Transform your Indian dishes with these 5 must-have spice mixes
India is home to a variety of spices, each representing a distinct flavor and aroma. When mixed in the right proportions, they make for something absolutely stunning. No doubt Indian spices are uber-popular across the globe. A pinch of spice mix can transform an ordinary dish into an extraordinary one. Here are five blends you must know to master the taste of India.
A popular spice mix widely used in many Indian dishes, garam masala contains a blend of cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, bay leaves, black pepper, cardamoms, cumin seeds and cloves. This spice mixture adds warmth, sweetness, and a bit of heat to dishes and is commonly used in daily cooking. It not only enhances the flavor of dishes but also makes them healthier.
Sambar masala is prepared by dry roasting dry red chilies, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, coriander seeds, chana dal, cumin seeds, turmeric, and asafoetida. Cumin and black pepper in the blend can help boost your immune system to protect against chronic diseases. The fenugreek seeds are rich in fiber and can aid in digestion. You can use this mix in other gravy dishes besides sambar.
The name "panch phoron" translates to "five spices." It is a blend of five whole spices in equal parts. Commonly used in Bengali cuisine it consists of kalonji (black cumin), radhuni (wild celery seeds) or mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, and cumin. This spice mix has a unique flavor profile that is spicy and slightly bitter, with a subtle sweetness.
Typically, chaat masala is made of amchoor (mango powder), ginger, cumin, asafoetida, black pepper, coriander, salt, and chili powder. It is mostly used as a garnish for vegetables and salads, as well as for snacks such as samosas and chaat to enhance their flavor. A sprinkle of this spice mix on top of these foods gives them a burst of tanginess and spiciness.
You probably love sipping on a cup of masala chai at your favorite tapri with your friends. Well, the magic potion used in this chai is a unique blend called chai masala. The spice mix used to add flavor and aroma to your tea is made up of cinnamon, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cloves, green cardamom, ginger, and nutmeg.