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Spices

Cumin: Toasting The Benefits

Cumin seeds / Jeera

Jeera: Winnowing The Seeds Did you know Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world, right after black pepper? I didn’t and considering it occurs like a leitmotif in every Indian meal, it shouldn’t have been that shocking! And we’re not the only people who find the spice an indispensable flavoring agent. Mexican dishes are loaded with it.…

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Spices

Turmeric: The Wonders Of The Golden Spice

Turmeric Powder

Haldi: Grounding the Root When you’re looking at the root of Curcuma longa (the scientific term), it’s easy to confuse it with ginger. Both belong to the same family, after all. Turmeric, which by the way grows in abundance in India, has the same tough brown skin as ginger. It is when you slice it that you see the bright orange hue.  How does the root turn into powder? The…

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Spices

Saffron: One Exotic Pinch With Many Merits

Saffron

Kesar: Threading The Golden Stigmas The other day a fellow baking-enthusiast gave me an interesting tidbit – it takes 75,000 saffron crocus flowers to produce less than 500 grams of saffron. Each flower is painstakingly handpicked and dried. From the stigma of every dried flower, three saffron strands (just 3) are threaded. That can’t be right! 500 grams is a measly amount for such a laborious process. But then I…

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