Mauritius, off the east coast of Africa, near Madagascar. In 1796 the British took over the Moloccas and spread the  cultivation to other East Indian islands and then to the Caribbean. Nutmeg was so successful in Grenada it now calls itself  the Nutmeg Island, designing its flag in the green, yellow and red colours of nutmeg and including a graphic image of nutmeg  in one corner.

Nutmeg has long been lauded as possessing or imparting magical powers. A sixteenth century monk is on record as advising  young men to carry vials of nutmeg oil and at the appropriate time, to anoint their genitals for virility that would see them  through several days. Tucking a nutmeg into the left armpit before attending a social event was believed to attract admirers.  Nutmegs were often used as amulets to protect against a wide variety of dangers and evils; from boils to rheumatism to broken  bones and other misfortunes. In the Middle Ages carved wooden imitations were even sold in the streets. People carried  nutmegs everywhere and many wore little graters made of silver, ivory or wood, often with a compartment for the nuts. Nutmeg is not a nut and does not pose a risk to people with nut allegies. Allergy to nutmeg does occur, but seems to be rather rare.



Oregano
Oregano was first used by the Greeks. In their mythology the goddess Aphrodite invented the spice. Giving it to man to make his life happier. The word "oregano" is actually derived from the Greek phrase, "joy of the mountains". Just married couples were crowned with wreaths of it. It was also put on graves to give peace to departed spirits. Ancient Greek physicians  discovered that the herb had beneficial effects and prescribed it for a variety of ailments. Hippocrates used it as well as  its close cousin, marjoram as an antiseptic. The Roman's, who later conquered Greece, would adopt much of the culture of the region. They tasted oregano and thought that it was good. The ease of its cultivation coupled with the Roman proclivity for the expansion of Empire would spread its use throughout Europe and much of Northern Africa. In these regions it was used to spice meats, fish, and even as a flavoring for wine.

In the middle ages people continued to use it. Sharp spices were not common at this time. Oregano was one of the few food flavorings available to give variety to the daily fair. The people of the dark age cast about for medicinal properties in whatever form they could find. They would chew the oregano leaves as a cure for rheumatism, toothache, indigestion, and as a cough suppressant.

Oregano found its way to China probably via the spice road that wended through the Middle-East during the Medieval period. Here again it was a medicinal herb. Doctors prescribed it to relieve fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice, and itchy skin. Later, the English found a use for oregano as an additive to snuff (which was generally a tobacco concoction taken through  the nose). It was also used as a perfume in sachets.  In spite of its use in England, Oregano was little known in the United States prior to the Second World War. Soldiers discovered the flavors and aromas during the Italian Campaign and brought back the spice and the desire for it.

The oregano sold on the spice racks of stores today is usually made up of several varieties. Oregano heracleoticum, also  Coridothymus capitatus (syn. Thymus capitatus) and Thymus mastichina are sometimes blended with the vulgare (common European)  sort.



Paprika
Like all capsicums, the paprika varieties are native to South America. Originally a tropical plant, it can now grow in cooler climates. In Europe Hungary and Spain are the two main centres for growing paprika peppers, though these varieties have evolved into much milder forms than their tropical ancestors. Hungarian paprika is known as stronger and richer than Spanish paprika, which is quite mild, though through controlled breeding they are becoming more alike. To maintain the stronger taste  that consumers expect, some spice companies add cayenne to heat up Hungarian paprika. It is also produced and used in Turkey, Yugoslavia and the United States. The Spanish grades of pimentón are dolce (sweet), agridulce (semi sweet) and picante (hot).

It is also graded for quality, depending on the proportion of flesh to seeds and pith. In Hungary there as six classes ranging from Kulonleges (exquisite delicate) to Eros (hot and pungent). Commercial food manufacturers use paprika in cheeses,  processed meats, tomato sauces, chili powders and soups. Its main purpose is to add colour. If a food item is coloured red, orange or reddish brown and the label lists ‘Natural Colour’, it is likely paprika. Where to Buy Paprika on the Internet For online purchases we recommend buying through one of the reputable dealers associated with Amazon using their secure  online ordering system and backed by the trusted Amazon return policy. Buy paprika here.  Spice Description

Paprika is a fine powder ground from certain varieties of Capsicum annuum which vary in size and shape. They may be small and
round (Spain and Morocco) or pointed and cone shaped (Hungary and California). They are larger and milder than chilli
peppers. Paprika is produces from peppers ripened to redness, sometimes called ‘pimento’, the same as used to stuff olives.
The powder can vary in colour from bright red to rusty brown.

Preparation and Storage
Paprika deteriorates quickly, so it should be purchased in small quantities and kept in airtight containers away from sunlight..

Culinary Uses
Paprika is intimately associated with Hungarian cuisine especially paprikash and goulash. Many spiced sausages incorporate it, including the Spanish chorizos. Paprika is often used as a garnish, spinkled on eggs, hors d’ouvres and salads for colour. It spices and colours cheeses and cheese spreads, and is used in marinades and smoked foods. It can be incorporated  in the flour dusting for chicken and other meats. Many Spanish, Portuguese and Turkish recipes use paprika for soups, stews,  casseroles and vegetables. In India paprika is sometimes used in tandoori chicken, to give the characteristic red colour. Paprika is an emulsifier, temporarily bonding with oil and vinegar to make a smooth mixture for a salad dressing.




 
 
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