It’s in our nature to stick to what we know. It’s safer, it’s easier, and we can predict the outcome. But what if I tell you that you can take your food to the next level by easily infusing some exotic Indian spices into your food?
Now, this doesn’t mean you have to whip out all the ingredients to make Chicken Tikka Masala (you can, if you want). Just follow these helpful hints to bring out a whole variety of flavors in your every day food.
This bright burnt orange spice makes a great substitute for mustard or saffron — they didn’t term turmeric as “poor man’s saffron” for no reason. In addition, add turmeric to recipes that include fresh ginger, such as yellow pea or carrot soup. Turmeric and fresh ginger actually make a fantastic pair.
Did you know cardamom is the second most expensive spice in the world? Don’t worry, though. You only need a pod or two to enhance certain flavors in your dish.
Cardamom actually makes a great infuser for alcohol. You can just add it to your mulling spices for mulled wine. In addition, cardamom goes great with coffee. Just add a pinch or two of ground cardamom to your morning coffee. People claim it tastes like magic.
#SpoonTip: Head to a local Indian grocery store for this spice. It’s much cheaper compared to other grocery stores.
This black, oddly shaped spice might be slightly daunting to you, but with its many properties, cloves will make a frequent appearance in your food. This spice actually enhances the fruity flavors. Try poaching pears in red wine with cloves. Or, if that doesn’t interest you, try pairing cloves with onions, like in a French Onion soup. The sweet, aromatic taste of the cloves helps balance the pungent taste of the onions.
Cumin was one of the ingredients used in the mummification process. Yup, that’s how old this spice is. But there are a lot more reasons to use this nutty-flavored spice. Whenever you see “cumin,” equate it to “warmth.” It complements lentils, sausage, eggplant, and even rice.
Red chili pepper is commonly used in spice rub for a variety of meats or is added to chili for a slight kick. Not in the mood for a savory dish? No problem. Chili pepper goes well with vanilla ice cream. I know, it sounds like a crazy combo, but the chili pepper actually heightens the flavor of vanilla ice cream. Who says you can’t be hot and cold at the same time?