Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns. Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper. Black pepper, green pepper and white peppercorns are actually the same fruit (Piper nigrum). The difference in their colour is a reflection of varying stages of development and processing methods. Black peppercorns are made by picking the pepper berries when they are half ripe and just about to turn red. They are then left to dry, which causes them to shrivel and become dark in colour. Black pepper is the most pungent and flavourful of all types of peppers and it is available as whole or cracked peppercorns, or ground into powder.
Cardamom botanical name is cardamomum. Cardamom is best stored in the pod, as exposed or ground seeds quickly lose their flavor. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price. In the India green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea.
Chilli botanical name is Capsicum annuum. Chilli powder (also powdered chili, chile powder or chilli powder) is the dried, pulverized fruit of one or more varieties of chili pepper, sometimes with the addition of other spices (also sometimes known as chili powder blend). It is used as a spice to add pungency or piquancy and flavor to dishes. It is very hot because it is made from the dried, ground seeds of the chili, its hottest part. Chilli is a fruit which belongs to Capsicum genus. It has many varieties which are differentiated on its pungency measured on Scoville Scale. Chilli fruit when ripened and dried becomes red chilli, which is further grounded to form red chilli powder.
Cinnamon botanical name is Cinnamomum verum. Cinnamon powder comes from the bark of tropical, evergreen trees. In order to harvest cinnamon, it’s peeled off of the inside of the bark of the tree. There are two main types of cinnamon: Ceylon and Cassia. But cinnamon has uses other than for topping sweets, including improving your health. Cassia induces a strong, spicy flavour and is often used in baking, especially associated with cinnamon rolls, as it handles baking conditions well. Ceylon cinnamon sticks (quills) have many thin layers and can be easily made into powder using a coffee or spice grinder, whereas cassia sticks are much harder.
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) is one of the most loved and well-utilized spices in the entire world. Its distinct sweet and spicy aroma lends dishes and pastries a unique depth in flavor that you can pinpoint once you take a bite. Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum. Cloves are available throughout the year due to different harvest seasons in different countries.
Coriander botanical name is Coriandrum sativum. Coriander Grounded from coriander seeds, coriander powder is an essential condiment in the Indian cuisine. Very few dishes can be made without the touch of coriander powder. It has a pleasing aroma and savour. Coriander from which the powder is made is one of the world’s oldest spices. It is considered both a spice and an herb.
Coriander – Cumin Powder also known as Dhana-Jeera Powder. Coriander-cumin seeds powder, as the name suggests is the ground form of the two seeds. Commonly, it is prepared by buying the whole seeds, toasting them slightly in a pan, and grinding in a mortal-pestle or electric grinder. While both can have a certain amount of “heat,” cumin is much warmer and “darker” in flavor. In the West, coriander seed is used most often in sweet pastries while cumin is used most often with meats and other savory dishes. Note: This refers to coriander seed, not the herb (of which it is the seed).
Cumin is a spice made from the dried seed of a plant known as Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family. Cumin is also often found in other spice blends such as garam masala, curry powder, achiote blends, adobos, berbere, and bahaarat. Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. In South Asian cooking, it is often combined with coriander seeds in a powdered mixture called dhana jeera. Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds.
Dry ginger botanical name is Zingiber officinale. Dried ginger powder is used in spices and masalas for gravies, curries, marinades, stews etc. Mix cinnamon, fennel, cardamom and cloves to make masala tea with powdered ginger. Used to flavour ginger breads. Dried ginger root powder is also used for food preparations for expecting women and feeding mothers. Like the name indicates, dry ginger powder is the grounded form of dried ginger roots. It is essentially used as a seasoning agent. However, the powdered form doesn’t carry the strong pungent flavor from the roots.
Fennel botanical name is Foeniculum vulgare. Fennel is a perennial, pleasant-smelling herb with yellow flowers. It is native to the Mediterranean, but is now found throughout the world. Dried fennel seeds are often used in cooking as an anise-flavored spice. In foods and beverages, fennel oil and fennel seed are used as flavouring agents.
Fenugreek botanical name is Trigonella foenum-graecum. Fenugreek is an herb similar to clover that is native to the Mediterranean region, Southern Europe, and Western Asia. The seeds are used in cooking, to make medicines, or to hide the taste of other medicines. Fenugreek powder is derived from ground, roasted fenugreek. This very powerful Indian spice plays an essential part in the flavor of curry powder. Its bitter and sweet flavor is used in soups, dals, bean and vegetable dishes, and fish and seafood dishes.
Garlic botanical name is Allium sativum. Garlic powder is made from garlic cloves that have been dehydrated and ground into fine particles. The flavor is garlicky but vastly different than fresh-chopped garlic. It tastes sweeter and much less assertive than fresh garlic, but also without the caramelly undertones that you get from roasted or sautéd garlic.
Turmeric botanical name is Curcuma longa. Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant. It is commonly used in Asian food. You probably know turmeric as the main spice in curry. It has a warm, bitter taste and is frequently used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, butters, and cheeses. Turmeric powder is a bright yellow spice powder made from dried turmeric rhizomes. While it is slightly peppery, the warm flavor, vibrant colour and preservative properties make it a great culinary ingredient. The presence of ‘curcumin’ makes it suitable for cosmetic and medicinal purposes too.
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