Indian Spice Analysis

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Ajwain: This spice resembles a cross between tiny fennel, caraway and cumin but taste more like spicy aniseed and thyme. Use the spice in place of cumin or fennel –with other aromatics like mustard seed before adding to a curry, soupy stew or vegetables. It can also be toasted like cumin and sprinkled over yoghurt dressings.

Asafoetida: This intensely pungent smelling spice, made from the milky sap of a plant from the same family as parsley and fennel, is used extensively in Indian cooking, particularly in dishes using lentils and beans. Just add one or two pinches in the early stages of cooking along with any other spices. It adds depth of flavour to soups or stews, or when stir-frying vegetables as well.

Black cumin: Also known as shah jeera, this spice is quite black and finer than normal cumin, and with a more complex flavour. They’re used extensively in dishes from Northern India.

Cardamom: Indigenous to the land of the Malabar Coast in India, this spice belongs to the ginger family of spices and is the third most expensive spice in the world, mainly because it is hand-harvested and requires a lot of manual work. There are two varieties of this spice: Black and Green. While the green cardamom has a mild and light eucalyptus tone to it, the black cardamom is spicy, smoky and generally used only for its seeds. The most common use for cardamom is to enhance the flavor of tea and puddings.

Cinnamon: This is a sweet-tasting spice with a warm and woody aroma. These

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