Indian Spices are widely popular which is why the suppliers for the same have now crowded the market worldwide, in such times, it can be very easy to get duped, especially if you are new to cooking Indian food or are unobservant while making purchases. If you find yourself going for 5 spoons of red Chilli powder, despite of all recipes suggesting one spoon of the same, you need this article more than we do.
But worry not as this crash course on Indian Spices is going to prepare you for the world outside!
Buy Indian Spices, Rightly
Turmeric is an Indian Spice that is used in almost every other food that we consume. Since its colour is so strong, it becomes difficult to distinguish it from artificial colouring.
To put your turmeric powder to test, add a spoon of it in a glass of warm water, without mixing and come back to it after 20 minutes.
If it settles down at the bottom by making a layer of water on top, it is pure, if it leaves a white specimen on top of the water, chances are your turmeric is adulterated.
This is probably the prettiest looking Indian spice that is available in the market. But like all pretty things, it deserves your attention. A perfect batch of star anise will release an oily liquid when broken and ensure that each star anise has 8 petals, with each one of them bearing a shiny seed.
We have all hated this one in a biryani, but we have all loved its flavour in a kheer. Cardamom or Elaichi is the one spice with which we all share a toxic, love- hate relationship, one that can be improved if we learn to weed out the cardamoms that are bad for us.
The test for this one is easy, just use your fingertips to give your cardamom pods a quick rub, if it releases colour, know that it has duped you and is now showing its true colours.
The one spice that makes your fasting possible Imagine how difficult it would be to keep an upwas without having a spicy black peppercorn.
The test for this one is similar to turmeric’s. Often sellers try to fool the consumers by including papaya seeds in black pepper packs as they look the same.
To prevent this or recognize this, put your black peppercorns or pepper powder in water without giving it a stir and come back to see if it settles below or above the water. If it settles down, it is pure whereas if you see the powder or peppercorns floating above, chances are they are not peppercorn at all but are indeed papaya seeds.
Mustard Seeds or Rai are highly essential for a good tadka in many curries, especially in South India.
Mustard seeds are sometimes adulterated as they are replaced with Argemone seeds due to their similarities in appearance.
To find out if your mustard seeds are pure, focus on their texture, if the texture seems grainy, chances are they are not pure. To get more clarity, try crushing your mustard seeds, if their inside is yellow upon crushing, they are pure.
This is all in today’s crash course on the basics of Indian Spices, we hope we have helped you become a more aware and mindful customer when it comes to buying Indian Spices