In Indian culture, an abundance of flavorful spices are used in everyday cooking. One of the most commonly recognized spices from this culture’s cuisine is curry, which is heavily used among other cultures as well. Carom seeds, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, fennel, red chili powder, saffron and turmeric are just a few more on the long list that can usually be involved in Indian cooking. In using such a variety of these additions in their cooking technique, those who prepare these unique and flavorful meals create dishes that are deliciously distinctive.
The use of spices in preparing foods can add immense depth to something that may have started off as boring and bland. The main purpose of spices are to add flavoring, whether it be extra heat with chil powder or to give cultural flair, for example, adding oregano to an Italian dish. In most cultures though, the use of spices isn’t as heavy as it is in Indian cooking. That is what gives their foods an aroma that is quite easy to recognize.
For those who have not yet ventured into this type of cuisine, others who are fans of it would strongly encourage them to give it a try. It seems that it is an acquired taste and it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but enjoying a generous helping of curry chicken or lamb korma over rice is a delicious way to enhance one’s health.
Each different spice offers not only a different flavor, but a different benefit as well. It is a system comparable to that of fruits and vegetables. Among the abundance of colors and textures, the human body derives a variety of vitamins and minerals. No two pieces of produce offer the same mixture and balance of those proponents that fuel the body’s systems.
When it comes to the Indian cooking spices, carom seeds, which are used for curry are said to aid digestion and can also be used as an antiseptic. Cinnamon is shown to possibly reduce LDL cholesterol in the body as well as helping to regulate blood sugar, (which is highly important for those with Type 2 diabetes). Saffron has been used to kidney, bladder and liver disorders. Outside of cooking, saffron is often used in cosmetic preparations to enhance the skin. And cloves can be used to deter acne as well as promoting good digestion and metabolism.
These are just a few examples of what types of benefits can be reaped from enjoying Indian cuisine. For those residing in Tallahassee, restaurants to try include: Essence of India on Apalachee Parkway, the Curry Pot on E. Bradford Road, off of Thomasville Road, or Samrat on Apalachee Parkway (close to Capital Circle NE). Small Indian grocery stores can also be found in town and some health food stores, such as New Leaf Market carry pre-made sauces that are simple to cook with at home.