If you think about Indian food, you have to think about spices, in particular chilli. But do you really know spices? They give Indian dishes their famous taste and are often a nice mix of various spices. However looking closer, the same spices are used regularly in many different dishes.
So this is the survival kit of Indian kitchen, especially Tamil ones.

Part 2 : Those we cannot miss


Indian spice : Asafoetida

In India, asafoetida exists as a dried powder. Western people don't really like it because of its smell and  taste. Resin coming from the root of a plant that grows in India and Iran, this spice, used oll over India is dried and powdered  for use. 

Why we love it?

When we cook it, asafoetida loses its sharp flavor. So the aroma diffuses into the dish is enjoyed by Indians. It is also known to help relieve bloating and flatulence.

How we like it?

We don't like it uncooked... on the other hand, cooked with cumin and mustard, it gives  a subtle blend of flavors to South Indian dishes.We use it to cook dhal, vegetable and thepla (for example, a Parrotta or roti mixed with masala, typical from Gujarat)

Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds

In India, mustard is not use as paste spread on hot dog, but used in its original seed form. It's like small grains; the same you get in French "a l'Ancienne" mustard.For each kind of mustard there are different kinds of plants. The most famous are coming from yellow flowers plants.
Mustard seeds grow in pods (kinds of fine cloves) with flower.
First one is the white mustard. Flowers are yellow and plants provide large seeds. Its taste is sweet and spades less than the two others.
Westerns like it and use it to make the condiment paste called mustard.
Then, there is the brown mustard. It's the main ingredient of Dijon mustard.

This is why it's stronger than the other mustard. Its flavor is more pronounced and the seed are larger than the black mustard.
Finally the black mustard is a plant with yellowish flowe, this one is mostly used in Indian traditionnal cuisine.

Why we like it?

Raw, mustard seeds are quite bitter and not spicy like in Western dishes.
However they leave a subtle flavor in the mouth, almost woody, this is why we like it in India.
Mustard seeds enhance Indian dishes. (But for the spicy side, red chili powder is preferred.)

How we like it?

In Tamil Nadu, mustard seeds are the basic of many dishes. Before cooking the meal, they are fried in oil or ghee (clarified butter) with some curry leaves, chili powder, salt, and then added to the vegetables...

The Garlic

Garlic is delicious in indian dishes Garlic is one of the bulbous plants: condiment consumed is called the head of garlic. Each bulb, gives a new plant.
Garlic is famous around Indian because of its many virtues. People consumes it in many dishes.

Why we like it?

We don't introduce you garlic flavor. It's already spread in Western countries with the same flavor and shape. Garlic leaves in the mouth a rear lingering taste, a little bitter and unpleasant.
Also we love the spice for its many therapeutic effect. Heat broadcast in the body can fight colds. Moreover it strengthens the immune and digestive systems.

How we like it?

Garlic is a part of basic Indian dishes. Before preparation it is cut in very small pieces, and then fried with mustard seed. Then we add the other ingredients to make the sauce.Indians also like to reduce the spice in paste with help to mortar and pestle and mix it sometimes with ginger paste done in the same process.

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