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Episode 302 - Passage To India
Spice Road
Taste explosions!
I can’t imagine what Marco Polo must have thought when he first encountered the Spice Road. I would like to take you on a trek down my own little spice road creation. Here are some of the great things you can include when you cook Indian cuisine. I hope you’ll try some and enjoy real soon.

*A mortar and pestle will help to assist you in grinding up the various spices:

Asofoetida seeds - pale yellow in colour, are also known as “the evil smelling spice” as they have a very pungent aroma. Use sparingly.

Cardamom - brown or pale green pods which reveal shiny little black seeds when cracked open. You can grind them up or simply use the seeds depending on what the recipe calls for.

Cloves - dark brown in colour, can be used for creating curries as well as desserts. Caraway seeds - brown-gray in colour, usually seen studded in cheese or bread, aid digestion.

Cumin - similar to caraway seeds in appearance, have a warm, sweet flavour and should be warmed up or roasted in order to make them softer and easier to grind.

Cinnamon - brownish-red in colour, it is actually the bark from a tropical evergreen tree. In Indian cuisine it is often used for curries and chutneys. It is great with both savoury and sweet dishes.

Coriander - it has the scent of an orange and can be used in curries and other spicy dishes. It is nice as a sweet complement. A tip: if you take lemon zest and crushed coriander, you can substitute the mixture for vanilla. Fenugreek seeds - with a maple taste to it, this spice is essential in Indian cuisine. It is often used in creating curries.

Ginger - has a hot and fiery taste to it. One should keep this in mind when using it. Nutmeg, mace, and ground mace - are all related spices. The brown round nuts are nutmeg while mace is actually the coating of the nutmeg seed. Ground mace is normally used in a recipe.

Tamarind - the sticky pod that comes from a Tamarind tree is also known as “the Indian date”. Often used as a substitute for lemons and limes, tamarind is found in virtually every chutney.

Saffron - the most expensive spice, saffron is actually the stigma from a crocus flower.

Tumeric - often said to taste like fresh scrubbed wood, this spice is primarily used for colour. It is bright orange.