Recipes: Glossaries

Garam masala is a blend of ground spices common in the Indian, Bangali and Pakistani cuisine, whose literal meaning is 'hot (or warm) spice'. There are many variants: most traditional mixes use just cinnamon, roasted cumin, caraway seeds, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace) and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Many popular mixtures may also include dried red chili peppers, dried garlic, ginger powder, sesame, mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, bay leaves, and fennel.


Curry powder is a mixture of spices of widely varying composition. Most recipes and producers of curry powder usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Depending on the recipe, additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper, and black pepper may also be added. It is also the name given to a different mixture of spices that include curry leaves, which is used in South and East Indian cuisine.


Coriander, also commonly called cilantro,  is a soft, hairless plant growing to 20in tall. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Latin American, Chinese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine.

Cloves Also called Lavang are aromatic dried flower buds. Cloves are native to Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisine all over the world. Cloves can be used in cooking either whole or in a ground form, but as they are extremely strong, they are used sparingly. Cloves have historically been used in Indian cuisine (both North Indian and South Indian) as well as in Mexican cuisine, where it is often paired together with cumin and canela (cinnamon).[1] In the north Indian cuisine, it is used in almost every sauce or side dish made, mostly ground up along with other spices. They are also a key ingredient in tea along with green cardamoms. In the south Indian cuisine, it finds extensive use in the biryani dish (similar to the pilaf, but with the addition of local spice taste), and is normally added whole to enhance the presentation and flavor of the rice.

Cinnamon is a small evergreen tree, native to Sri Lanka and South India. The bark is widely used as a spice due to its distinct odour. In India it is known as "Daalchini," and in Sri Lanka as "Kurundu" in Sinhala and "chakkai" in Tamil. Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavouring material, being largely used in the preparation of some kinds of desserts, chocolate, spicy candies, tea, hot cocoa and liqueurs. In the Middle East and India, it is often used in savoury dishes of chicken and lamb. In the United States, cinnamon and sugar are often used to flavour cereals, bread-based dishes, and fruits, especially apples; a cinnamon-sugar mixture is even sold separately for such purposes. Cinnamon can also be used in pickling. Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly.


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Quick and easy  guide for famous  Indian vegetarian, non-vegetarian, masala and sauce  recipes.


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