Things you must know about the most famous spice in the world.

 Things you must know about the most famous spice in the world.

 

What excites you the most about Indian food. Spices certainly. You know there are three kinds of Pepper we use in the country – Chili, black and Pippali. Each has its own distinctive taste and personality when it comes to the usage.Things you must know about the most famous spice in the world. Let’s explore them better –

There’s very little we know about the Pippali or long pepper, but it occupies a significant place in Ayurveda. It’s also used in Indian pickling.

But who can forget the chili pepper! You know many psychologists confirm that it gives a feel of ‘constraint risk’. What is that? It’s like a roller coaster ride. The hot chilies give you the thrill, but at the same time you know you are not gonna die! Besides, it’s also used in pepper spray (for safety measure).

Rich in Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C, you got a good reason to add it to your food. To your surprise, the British Medical Journal also concluded that those who regularly consume chili pepper have a more stable blood-sugar level.

The history of Black pepper speaks for itself. It was not only used to flavor the food but also as a currency and a price. The next time you make the soup, do add an extra pinch of black pepper as it makes your skin glow. Besides, this antioxidant, anti-bacterial spice also makes the digestion faster.

Now you have so many reasons to use pepper, food is definitely going to be spicier today 🙂

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Mughal influence on Indian Cuisine

India is a land influenced by multiple cultures due to several Invasions. While British brought tea to India, the long-prevailing Mughals added worth relishing features to the way we cooked food. Here, we talk about the Mughal influence on Indian Cuisine – 
1. The Gravy became thicker 
Mughal’s food doesn’t believe in going subtle. It is noticeable and difficult to ignore. The gravy is made thick by adding cottage cheese, curd or ‘Malai’. It not just thickens the gravy but also makes it more nutritional. The dish also gains a certain softness and a dairy flavor. The food is more appetizing. Thus, we will not run towards the dining table for at least the next two hours.
2. The food became spicier
As discussed previously, the Mughals always enjoyed good food probably like no other cultural community. We Indians used to include spices in a minimal amount. But then, arrived the food by West Asia which used spices extensively. The chili hot flavor was born in India by the virtue of learning culinary practices from Mughals.
3. Fruits and dry fruits also became part of cooking
Mughals have a rich way of living. They explored every possible way to make food more engaging. Their active minds could see the fruits and dry fruits resting on the kitchen shelf. Hence, they used them for making the food more versatile in terms of smacks and more good looking for sure.
4. Aroma  became an indispensable part of good meals
When we eat a Biryani, even before that, it starts seducing us with its rich aroma. With every spoon of it, we not just enjoy eating it but smelling too. Ideally, Mughals believed that a good food should first take away our mind by its aroma only. But, it’s not an easy job to bring that fragrance. The cooking of Mughal food requires a lot of time, details, and ingredients.
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Marinades – layering their way to flavour

When we mix spices and other ingredients with all the imaginary and irresistible tastes to be infused into a real dish – marinades help us out! Marinades – layering their way to flavour – Aaah! It’s an effective method to brew your sought-after tang to all parts of the dish. We don’t want you to commit flavoring related blunders. So, let’s know the three key factors which decide the quality of marination –

1. What type of meat or fresh vegetable is it
2. What kind of cut is being used
3. The variety of tenderizer is being chosen

For how long to keep – The meat that you have lovingly flavored with the marinades can be kept in a refrigerator for 2-3 days. But, if you want to last it for a longer period of time, it’s time to freeze it. CAUTION!! When you defrost it, mark it important to achieve this purpose via microwave. And yes, don’t keep the marinated food in open (we all know India has a terribly hot climate)

Don’t rush into things – Let the food get synchronized with the room temperature before you put it into the tandoor. Salting can be done with spicing in the beginning. Again Caution!! Red meat would become sticky if salt addition takes place during the first marination. Add after 15-20 minutes before cooking.

Create exotic flavors – The use of dry fruits would impart a mesmerizing taste that many a times describe tandoori cooking as well. In fact in the marinades for meat, the seeds help in delivering a distinct flavor. Though, chicken doesn’t welcome seeds!

Marination is a process that plays an irreplaceable role in providing the right sort of smacks. So, can you do without it?

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Spices – the jewels of past, taste of present

Spices add tang, aroma and that punch for which we the foodies long to participate in feasts. Most of us would buy the spices while visiting a supermarket or grocery shop in accordance with the quantity needed and, of course, the taste.
Spices were no less than  sapphire
Believe it or not! But if spices were to be compared with the commodities two-three centuries back, they would be economically equivalent to the bottles full of gold, gems, diamond, and ruby. The nutmeg we use often was a reason big enough for England to fight and win Long Island.
Time begins and so do the spices
Start from as early as possible. The Bhagavad Geeta and the Old Testament have also been found to bring up spices. And, this is the beginning of the history.
Spice that were the question of life and death
There were battles between the nations and thousands and lakhs would lose their lives – Why? Because of spices. Around 15000, there were many spice wars earlier between the Dutch and the Portuguese and further between the Dutch and the English.
Spicy voyages
Another interesting discovery is that the quest to explore more and more spices led to the identification of many nations and islands. It is a fact that a large number of voyages were set only to discover the places having an abundance of spices.
Spices or medicines in disguise?
A German doctor in the ancient ages conducted the research and concluded that the spice vanilla helps in increasing sexual performance. Since, then it became a hit. Nutmeg was in urgent demand in England in the year 1603, to cure the plague. But due to its acute shortage, a large number of 35,000 people died.
So engaging is the history of spices, isn’t it?  And, their taste is no less mesmerizing. On a happy note, as a tribute to these indispensable ingredients for luscious food, let’s have a delicious meal with our loved ones. Order Burrah Chaap or Tandoori Mushrooms from Chowki and celebrate great times. 

 

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Silk route – a bridge that familiarized civilizations

Once upon a century, the spice trade was world’s biggest industry. It was the reason behind the establishment and destruction of so many empires. In quest of spices, people traveled around the globe and ended up discovering many civilizations. To a considerable extent, it is one of the breakthroughs that started building the roots of the modern world.
About Silk Route
From the very beginning, Silk route has been a strong channel that helped in trading as well as knowing the civilizations of other communities. This 4,000 miles long road was named after the famous trade of exporting and importing silk. Spices and other goods followed later.
Meet of the cultures
The Silk Route was constructed to act as a bridge between China and the Roman Empire. This route helped in improving the economy and society as a whole. It provided better cultural exposure to the countries like China, India, Egypt, Persia, Rome, and Arabia.
Stories that sold spices
The Arabian sellers would create interesting stories about the spices sold at that time. And, this action would often prove to be a great marketing strategy.
Competition no less than today
After the period, Silk Route had become an integral road for trade. In 1497, the competition among several provinces grew to its saturation stage and there was bloodshed about who would take the lead. The participants were Spanish, English, Dutch and the Portuguese Empire. So, Silk Road not only opened its way to extensive international trade but unimaginable rivalry too.
Spices might not have remained economically that precious today, but their entry via Silk Route  in this wide world created enough buzz. It only proves their worth. Fortunately, India uses a wide range of them in cooking. Order from Chowki and feel privileged that now you can easily calm down your taste buds unlike centuries ago.

 

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Let’s talk about the red-hot Garam Masala

It is one of the most available spice recipes in our kitchens. How would you like to prepare the Garam Masala in your house? As the taste buds dictate you. My mom likes to add cumin or Jeera in relatively high amount while the Chef at Chowki prefers to keep the pepper content high.

Why the Masala is ‘Garam’?
Does it come to your mind too? The word ‘Garam’ means ‘heat’. From the perspective of Ayurveda, the body temperature risen by eating something warm helps in building immunity and staying prevented from many diseases.What goes into Garam Masala?It is slightly tricky to answer. This popular blend of spices is used extensively in North-Indian and South-Asian cuisines. It majorly includes the following spices -Cumin (jeera)
Clove (lounge)
Sheets of bay leaves (tej patta)
Black cardamom seeds (bari elaichi)
Green cardamom seeds (choti elaichi)
Small pieces of cinnamon 1 inch of each slice (dalchini)
Peas black pepper (sabut kali mirch)
Mace (mace, javitri)
Nutmeg (jaiphal)

However, there is no standard composition. so, you have the liberty to minus and add the ingredients as per the individual preference.

Where is Garam Masala not used?
Just like the Garam Masala composition can be altered, it’s uses can be maximized to the fullest. It will go according to how innovatively you can think about cooking. Traditionally, this luscious spice is used in cooking vegetables, Pulao, snacks such as Samosas, Chutney, egg recipes, non-veg recipes and other delectable dishes.

Why add Garam Masala?
According to Ayurveda, this blend of spices has the following health advantages:

– Effective pain killer with no side-effects
– Slows down aging process
– Helps in losing weight
– Increases the ability to absorb beneficial elements
– Helps in smooth functioning of digestive system
– Decreases the blood-sugar level
– Fights bad breath
– Protects from infection and flu

Since, you have all the reasons in the world to eat a delicacy punched with Garam Masala. We better tell you the solution. Order Murg Malai Tikka from Chowki and surprise your beloved with a great feast!

 

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India – The king of spices

Chilly, sour, sweet, salty, spicy, mouth-watering, curry, bitter – Indian spices are deliciously overwhelming in their flavours. The world learned from India taste. Mornings in India are awakened by the rich aroma of spices, when mothers and housewives are cooking delightfully for the family.

Try to trace the roots of your farthest possible forefathers, even before that period, the usage of spices was very much part of the Indian civilization. This culture is as old as the world history of spices. If Rig Veda is testified to mention about mustard, then Yajur Veda talks about black pepper.

Some other country would have been called the Land of Spices, had it been fortuned with India’s diverse topography. Mountain, swamp, riverine, tropical rainforest, wetlands, marshy woodland, rich valley and green field – each type of land nourishes specific spices.
The culture of making spicy food further led Indians to cultivate them in their farms. Due to the abundance of spices, Ayurveda also studied their health benefits and concluded that each one of them has an array of advantages.
Discover the detailed flavours of North-Indian food at Chowki. A delivery restaurant refined with the rich experience of  top hotel management professionals.