10 January, 2023
Author: Team Chukde
The 7 Most Used Indian Spices in Winter to Keep your Family Warm and Comfortable
Spices have been used in cooking since the beginning of time to add both flavor and texture to food. Indian cuisine in particular boasts an impressive array of spices, each one adding its own unique flavor and aroma to the dish. Using Indian spices can help make your food taste delicious, but it also adds to their overall health benefits, especially during the winter months. Here are seven of the most commonly used Indian spices that add flavor and comfort to your meals when you’re fighting off the winter chill and flu bugs!
Cardamom - Cardamom is known as elaichi, it's one of the seven flavors traditionally found in masala chai tea along with cinnamon (dalchini), clove (laung), cumin seeds (jeera), black pepper (kali mirch), ginger (adrak) and black tea leaves boiled together with sugar or honey for sweetness. Cardamom plays an important role in cuisine both as a spice and a flavoring agent. In sweets such as laddus, cookies, halvas, bread such as rusk made from wheat flour, semolina or gram flour, and pastries like shakarparas which are deep-fried pastry doughnuts that are served coated with powdered sugar after being dipped into boiling hot syrup. Cardamoms impart their unique fragrance to these desserts without imparting many colors or altering the texture too much. It also brings warmth along with the aroma. It's one of the most popular and commonly used spices, especially during winter months.
Cloves - In India, cloves are one of the seven most widely used spices during winter as it is believed that their warming properties will help families stay healthy and cozy this time of year. They’re also great for warding off illnesses like colds and flu due to the presence of eugenol, which has antiseptic properties. Cloves are typically ground or finely chopped before being added to food or drink. You can easily find Chukde's Clove in our online store or at your nearest grocery store!
Cumin - Ground cumin is typically mixed with other seasonings, such as paprika or chili pepper powder; it may also be used on its own for flavoring cooked dishes like soups, stews, rice dishes, or vegetables (especially root vegetables). Cumin has a slightly bitter taste that comes from an organic compound called cumin aldehyde. The active ingredients in this spice are vitamin A, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Cumin powder or cumin seeds keeps your body temperature in check and prevents your skin and protect your bones in harsh winters.
Fennel - You can use fennel seeds or powder when cooking as they have similar flavor profiles but different benefits. The seeds are great for making foods spicy while the powder is more subtle so it's perfect for those who are not looking for a spice heavy dish. It also has been known to help with bloating, indigestion, heartburn and diarrhea.
Ginger Powder - The spice of ginger is a great way to introduce warmth into any dish, be it sweet or savory. It is a warming spice that has been found to have antioxidant properties. The yellowy-orange color of the powder is due to the presence of carotenoids such as beta-carotene which are considered antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger powder has also been found to help relieve nausea and vomiting as well as other stomach ailments such as indigestion, constipation, gas, etcetera. In India, ginger powder is also used for its anti-oxidant properties when combined with vitamin C-rich foods like oranges or pineapple during winters for an effective immune booster.
Saffron - The beauty of this spice is that it's one of the more expensive spices, so using a little less will actually save you some money! Plus, it's not as strong as other spices like black pepper or chili powder, so you can use it for dishes with a delicate flavor. Saffron also has natural healing properties that can help fight off illnesses and colds, which is perfect for these colder months! For example, in India saffron is used to treat coughing and fever by boiling water with saffron threads, sugar and milk.
Turmeric - Turmeric is a root that is a staple in India for cooking, beauty, and medicine. This plant is closely related to ginger, but has a much more earthy flavor profile which makes it perfect for dishes that need a little extra zing! The color of this spice also makes it one of the easier ones to identify because it's bright yellow. It is loaded with several anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties which help to prevent the common cold, coughs, flu, and several other ailments.
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