The Indian Pantry Essentials

Every household in Indian has a Dabba Masala; a stainless steel container with 7 compartments. The combination of spices will vary according to the region. This is the ideal way to store spices as they are kept sealed and in total darkness, ensuring a longer shelf life.

Asafoetida is used in savory dishes, often to add a more full flavour by mimicking the taste of onions, garlic, egg, and even meat. It’s a staple ingredient in Indian cooking. An acquired taste, the smell is quite pungent

and it should used parsimoniously. It is often used for medicinal purposes; bronchitis, asthma and for digestion problems.

Dry chilli is broadly used in most Indian Curries. The variety is tremendous and the taste and heat vary considerably according to the region. It is hot, spicy and fruity at the same time. It is often used in medicine for Neuralgia and Lumbago.

Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as Chinese parsley, and in North America the stems and leaves are usually called cilantro. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most traditionally used in Indian cooking. Often used in traditional medicine as it lowers bad cholesterol and also increases good cholesterol.

Cumin is a spice that comes from the Cuminum cyminum plant. It is a typical ingredient in many spice blends, such as curry powder. Cumin is a staple spice in many cuisines, especially Mexican, Indian, African, and Asian.
Also an annual plant in the family of caraway, dill and fennel. It is a staple in Indian cuisine. A great source of iron, it may help diabetes and great for digestion.

Garam masala
Garam masala from garam and masala is a blend of ground spices, originating from the Indian subcontinent, common in cuisines from the Indian subcontinent, Mauritius and South Africa. It is used alone or with other seasonings. Every region has its own recipe and families often keep them a secret. Possibilities are endless.

Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds are produced by a family of plants in the Brassicaceae family. Seeds come from plants in both genera of Brassica and Sinapis. Typically, mustard seeds are categorized according to their color which is either yellow, brown, or black. Often used in Indian cooking, both yellow and black are used and add a little spicy bite to any dishes. A great source of vitamins and anti-oxidan

Turmeric is a flowering plant, Curcuma longa of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, the roots of which are used in cooking.
Curcumin have many scientifically-proven health benefits, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.

Cardamom – Green / Black
A spice made from the seeds of several plants in the family Zingiberacae… there ! Both green and black cardamom are from the same plant family.
The Green one is harvested before it reaches maturity and the pods are often used whole. Most of the Indian curry recipes call for green ones, which has a very sweet and fresh flavour. Black Cardamom is intensely dried and the seeds are extracted. Very often green cardamom are used to sweeten dishes and the black ones are more pungent with a smoky flavours.
Cardamom has antioxidant and Diuretic properties. They are good to lower blood pressure and help with digestive problems, including ulcers.
Does magic for bad breath and also prevent cavities.

Aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family of Myrtaceae. Commonly used as a spice, they are available throughout the year and come from different countries. The health benefits are wonderful as cloves carry a lot of nutrients, antioxidants, may protect against cancer, regulate blood sugar, clean the liver, also promotes bone health and is known to reduce stomach ulcers. … and taste great !

Cumin Seeds – Same as above

Coridander Seeds – Same as above

Curry Leaves
The curry tree or curry leaf tree is a tropical to sub-tropical tree in the family Rutaceae, and is native to India. Its leaves are used in many dishes in the Indian subcontinent. Fresh or dry, they add a lovely taste to any Indian Dish. They freeze very well.

Star Anise
The flavour, which is contained in both the seeds and the star itself, is very sweet and licorice-like, similar to aniseed (though the plants are not related). In China, which has used it for centuries, star anise is a key ingredient in five-spice powder (with cloves, cinnamon, fennel and Sichuan peppercorns). Often used in Curries, star anise add another dimension to any dish. The spice offers a lot of health benefits and is good for treating cough and flu. Anise also helps improve digestion, alleviate cramps and reduce nausea. Consuming star anise tea after meals helps treat digestive ailments such as bloating, gas and indigestion.

Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, and mace, from the seed covering. Health benefits are numerous – helps digestion – bad breath, lovely skin, blood pressure and circulation.

A wonderful little boutique in Vinohrady, where you will find all your Indian dry ingredients and spices. Every Saturday, they receive a delivery of fresh vegetables you don’t find anywhere else – Okra / Hot Green Peppers / Fresh Mangoes … such a treat.
Address ; Budečská 35, 120 00 Praha 2-Vinohrady
Phone : 776 627 415

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