Spicy Masalas That Heal

by pateluday

Indian spices are known to be fiery hot, a fact far removed from truth. The spices or masalas pertain to diverse taste and aroma but only few generate heat and they are all healthy

India is well known for hot food but few know that the heat arises from a combination of clove, pepper and chillies. The masalas a word for spice in Hindi, are generally of milder dispensation and end up adding tremendous taste and aroma to various recipes.

Some Indian spices are highly aromatic while others deliver a subtle aroma and flavour. Used in combination like in garam masala, they can create amazing gastronomic delights that is addictive. Not all masalas have originated in India, but were introduced by overseas traders, invading looters and plunderers. Ironically, the country is highly adaptive, and inclined towards pluralism. The foreign origin spices have been adapted in the local cuisine, and homogenised and grown here.

The masalas are part of daily consumption and despite Western influence Indians are hooked to tradition. Some spices are used in everyday curries, lentil soup and vegetables. It is unthinkable to cook food in India without common spices. Central all aspects is the healing properties that the spices are endowed with..

Kholapuri Mutton Curry

Kholapuri Mutton
Kholapuri Mutton

Recipe Kolhapuri Mutton Masala

Indian Meat Curry

Prep time 20 min  -  Total time 40 min
Ingredients for 2 servings
Ingredients  • 500 grams of Mutton / Lamb  • ½ teaspoon of Turmeric powder  • 5-6 pieces of Cashew Nuts  • 4-5 tablespoons of Groundnut Oil  • 2 medium sized Onions  • 4-5 tablespoons of coarsely ground Coconut  • 2 tablespoons of Living Beyond’s freshly ground Kolhapuri Mutton masala  • 2-3 crushed Garlic Cloves  • 1 tablespoon of Ginger Garlic paste  • 1 teaspoon of Living Beyond’s freshly ground Garam Masala (optional)  • A bunch of Coriander leaves
Recipe  5.0/5 Stars (5 Votes)

Indian Spices & Herbs

Indian Masalas

Some of the common Indian spices are:

  • Cumin (Jeera)
  • Turmeric (Haldi)
  • Coriander Powder (Dhaniya)
  • Rai (Mustard Seeds)
  • Red Chilli Powder (Mirchi)
  • Green Chilli
  • Kasuri Methi ( Fenugreek Herb)
  • Methi (Fenugreek Seeds)
  • Curry Leaves (Curry Patta)
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Ajwain (Carom)
  • Hing or Asafeatida
  • Shah Jeera
  • Clove (Laung)
  • Pepper (Kali Mirch)
  • Cardamom (ilaichi)
  • Badi iIaichi  (Black Cardamom)
  • Dried Mango Powder (Amchur)
  • Cinnamon (Dal Chini)
  • Fennel (Saunf)
  • Taj Patta
  • Star Anise (Chakra Phul)
  • Mace (Javitri)
  • Nutmeg Jaiphal 
  • Saffron (Kesar)
  • Mint (Pudina)
  • Kacheri 
  • Indian Gooseberry Powder (Amla)
  • Lemon Grass 

Apart from herbs and spices, garlic, ginger and onion paste is extensively used in Indian cooking. Dry coconut powder or milk is also added to recipes especially in Southern India.

Spices or flavours extensive used in sweets are char seed or chirongi, cardamom, pista (pistachio), badam (almond) and kaju (cashew nut), kesar (saffron) and dry coconut powder are commonly added in small amounts. This flavours the sweets and imparts a unique taste to sweets.   

The way curries are made differs from region to region and while the recipe may have a common name taste may vary. The variation arises due local factors and hence chefs and foodies buy spices from regions they believe grows them the best.  Thus, for example, pepper and cardamom that grows in Kerala is most sought after even though they may be grown elsewhere. 

 

Spice Health Benefits

Spice Health Benefits
Spice Health Benefits

Healthy Spices

Medicinal Properties

The health benefits of turmeric, ginger, garlic are now well known all over the World. But other spices used in Indian masalas are equally healthy. Red Chili is rich in vitamin A while green chili contains loads of vitamin C.   

As a matter of fact spices used in preparing daily food are most effective in preventing diseases like cancer, malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Fenugreek seed soaked in water help balance sugar. Fennel and cardamom seeds help in pH balance. Carom seeds act as gripe water and help digest oily food. Most of the spices being natural additives boost immunity besides according other health benefits.  

Ginger, garlic and herbs without doubt benefit health. So do curry, mint and fenugreek leaves. Most of the Western Literature doubt the efficacy of spices as good for health, but Ayurveda accepts the fact.  The benefit accrues on long term use hence there is no evidence of their efficacy unlike modern medicine were the results are quantified. 

Well known recipe ingredients obtained from nature are healthy additives in small quantity. But please avoid strange herbs and seeds that are not well known and not used popularly. Some may be toxic. Those mention above are being used in India and many other countries for centuries. Limited consumption of well known ingredients is always safe and healthy. 

Living Beyond Masalas

Spicy PreMix Masalas

Fusion Spices

PreMix Whole Spice Recipe Add On

While powdered spices are commonly sold in the market and command a huge share in spice trade. The purity and quality is in doubt. Consumers cannot make out presence of adulterants to bring down the cost. 

Hence whole spices packets are becoming more and more popular. The concept is to mix whole spices in right proportion pertaining to a recipe. To make use of premix spices all the consumers have to do is to roast and grind and then add to the destined recipe. Some of the popular premix masalas are:

  • Egg Curry Masala
  • Kolhapuri Mutton Masala   
  • Chai Masala
  • Pav Bhaji Masala
  • Rajma Masala
  • Sambhar Masala
  • East Indian Bottle Masala
  • Veg Kolhapuri Masala
  • Garam Masala
  • Shahi Paneer Masala
  • Kerala Spice Coffee Masala
  • Fish Curry Masala
  • Tandoori Masala

These are few that find mentioned here. The list is endless, depicting how vast Indian cuisine is. Living Beyond Company Based in Mumbai and sells premix recipe masalas in hygienic packing. The new concept is best to buy Indian Spices online from anywhere in the World.   

Updated: 12/25/2022, pateluday
 
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blackspanielgallery on 12/30/2022

Excellent article. India is so large that variations in preference by section is expected, So I suppose many Indian restaurants in the U. S. could miss the regional varieties, and concentrate on a particular region or two, Is there a region where the spices are more varied and available than others?

DerdriuMarriner on 12/29/2022

You've indicated in earlier, other wizzleys that the family member who does meal preparation compiles spice mixes. It seems to me that those wizzleys elsewhere on your wizzley pages mentioned that such curry-related mixes will be replaced if not used within a year.

Would the above-mentioned premixes mentioned in this wizzley have longer, shorter, similar shelf lives than those prepared familialy, non-commercially in individual households?

pateluday on 12/28/2022

All those who wish to buy spices are not restricted.

DerdriuMarriner on 12/27/2022

It always gets my attention when lists are made. For me, alphabetical order and -- ;-D -- reverse alphabetical order help me in the "small things."

The second subheading, Indian Spices & Herbs, and the last subheading, Spicy PreMix Masalas, include non-alphabetically ordered lists.

Would the herbs and spices be ordered from commonest to least common and the masala premixes from popularest to least popular?

Or would there be no underlying message so that it just would be the way in which you thought of them as you were writing?

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