The World of Spice
While there are about 80 known spices grown in the world, 50 of those are from India alone. The lush and tropical climate of southern India produces some of the world’s best and enduring spices that characterize Indian cuisine. The saga goes back to ancient times when spices were used to flavor foods.
When European explorers came to Indian shores, they realized they’ve discovered something akin to gold, and brought the spices, herbs and other riches back to the New World. They sold, traded and grew the seeds wherever the clime is suitable.
In India, particularly the southern region, spice markets abound and are an industry in itself. With so many species grown, it is no wonder how southern cuisine got to be so spicy.
Let’s look at some popular spices that characterize southern Indian food and you’ll find some spices incorporated in multinational cuisines as well.
Cassia cinnamon, which has blood-sugar benefits, is a strong and hot spice. Cardon has strong, citrus taste and goes well with cinnamon in lamb meats. Coriander or cilantro, which is fresh lemon in flavor, is used as garnish to add color. Cumin has a licorice-like taste and a popular ingredient to add mild heat to curries.
India’s main spice produce, tamarind, sweetens as it ripens and used in juices. There’s no mistaking the anti-inflammatory properties of tumeric, an aromatic and bitter spice.
Spice for Health at Bellevue Indian Restaurant
The health roles of spices have long been studied – such as aiding digestion, lowering of blood pressure, diminishing stroke incidences, and fortifying resistance. Here at our Indian restaurant in Bellevue, it’s a good thing to know that what you find delicious and flavorful are also good for the health.