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Introduction to Indian Spices: Beyond Curry Powder

February 21, 2020

Watch this video on YouTube!

Indian Spices Video

For more information on spices see blog: Introduction to Indian Spices: Beyond Curry Powder

The number of spices used in Indian cooking can seem overwhelming. To begin, you don’t need to purchase every spice used in the Indian cuisine. Start with the basic 6-7 spices and as you expand your repertoire of Indian dishes you can add to your spice pantry. This video will help you decipher Indian spices and make it easy to start cooking authentic Indian dishes.



Basic Spices: Spices in the Spice Box/Spice Dubba

Cayenne Pepper
Cumin Seeds
Garam Masala
Ground Coriander
Brown Mustard Seeds
Asafetida (optional, yet it's an important spice as it helps with digesting beans) 
Salt – I keep salt in the spice box for easy use

Order this spice box/masala dubba from amazon 

And 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. 

Let’s start with the most basic recipe, anytime favorite, the versatile Curried Potatoes, see below.


Curried Potatoes (Sukhe-Aloo)

(Reprinted from The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More Than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes; by Madhu Gadia)

Vegan, Gluten Free 

Children and adults alike will devour this dish, which is one of the most popular ways to prepare potatoes in North India. These can be served either hot or cold with any meal. They are great for travelling and picnics too.

Try left-over potatoes on toast or make a sandwich; I love them either way.

4 medium (about 1 1/2 pounds) potatoes, boiled
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon coriander powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala (store bought or see recipe in book)
2 teaspoons lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon amchur)

  1. Peel and cube boiled potatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Set aside.

  2. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds. Fry for a few seconds until roasted.

  3. Add potatoes. Sprinkle turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, salt, garam masala, and lemon juice (or amchur). Using a wide spatula, stir in a lifting and turning motion to coat potatoes with the spices. Avoid breaking the potatoes.

  4. Stir-fry for about 3 to 5 minutes until the potatoes are lightly roasted. Transfer to a serving dish.

Makes: 6 servings Serving Size: ½ cup

Nutrition information per serving: Calories: 171; Total Fat: 7 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g); Carbohydrate: 25 g; Protein: 3 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 299 mg

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