Description Spices are the most important aspect of Indian recipes. When used in the right amounts and right combinations, they can transform a simple meal into something extraordinary. Here are 7 facts about Indian spices that you must know.

1. There are three categories of Indian spices. The first type is fresh spices, which includes ginger, garlic, bay leaf, green chili, curry leaves and the like. The second type is whole dried spices, which includes coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chili, mustard seeds, cardamom and nutmeg, and the third type is powdered spices such as cumin powder, chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric, and fenugreek powder.

2. Few of the most commonly used powdered spices are cumin powder, turmeric, chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala. These spices are used for most of the Indian dishes and are must-haves in every kitchen.

3. One important thing to keep in mind while cooking with spices is to let them blend first before adding the acid element such as vinegar, lime, lemon, tomatoes etc. Acid slows down the cooking of spices and you might end up with a raw spice aroma in your dish.

4. Indian spices are best stored in glass containers. Exposure to heat, air and moisture decreases the shelf life of these spices. If you store in plastic bottles, they would get discolored with the absorption of the color of the spices.

5. Whole spices can last for many years. Ground spices on the other hand would last for 1-3 years. How you store the spices will have an effect on how long they last. If a spice smells good while cooking, it means it is in good condition.

6. Indian spices do not just enhance the taste of food; they have numerous health benefits as well. They are rich in vitamin B and C. They have high amounts of iron, minerals and anti-oxidants.

7. The famous curry powder is a blend of several spices such as cumin seeds,, turmeric, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, five spice powder (cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, black pepper, and cumin), and red chili powder. You can make your own curry powder as per your taste. You can also buy a ready-made one from the local store.



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