My Go-To Spice Box

by thecurrytheory

Hello food lovers,

Today I would like to talk about my go-to spice box. Well, it’s not your typical shape but this one is a round steel container that I love to store all my go-to spices. In India, people mostly use stainless steel, copper, aluminum wear for cooking, and storing food. These steel containers can store a lot of dry things used in daily cooking like spices, lentils, rice, grains, flour, pasta, or nuts, even lunch boxes are made of stainless steel. I remember my days of carrying one to school growing up.

The picture above displays my Go-To favorite spices that I use almost daily. I make loads of different curries, snacks, or cooked vegetables using these spices. Storing them all in one container helps tremendously in saving time while in a rush. Everyone uses unique spice blends in India depending on the state or city they belong to. I’m from the state of Maharashtra brought up in Mumbai and these spices best suit my cooking style. This steel container above can be purchased at any Indian grocers. Let me walk you through the names of these spices and a little bit more.

Starting clockwise

1. Coriander powder:

This powder is made with Coriander pods. You can also get a mixed blend of both coriander and cumin together. Although I make my own roasted cumin powder at home so I don’t really need to buy the

blend but either way, it will be good and bring lots of flavor to your cooking. I love the SWAD or DEEP brand at the Indian grocers.

2. Mixed whole spices:

I mostly use cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks. I sometimes have a whole nutmeg ready to be grated so I can use it for extra flavor.

3. Mustard Seeds:

These are tiny black seeds mostly used for staple foods like Daal or should I say 5 different types of daals. India is big on their lentils. There are so many varieties to choose from because a huge part of the country being vegetarian they utilize all sorts of milk proteins and lentils. Mustard seeds are also used for tea snacks like (Upma, Poha,chivda) and so much more. Mustard seed oil is also used for cooking.

4. Turmeric powder:

Being not only a natural antibiotic but turmeric has such an importance in the Indian/Asian culture. For weddings, the brides and grooms equally are smothered with turmeric for the golden glow on their wedding day, also a way of blessings from their paternity. It’s just an amazing thing that India dominates in harvesting. I especially love turmeric milk when sick in bed ( warm milk, honey, and turmeric) its just so soothing and nourishing to your body.

5. Cumin seeds(Jeera):

In the picture are raw cumin seeds, They excellent for digestion as well as adding taste to your food. I roast my cumin and grind it in a coffee grinder and it adds so much flavor. It has ayurvedic properties and is widely used in Indian cuisine. People are getting aware of the amazing properties and benefits of these tiny little seeds. It’s used widely in Mexican and American cooking as well. I love to cook with it.

6. Garam masala powder:

OK, so in a nutshell, it is actually a roasted blend of coriander, cumin, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg, even some whole black pepper and star anise. It all depends on how hot you like your masala to be. Because practically Garam in Hindi means “Hot” and masala is another word for blended spices. Again you will save a lot of time if you don’t make this at home, although you can try making it at home too but be sure the amount of each spice matters. You have to be precise OR just get a bag of it from the Indian grocers.

7. Red Kashmiri chili powder:

Ah!! Hot! is the right word for it, too much of it, and your mouth is on fire. I love the color of this red chili powder because of the deep red color which adds an exuberant amount of attention and taste to the dish, no matter what kind of curry you’re making this adds that much more zest and punch. It’s of course great for sinus’s too as it drains them well. I love me some spicy curry. It’s also used for marination of meats.

There you have it, your guide to getting your own spices and have your own little spice box. Please comment if you have any questions. I would love to answer them.

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