This spice is also known as the “Queen of Spices” in India, its country of origin. Cardamom has a strong, pungent flavor that has subtle hints of lemon and mint. Interestingly, it is a very versatile spice so it can be used to intensify both sweet and savory flavors. There are two types of cardamom that are typically used in Indian cooking, as well as all over the world: Green and Black.
Green cardamom is used more commonly than its black counterpart and has a very light and sweet flavor. It is often used in desserts and sweet drinks. Black cardamom, on the other hand, consists of a very strong smoky flavor so it is often used in spicy rice dishes and curries.
Cardamom has quite a rich history behind it in terms of its medicinal properties and has been used since ancient times as a digestive aid, as well as to treat inflammatory and respiratory conditions.
This is another fairly common Indian spice that was first found being traded at a port in Sri Lanka somewhere during 900-1100 CE. However, it is native to the Molucca Islands which is now a part of Indonesia. Cloves contain a very distinctive kind of a sweet smell with an equally sweet-spicy flavor.
An interesting historical fact about cloves is that before approaching their Emperor, the Chinese had to have a few cloves in their mouth as a way of sweetening their breath. This suggests that in ancients, cloves were also used as mouth fresheners instead of breath mints that are typically used today.
Whole cloves are often used in curries and other liquids since they also provide quite an aesthetic appeal while ground cloves are popularly used in a variety of sweet treats. They are also used for a number of health-related purposes including toothaches, vomiting, nausea, and indigestion, to name a few.
This has to be one of the most commonly found and consumed spices all over the world. A pinch of it is added to almost every recipe you could possibly imagine. Black pepper has originated from India, particularly from the Malabar region and the Western Ghats. It comes from the berries of the pepper plant and you would typically also find white and green colored peppercorns. The difference in color primarily results from the varying developmental stages.
Since ancient Greece times, pepper has been a much cherished and prestigious spice because it was used as both, a currency, as well as, a sacred offering.
Black pepper consists of a very unique spicy taste and is typically used to provide a subtle heat kick to numerous recipes and dishes. Some of its amazing medicinal uses include using it as laxatives or for congestion relief.
Coriander produces natural citrus flavors when ground up. It is especially common with chicken-based dishes.
Like garlic, ginger is also popular for its bold, pungent, and sweet-spicy flavor. Its flavor is also described by many people as peppery and fierce with hints of lemon. Ginger is also greatly used in a variety of different desserts like pumpkin pie and gingerbread.
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial that has originated from Islands of Southeast Asia and was later transported throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is often also used in desserts and sweet treats that call for a subtle spice kick. Ginger has long been associated with numerous health and medicinal benefits and has majorly been used as a digestive aid and to treat the common cold, flu, and cough. It also plays a key role in Ayurvedic medicine.
Many cuisines involve the use of fresh ginger for making a variety of dishes like curries, rice, soups, stews, etc.
Turmeric is yet another incredibly famous Indian spice with a mix of bitter, spicy flavor. It is also known by other names like Indian Saffron and Yellow Ginger. Turmeric is generally easily identifiable due to its bright color combination of yellow and orange.
Lately, turmeric has been gaining extensive popularity as ‘the golden spice’ and is now being featured in drinks like ‘the golden latte’. This is primarily due to the numerous health benefits that are associated with this spice, for instance, it is loaded with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and it can prevent cancer. Moreover, it is believed to have the ability to treat depression and arthritis.
Turmeric consumption goes as far back as 4000 years to the Vedic culture in India, where it held significant religious importance and was also popularly used for culinary purposes. The intense color of this spice gives curries and other dishes a beautiful golden shade and a strong flavor that greatly intensifies the overall taste of any dish.
Scientific Name: Kaempferia Parviflora
Kaempferia parviflora, the Thai black ginger, Thai ginseng or krachai dum, is an herbaceous plant in the family Zingiberaceae, native to Thailand. Kaempferia parviflora has been the subject of increased scientific interest in recent years. In a systematic review in 2016, 683 records and 7 studies were analyzed, with a reference that krachai dum significantly increased hand grip strength and enhanced the response to sexual erotic stimuli. An earlier study found that acute dosing did not have an effect on sprint and endurance exercise in humans, but indicated that chronic effects or actions in other populations cannot be excluded.A study from 2007 found that the ethanolic extract but not the volatile oil of kaempferia parviflora had antiallergic properties.
Scientific Name: Moringa oleifera
Moringa oleifera is a plant that is often called the drumstick tree, the miracle tree, the ben oil tree, or the horseradish tree.
Moringa has been used for centuries due to its medicinal properties and health benefits. It also has antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Moringa is believed to have many benefits and its uses range from health and beauty to helping prevent and cure diseases.
This has to be the oldest known spice that dates back to written records found during the 5th century. Cinnamon is most popularly used as a flavorful and a highly aromatic condiment in a number of cuisines, and a variety of sweet and savory dishes.
As the name suggests, this spice sports a mid-brown color. The largest cultivation and production of cinnamon comes from China and Indonesia, however, its consumption dates far back as the 2000 BC.
The cinnamon spice is popularly used in the production of chocolate in Mexico, whereas in the United States, it is greatly featured in bread-based dishes and is also used to flavor different cereals. The aroma and taste of cinnamon are quite similar to the spice cassia bark and is usually described as soft and sweet with a distinctive spice kick.
This popular spice comes from an annual flowering plant that is native to south and southwest Asia. Black cumin seeds are popularly used in the Polish cuisine, as well as Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines.
This spice tastes like a delicious mixture of oregano, black pepper, and onions which gives it a highly pungent and bitter taste and aroma. It is most commonly used in dishes like curries, stews, cheese dishes, or often simply sprinkled on salads for that added kick and texture.
Black cumin has several medicinal uses including curing allergies, asthma, headaches, toothaches and indigestion problems.