domingo, 27 de fevereiro de 2011

Glossary of spices, rare items and conversion table

Bay leaves- dry leaves are available. They impart a strong taste. They are used sparingly. They go well in rice dishes.
Cardamon- available in pod, seed or powder. Popular in sweets and chutneys.
Cayenne pepper-made from sun-dried red chillies with few seeds and thin skins. Used in pakoras, chutneys, etc. Also can be used to treat colds and sinus problems.
Cerranos- a variety of green chilli. It is long and thin. We have suggested removing the seeds in order to make the preparations less hot. Used with ginger, cumin seeds and hing in soups and vegetable prepations.
Channa dal- related to chick-peas. They are split and husked. Makes a hearty soup. Available at Indian stores.
Cinnamon- can be used whole or as a powder. It is used in spicy rice preparations, and in sweet chutneys such as apple chutney.
Cloves- a powerful spice. Should be used sparingly. Used with cinnamon in rice and chutney.
Coriander leaves- a popular herb all over the world. The leaves can be used as a garnish or an ingredient in chutney.
Cumin- more often used as a seed than a powder. Cumin seeds are often combined with other spices such as hing, ginger and chillie. They are stir-fried with ghee and then added to soups and vegetable preparations.
Curry leaves- are sweet neem leaves. They are available in Indian stores.They are always available dry and sometimes available fresh. They are much better fresh. Used to impart an exotic taste in rice and chutney.
Ghee- clarified butter. Can be purchased at health food stores and Indian stores. Or can be made at home by boiling unsalted butter and removing the impurities till the liquid is clear.
Hing- also known as asafoetida. It is a dried gum resin. When ground into powder, it releases a strong, sulphur-like odor. Available at Indian stores. Usually cut with flour to cut the strong flavor. Has a taste similar to garlic. Often used in soups and vegetable preparations.
Ginger root- known for its’ sharp and invigorating taste , digestive properties and cleansing effects on the body. Along with chilli, it adds a hot taste to soups, vegetable preparations and chutneys.
Moong dal- the green whole mung dal can be purchased at health food stores.
Yellow split mung dal can be purchased at Indian stores. It is very popular in soups. It has a delicate flavor. It goes with many supporting ingredients. It is also very popular in kittri.
Mustard seeds- often sauteed with ghee till they pop. They are used in raitas (salads), some soups and chutneys. Too much mustard seeds can cause digestive problems
Pepper, black- the world’s most popular spice. They are better when the peppercorns are freshly ground. It is a warming spice that stimulated the digestion. Used in spicy rice preparations.
Saffron-it is the stigma from a flower. It is expensive. 250,000 flowers must be harvested to collect only one pound of saffron. It has a delicate,pungent sweet taste. It is popular in sweets such as sandesh and in spicy rice preparations.
Sesame seeds- seed of the sesame plant. The white seeds are favorable to the dark seeds. When roasted, they impart a nutty taste and aroma. Popular in sweets and spicy rice preparations.
Tamarind- pulp obtained from the hanging pods of the tamarind tree. Can be purchased at an Indian store as tamarind pulp and tamarind concentrate. Adds a subtle sour flavor to soups, vegetable preparations, rice and chutneys.
Toovar dal- a split lentil known as pigeon peas. It is very popular in India. It is used to make sambar, a hot spicy soup mixed with vegetables.
Tumeric- an underground rhizome. Used to put an attractive yellow color and a mellow sour taste in preparations. Used widely in soups and vegetable preparations. It is also known for its’ health-giving properties: internally as a blood purifier and externally as a poultice.
Urad dal- black gram that is split and hulled. It makes a hearty soup. The soup is good plain. And it also goes well with toamtoes and mint cooked with it. It is also used to make three popular savories- baras(fried cakes), idli (steamed dumplings), and dosa(pancakes).

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