Posted on 01/24/2022 at 10:00 AM by Madhu Gadia
Since you are reading this blog you already want to cook authentic Indian food. If you haven’t done so, please get the 6-7 individual spices listed below and make numerous curries like a pro.
If you want to make real, authentic Indian curry, you have to buy individual spices.
Indian cooking combines the art and science of preparing food. Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to India. It is a holistic science, which focuses on healing of body, mind, and spirit through food, herbs, and revitalizing therapies. Ayurvedic medicine and therapies in other parts of the world are referred to as alter- native medicine. Ayurvedic cooking is about cooking flavorful dishes that promote good health, clean the accumulated toxins (a result of improperly digested food), and rejuvenate the body as each dish is cooked and spiced to achieve maximum digestibility.
I don't proclaim Ayurvedic recipes yet the use of spices and herbs have the same overlay.
Indians cook naturally, using Ayurvedic principles. Growing up, I often heard things like "add more ginger or garam masala" to a dish to help aid in digestion or because it’s cold outside. The tradition of natural, Ayurvedic cooking is passed on from generation to generation. You will automatically get all the benefits of Ayurvedic cooking and healing, as the principles are ingrained in Indian cooking.
Download your FREE brochure on Introduction to Spices including health benefits
I’ve blogged about individual spices vs curry powder before; See video Indian Spices: Beyond Curry Powder
Buy Local or Online
You can buy most of these spices in your local grocery store in the spice section, or you can buy them online. I’ve linked the spices to www.amazon.com for your convenience only. There are numerous spice shops these days, such as Penzeys Spices. Please buy local if you can. I totally support local stores.
The number of spices in Indian cooking can seem overwhelming to a newcomer. To begin, you don’t need to purchase every spice in the cookbooks. Start with the basic spices listed below and as you expand your repertoire of Indian dishes you can add to your spice pantry.
P.S. – These are the six spices in my “masala box” (spice box) that I use every day. All other spices are used infrequently. Asafetida is also a must spice in my kitchen but it is always in its own container.
Basic 6-7 Spices:
7th Spice (Optional)
Asafetida (optional - yet an important spice as it helps with digesting beans.)
There are numerous other spices that are used in Indian cooking to enhance the flavor and taste of certain dishes. You may have several of these spices such as cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, black pepper, etc. Again the 6 -7 spices will suffice for a majority of dishes.
Ginger, Garlic, and Cilantro
Fresh ginger, garlic, and onions are used as a base in several curries. They are like the mirepoix in French cooking – basic ingredients that add flavor and body to the dish. Fresh cilantro is used for flavoring and as a garnish.
Please don’t freak out about the number of ingredients; it really doesn’t take that much more time to add 5 spices vs. one curry powder.
Happy Healthy Cooking
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