Spices and Indians : A match made in heaven

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Indian Spices
Indian Spices

Bhubaneswar: August 13: Imagine an Indian course without spices. Unimaginable, isn’t it? So let us put it in this way, in whichever place you find an Indian you will definitely find spices. As India is blessed with a diverse climate each of its states produces some sort of spices or the other. There is no uncertainty of why spices are used so extensively for cooking in India. Indian food and its taste is famous all over the world; the beautiful aroma, moreish taste, unique color and mouth-watering flavor. All these in conjunction make a perfect blend and are found in Indian foods only. The secret of the delicious flavor of Indian food is its rich spices that enhances it’s taste as well as it’s beauty, which has been used for decades and has spread now all around the world.

So deep seated are the spices into the history and culture of India that even an Indian away from its home in some distant land prefers his Indian food over any western cuisine, because that’s where he finds his peace.Today, India produces more than three million tonnes of spices each year. It is one of the world’s largest exporters of spices today accounting for over forty percent of the world’s trade.

The beginning of an unbreakable bond


Spice farming in India developed throughout the subcontinent some 2000 years before Christ. The initial spice crops were cinnamon and black pepper; these became the basis for a great many trade relationships – including with the traders from Arab and from Rome – and, eventually, among many parts of the world.

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In 1498, Vasco da Gama (a Portuguese explorer) voyaged to India via the southernmost part of Africa, driven by a desire to mark a direct route to a land where spices were abundant and inexpensive.

Spices and herbs such as black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom have been used by Indians since ages for both cooking and health related purposes.

Health benefits of spices( a partner through thick and thin)

Apart from adding colour, flavor and taste, intake of spices provide numerous health benefits. Some are also the substitute for the over priced beauty products and even medicines. Here’s a quick overview of Indian spices and their medicinal properties :

  • Asafoetida (hing) is used for seasoning food, but also at the same time is a great remedy for cough and gastric problems.
  • Bay leaf (tej patta) is used in cooking to add an authentic flavor to a recipe and it also possess anti-fungal and antibacterial components in it.
  • Clove (laung) is mainly used for seasonings. With that, clove oil works miracles for sore gums and toothache.
  • Cumin (zeera) is a great source of iron that keeps the immune system strong and healthy.
  • Garlic (lassan) is useful for coughs and colds and has good antibiotic properties.
  • Ginger (adrak) helps to cure digestive problems and works splendidly for cold too.
  • Saffron (kesar) is mainly used for sweet dishes. It helps to cure skin related diseases. And is a good remedy for cough, cold and asthma.
  • Turmeric (haldi) helps to deal with skin problems and can be used for skin care. Also helps in healing wounds and injuries.
  • Pepper (kali mirch) helps with colds,coughs and infections. And it also deals with muscle pain and digestive problems.
  • Nutmeg (jaiphal) is beneficial for treatment of asthma, bad breath and heart problems.
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A Useful Tip

India’s love for herbs and spices has remained strong and unbreakable for a long time. There is no hesitancy in admitting that the secret of Indian food lies in its rich spices. And in these Covid times there has been a great increase in the use of spices that boost immunity. Use of turmeric and ginger in drinks such as ‘kadha’ has helped to fight the current covid-19.

Even today India is seen as the ancient land that gave birth to exotic spices. India will always be known globally for its home grown spices, and Indian cuisine will be equally famous for its various spicy delicacies. Truly, it is a match made in heaven!

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