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Indian Spices, Groceries & Sweets

Summary: Indian food is as varied as the Indian spices it uses. It is divided into four different types like Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern. The most celebrated aspects of Indian cuisine are spices, sweets and snacks. All these have been discussed in the article.

Just like Americans love their food, so do Indians. Indian families pride themselves in serving elaborate Indian food to their guests. In fact, food is one of the key factors that are involved in Indian hospitality. Indian dishes generally involve a wide number of Indian spices and cooking techniques, which lend it an exceptionally strong but pleasant flavor.

Indian cuisine is diverse and is often divided into Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern cuisine. A traditional Indian meal comprises 2 or 3 main courses with side dishes like roti/chapati/chutney and, of course, ends with a dessert including any of the Indian sweets and snacks.

Indian cuisine dates back to as early as 7000 BC, when eggplant, sesame and cattle got introduced. Spices like turmeric, mustard, pepper and cardamom were first used in 3000 BC. And with later invasions came along the uses of potatoes, chillies, tomatoes, all of which today form an integral part of Indian culinary art.

The key ingredients in Indian cuisine include rice and wheat; pulses; fish; chicken and goat; vegetables and fruits, garlic, cilantro, lot of spices and ghee.

The much celebrated Indian spices -

When it comes to spices, there's a whole lot that is used; here, we will be discussing the ones that are exclusive to Indian food.

  • Garam masala: It contains cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, black pepper and nutmeg, and sometimes cumin and coriander as well. This is a blend of spices that is often used in making Mughlai and North Indian dishes.
  • Curry powder: It contains varying amounts of cumin, coriander, fennel, mustard, fenugreek, cloves, turmeric, black pepper and cayenne pepper. This is a staple ingredient in all the curries made in India.
  • Panch Phoron: It contains five spices, hence the name 'Panch Phoron'. The mix comprises cumin, fenugreek, fennel, nigella and mustard. It forms an important ingredient in the cuisine of Eastern India.
Spices exported by India -

Whole spices: Aniseed, black pepper, caraway, cloves, celery, fenugreek, curry leaves, nutmeg, mace, tejpatta, saffron, ajwainseed, cassia, basil, coriander, kokam, asafoetida, cardamom (small and big), cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, mustard, star anise etc.

Indian Sweets and Snacks

Indian cuisine is popularly known as a sweet cuisine all across the world, and it is not without reason. Almost half of its cuisine comprises sweets and desserts. Interestingly, Indian sweets have not just made their cuisine famous, but has also been successfully accommodated in North American and European dishes that are served in the “Baltic” restaurants across Spain, United States, France and England.

Whenever we think of Indian sweets, we cannot ignore rasgulla, gulab jamun, kaju barfi, halwa, kulfi, kheer, jalebi etc.

And finally, Indian snacks include Alu Tikki, Samosa, Bhel Puri, Dahi Vada, Raj Kachori, Uttapam etc. You see, here too Indian cuisine does not lag behind as far as variety is concerned.

Thanks to the talented, popular chefs in India like Tarla Dalal, Sanjeev Kapoor, Atul Kochhar etc., Indian food is no longer exclusive to India, but has reached the rest of the world, so much so that the world cuisine has received it with open arms and has also incorporated its aspects in their home cuisine.

If you would like to order Indian sweets online in usa check out our sweets section.
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