Indian Spices: Too Hot to Handle !

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Paneer tikka Masala, tandoori Naan and paneer roll with green chutney along with onion salad……yummmm ! 

Who cares what it may bring tomorrow. Right now I am hungry and just can’t resist spicy food. As it is no Indian cuisine is completed without spices. Some like it hot and spicy and some use less spices but eating bland food ? Nah ! Not for Indian taste buds. Our food has very authentic flavor of garam masala.

The name itself is ‘garam’ means ‘HOT’. It is a mixture of five  to six basic masalas: black cardamom, bay leaves, mace, cloves,  black whole peppers, cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds ( green /silver cardamom  pods optional ) mixed in almost equal quantities, dried and powdered to secure it in a airtight jar so that it remains fresh and aromatic for long.

You can literally sprinkle it on any Indian Mughalai dish. It goes well with all types of Indian food if used in moderate quantity. If you overdo it then of course you will have fear of what it may bring tomorrow.

Nagaland is one such state in India which is famous for its Naga Chili.. Oh my God ! It is too hot to eat. I remember how people were begging for water or sugar when they chewed it in josh. I bet it is one of the hottest variety of chili peppers in the world. One just can’t have one full unless he belongs to that belt.  Competitions are organized during festivals for eating maximum number of chili peppers. Aren’t they looking awesome ? I took this picture in one of the festivals of Nagaland.

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Another state is Kashmir famous for its chillies. ‘Kashmiri mirch ( Chili) powder is comparatively less spicy. It is used world wide for adding colour to food. It gives nice red color to curries if fried in oil before adding pastes and veggies/meat.

“For colour a Kashmiri makes liberal use of Red Chillies .For dishes like Rogan Josh , Chilli Korma , Rista , Chicken , Mutsch , Damalu , Fish ,Beans , Brinjals ,Cheese and a variety of other popular Kashmiri Dishes , Kashmiris use red chilli Powder as the colouring agent . The vibrant red chilli powder imparts rich flavour and colour to dishes it is used in.Chillies that upset his stomach frequently is a spice of choice with him.” source Chinar Shade.lal mirch

How can we forget Rajasthan when we are talking about Indian spices. One can see dried fruits of chili peppers in abundance here.

Food and enjoyment go hand in hand in this part of the country so let’s have it in Punjabi style.

Let’s play the dhol, loud music to sing and dance yeah ! we behave like real joyful Punjabis and say,” Oye Punjabi ! ”

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22 Responses

  1. Paneer tika..I enjoy it here in Vancouver and I so enjoy it! something about spicy dishes and using your fingers on naan that makes it so yum 🙂

      1. Heh! Indeed 🙂 I love even the Samosas! But instead of biting down on them I like to pull them apart, taste totally comes out then 🙂

    1. The new generation is developing a taste for food less in spices and oil but in many parts of India spices still play a crucial role in preparations like Rajasthan and West Bengal. The Bengali fish is full of spices and very tasty. Being a vegetarian I can vouch for it just by looking at the texture and aroma…..mmm heavenly.

    1. There are many varieties of kofta made from paneer, bottle gourd, cauliflower, spinach and potato etc. Some special ones are lotus stems, khoya, raw bananas and Goshtaba are those big mutton koftas prepared in Kashmiri gravy, a delicacy of Kashmiri cuisine.

  2. Nice post and pictures. Mouth watering. I cook Indian food almost every single day but being a Punjabi I keep it less spicy. Bare minimums. Cooking aalu-methi (potato-fenugreek) right now.

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