Basic Information about Spices and Curry
Masala/Curry Powder is a blend of various spices such as those mentioned in the image
A common inquiry amongst those who are not familiar with Indian food is, “Is there curry in there?
Non-Indian chefs, as well, often refer to a specific spice as, “curry”. Curry is actually a prepared dish.
To clarify this point: Spices add color and "heat" and are used to flavor food. The end result, a blending and cooking of the ingredients, and aromatic spices, is, Curry.
The ingredients may include vegetables, lentils or non-vegetarian items
Curries differ in taste from cook to cook, as spices are used in varying amounts. Some may prefer more of a flavor, such as coriander, and others may skip this entirely. For a mild curry, very little chili powder is used or it can be left out entirely.
Whole red dry chilies or fresh green chilies lend different flavors, yet add "heat. " There are no strict measurements of spices either. The amounts of spices mentioned in these recipes are guidelines. Use the guidelines and as you get more proficient, experiment and decide the combination that works the best for you.
Although some grocery stores do sell Masala, I have not had good results with the ready made Masala that I have purchased in the USA. I have therefore suggested the amount of individual spices to be used in different curries. On this website, when recipes do call for Masala, there is a recipe for that Masala.
Gharam Masala is a blend of spices without chillies and is generally sprinkled at the end to heighten flavors. The spices that are used in Gharam Masala can vary. Typically it is a mix of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom & fennel powders.
Besides Masala that flavor curries, there are masalas for chai, the Indian name for tea. The chai masala generally consists of powdered cardamom, ginger, all spice, anise, cloves or white pepper. This tea is delicious, soothing and comforting especially when one has a cold.
Spices also have healing properties, aid in digestion and have antiseptic properties. You will see this in greater detail at The Spice Table
Curry may be served with rice, bread and Indian breads such as roti, naan or puri.There are a range of lentils, meat substitutes, vegetables, pasta dishes and other foods that make it possible for vegetarians to have varied and interesting meals.
For details on recommended foods & calorie intake, here is a good resource for , information on vegetables to eat, the recommended quantities, based on age and level of activity, amongst other tips.
It is recommended that adults should have at least 2½ cups of vegetables every day. The recipes on this website may help you to comply with this recommendation.
If you are having problems accessing these products or have any questions at all, email me, Nirmala at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to help in any way I can. The site will be regularly updated with tasty recipes, hints and tips. You can also reach me by using the Contact Form
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