Knowing the Indian Cuisine: Popularly Used Spices in North Indian Dishes
Labelling a cuisine in India as North, south, west, and east does not do justice, because the food type, the spices used, and even the taste of a single dish change every 100 kilometres. Food in India is as diverse as the many languages spoken, the various cultural beliefs and the religions.
Famous for its dance and spicy food, Indian dishes are not just spicy, but savoury, sweet, and flavourful too. Out of all the amazing spices and herbs used, it is very difficult to find the best spices, but rather most used in making a particular cuisine. One can enjoy some of these exquisite, delicious dishes in Germany at one of the best Indian restaurants in Berlin, Dosa and More. Dosa and More is an amazing Indian restaurant in Berlin. There are a variety of Indian dishes one can try at reasonable prices at Dosa and More.
In this article, we have curated a list of some of the most popularly used spices in North Indian dishes.
Before the Portuguese arrived at the shores of the country, Black pepper was the most used spice for adding flavour and hot taste. Today there are many different types of chilli available, even some of the North Indian Dishes such as – Bhut jolokia Murgh, and Ghost Pepper chicken uses the World’s hottest chilli as an Ingredient. Chilli has shown to reduce inflammation, and can even help regulate blood pressure. Popular North Indian dishes that use Chilli are – Laal Maas, Butter Chicken, Chole Bhature, Mutton Rogan Josh, Dal tadka, and Paneer tikka masala.
North Indian Food needs turmeric. This spice is the basic ingredient of any North Indian dish and adds flavorful and a little color to the dish. Of all the spices used in Indian dishes, Turmeric has the most health benefits. Stomach Ulcers, high cholesterol, Diabetes, and turmeric have even shown some effects on depression. Dishes like Turmeric chicken and rice, many different turmeric smoothies and shakes, Turmeric chicken skillet, Turmeric rice, and Turmeric poached eggs use turmeric as the main ingredient.
3. Cumin ( Jeera ):
Cumin has a distinctive flavour profile and is used in many different ways. Mostly in an Indian kitchen, Cumin seeds are put in hot oil at the beginning of making a dish, calling the process Tarka. This adds a very distinguishing flavour to the dish. Cumin seeds have their place as an essential in Indian cooking. Recipes like – Dal Tarka, Aloo Jeera, Cumin Chicken, jeera aloo palak with lasan Chutney.
4. Garam Masala:
Indian dishes that go to seasoning is Garam masala. It’s not a single spice, but a mixture of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Pepper, Cumin, Cardamom, Coriander, tej patta, and some other spices. Garam masala also differs from place to place, as native spices are added for familiar tastes. Some even add mustard to the mixture of spices. Aloo Gobi, Biryani, Chicken Shawarma, Curried Chickpeas, Tandoori chicken, Butter chicken and Cauliflower rice are some prominent dishes that use garam masala for seasoning and flavour. Get a chance to experience some of the best Indian spices and Indian food in Berlin at Dosa and More restaurant.
An absolutely essential ingredient for most curries, almost half of the North Indian Dishes include ginger as a base paste at the beginning of making a dish. Especially in the Mughlai cuisine of India, Ginger is heavily used. Ginger has been used as medicine in ancient India, and helps in Digestion, Improves immunity, and can even helps reduce the risk of cancer. Ginger is used in making dishes such as – Rajma/kidney beans curry, ginger chicken, Masala Dosa, Ginger Dosa, Ginger pickle, and Traditional vegetables.
Garlic, is essentially not an Indian spice, but is now very popular and widely used in the Indian kitchen. Garlic is used in making the base paste of many dishes with ginger and is loved by all. Garlic packs many health benefits, from improving your immunity to preventing heart disease, garlic adds taste, flavour, and health to your dish. Garlic is added as a paste, so Dishes like Chicken Curry, Mutton Curry, Fried Fish curry, Dal fry, Mughlai Biryani, and many more prominent dishes.
7. Tej Patta:
Tej Patta is used for its aromatic purposes, as it is removed before serving the food. Tej patta has a distinctive flavour and is loved in many dishes from Vegetarian curries to Meat curries. Lajjatdar Handi Biryani, Punjabi garam masala, Pyaaz ki kachori, toovar Dal, Vegetable korma, Hara Bhara Pulao, and many more dishes use Tej patta.
8. Black Pepper:
Not just in India, Black pepper is a spice consumed around the world. It is flavorful and adds that Hot flavour to the dish. North Indian dishes are hot, so Black pepper is a very commonly used ingredient. Even called black gold, black pepper has many health benefits, as it is high in antioxidants and can even benefit your brain and heart. Black pepper is used in famous dishes such as Panner butter masala, Paneer Tikka, Veg Pulao, Chicken Curry, Mutton curry, Fish curry, Peppy chicken, and Mutton pepper.
North Indian dishes are a part of a big family of many different Indian sub-cuisines, and the dish with the same name can even change in taste, as locals tend to use spices according to availability and need, and thus the taste of a single dish can distinguish from place to place.