Saturday, June 09, 2007

Spicy....Sunday Scribblings

This weeks' Sunday Scribblings is to write about Spicy.

Spicy has the following meanings: having the flavour, aroma, or quality of spice/ piquant, zesty/producing or abounding in spices/high-spirited, lively.

As soon as one says spicy, most of us get strong aroma of certain spices that we like. I get a smell of nutmeg and cloves!

Asian cooking is incomplete without the use of spices. Different places make use of different spices. In India, different spices are used in North and South India. These vary vastly. A few examples of spices used are basil, bay leaf, parsley, rosemary, tarragon, thyme, dill, fennel, mustard, nutmeg, cardamom, tamarind, cinnamon, curry leaves, pepper, garlic and ginger.

As I am an Indian, I love my food very pungent and spicy. Bland, boiled food is virtually unknown in this part of the world. Chillies, both red and green ones, are added to most vegetable preparations what most of you know as curry. Those curries taste great with plain boiled rice or chapatis/paranthas. Pickles are one item of food, which too contain many spices with oil and salt. No Indian meal is complete without pickles, which are made of raw mangoes or lemons or seasonal vegetables cut into small pieces.

Sometimes cloves, cardamoms, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg are added to tea. Those may be added and boiled with water before adding tealeaves. These are good for curing coughs and colds giving instant relief. All these/or any one can be boiled in water, sweetened to taste and sipped like tea. I relish nutmeg tea with sugar and milk. These spices do enhance the taste of tea along with curing common colds.

It does seem like a lesson on the eating habits in India. What I have mentioned here is just a drop in the ocean! Do check up India Spices.

Check out more spices....


*Delhi temperature touched 46 Degrees Celsius today. In a way, we are getting nicely pickled. Nothing can be more spicy than that!!


50 comments:

Sentient Marrow said...

I enjoyed reading about all of the different spices used in India. Which spice is best for colds? Nutmeg?

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

We love Indian cuisine, but not too spicy.

Cardamom tea is very good.

Hope you are doing well this weekend.

Rose

xo

Jennifer said...

46 degrees! Been in that temp with humidity. Not enjoyable at all. Pickled is a good word for it...LOL

Liza's Eyeview said...

I love spicy food. Thanks for the link on the Indian spices. I'll check it out.

gautami tripathy said...

sentient: welcome to my blog. Ginger is best for colds. Cloves too.

rose: If you ever come to India, I would cook for you, dear sister!

jennifer: Well, it is like frying without the oil!

lisa: Do chk it out. If you like I can give you more links.

Christine said...

Nice post! I'm very interested in both cooking and other cultures. In fact, you've inspired me to find an Indian recipe and head to the grocery store! Any suggestions for an easy summer meal? (nothing TOO spicy)

utenzi said...

Hi Gautami. Michele sent me over to visit you today.

It's only 32c here today and that feels VERY hot to me. I don't want any part of 46c! *whew*

I've only had Indian food a few times, Gautami, and found that I needed to keep using milk as a coping mechanism for the spiciness. I wish I shared your view of mathematics as poetry--for me it's arduous labor.

Matthew said...

Thank you for a reminder to go out and eat some more Indian cuisine (not that I need too much of a reminder). In Virginia Beach there are thankfully a variety of restaurants that serve food from different areas of India.

I doubt I will ever be able to eat the 'India hot' dishes without gallons of water and loaves of bread!

Mallika said...

Hi Gautami

I really enjoyed reading your post. In my part of India, Bengal, spices are enjoyed in moderation. And sometimes the food can be quite bland... we used to jokingly refer to it and Ganga jal!!

Ghost Particle said...

okay...everyone is making me hungry today.

What else can define Indians if not spice, we live for it! What else could have defined the past history if not of the spice trade. When we taught the world how to eat proper food. :D

paris parfait said...

Reading about all these yummy spices has made me hungry - and I just had spicy Thai food for dinner! :)

Tammy said...

I learned about how little I know of Indian spices. I think I've tried it but we have no Indian food where we live. How sad!

nonizamboni said...

Your commentary on Indian spices and food was very comforting and brought back memories of small shops on Devon Street in Chicago where upon entering the sweet/savory/spicy-ness wafted around my head. Delicious.
Cardamom is one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing with us!

ish said...

Is food India's penultimate art form? It's a bit like middle eastern food but with more of a carnival of spices. Love it!

Clockworkchris said...

I always love to learn a little bit more about any kind of food, especially spicey food. I have never tried Indian Cuisine and I may have to do it now that I know how spicey it is. Sounds great! I am geting hungry.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Michele sent me today and it is lovely to Meet & Greet you! I don';t think I have visited anyone in India before...So I am very happy to visit you.
I very much enjoyed this post on "spicy"...It did seem like it was about Indian Foods..(lol), but I enjoyed it very very much and learning a little bit about some spices I was not that familiar with...
I enjoy some Indian food very much...But, I am not someone who likes things too Spicy, so I guess you would consider me NOT eating real Indian Food.
Maybe someday...

kenju said...

HI, I saw your name at Michele's and decided to visit. Nutmeg and cloves have always been favorite spices in my home. I have only eaten Indian foods twice, but I loved it both times. I remember eating tandoori chicken and some bread I liked very much. I used to have an Indian Avon lady, and she made me some Indian dessert I loved, but I can't remember the name of it.

KG said...

I'm glad you brought up the medicinal uses of spices --- one of my family remedies is gargling with hot, black tea when a plagued by a sore throat and cough.

Clove is one of my favorites. Cardamom, too. For some reason, I focused on the hot spices, not the sweet/savory ones, in my post.

mo2mngirl said...

michelle sent me! oooo, i love indian food -- bookmarking you... jenn

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I have to say that I've never eaten Indian food -- or at least I don't think so. :)

Janie Hickok Siess, Esq. said...

Hi Gautami:

It all sounds so wonderful when you write about it . . . but I just can't eat spicy food so when my friends and I go to an Indian restaurant, they show me which foods to try, steering me into the bland stuff. :-)

floots said...

what time do you want me there :)
sounds great

Herb Urban said...

I absolutely love Indian food. Growing up on bland, boiled and under seasoned food, it was a revelation to discovery spices such as ginger, rosemary, basil, cumin and fennel on my own. My mom relieved exclusively on Mrs. Dash for all her favoring.

As a vegetarian, there is no better treat than a spicy curry.

Frances said...

Crispy pakoras, samosas, chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, curried goat, aloo gobi...all the my favorite dishes come to mind as I read your post. Indian cuisine equals bliss.
Thanks for visiting.
Waving at you from New York,
Frances

Kamsin said...

Wow, I can't believe how hot it is in Delhi! That spicy tea sounds amazing, I love Indian-style chai. I would totally love to have authentic Indian food in India one day, you can get pretty good Indian in lots of places in England, but I'm sure it's nothing compared to eating it in amongst the sights, smells, and heat(!) of India itself!

sage said...

That's hot! This past fall I had a guy from India work with me for 6 months, he didn't like real spicy food and I was disappointed! Stay cool, I've been in the mts of North Carolina and it's been beautiful weather

BONGO MIRROR said...

Pomegranate is a spice? How strange! I do like them. I do like food that has flavour much better than typical north american cardboard-like fair.

It has been what we think of as hot here. It got up to 25. Right now it is 19 which in my opinion is perfect so I think I'm going to sign off and go outside.

rubyslippers said...

i adore indian food! i wonder how so many americans can live without the complex flavors that spices and curries and herbs add to food. your post made me hungry just thinking about it!

lisrobbe said...

Indian food is so good and the spicier the better. The aroma's while the foods are cooking are so wonderful as well.

Shelby said...

I've always enjoyed the aroma and tastes of Indian food!

Kerstin said...

I love Indian food and used to eat it regularly when I lived in London. Your post makes me miss it! And I couldn't help but notice your temperature, 46C, wow! It gets hot her in New England in the summer but not like that. I hope you have airconditioning!

polona said...

i'm sorry to say i'm mostly unfamiliar with the indian food.
thank you for presenting an important aspect of your cuisine :)

Steve said...

This gave me food for thought!

Rob Kistner said...

Gautami -

I adore Indian food! A good lamb vindaloo, with hot chai, basmati rice, and lots of naan; is a spiritual experience for me -- any kind of vindaloo... ;)

I was told, by an excellent Indian chef, that the fiery hot vindaloo is of Portuguese origin?

No matter, I love vindaloo's -- and I enjoyed your post. Thank you!

colleen said...

These are some spicy words.

I eat at the India Gardens whenever I'm our nearest city.

Lucy said...

thanks for the cold remedy! my son suffers with terrible sinus problems and I will make him a cup of tea with one of the spices you suggest. ( you don't add them all do you??) thanks for visiting me today..

lissa said...

Interesting things about spices. Not quite sure about the food you mention - curries, chapatis, guess I have to try them sometimes.

Carlos said...

Love Indian food! And the spicier the better.

Skyelarke said...

I absolutely love chai tea. It's my fave tea in the whole world, literally as I've tried many others. Indian food is so delicious. One day I will get to India to eat the authentic meals!

Jennifer Hicks said...

I LOVE Indian food. The spicier the better! I visited N and S India in 05/06 and no one took me seriously when I asked for spicy food. I guess they think a western girl can't take the heat!

I miss the curries.....

m.o.M. said...

Although it's 5:30 am, you have me hungry for some of your wonderful Indian food! I had the pleasure of visiting your country in January and indulging in the incredible foods there!

Thanks for your kind comments!

gautami tripathy said...

I find so many people liking Indian cuisine. I feel so good about it.

Next time any of you who visits India, has a standing invitation from me for lunch/dinner!

Ginger/clove tea is good for the sinus.

Remiman said...

gautami,
Ah spices...what a dull world world we would inhabit if it were not for spice. My favorites are cinnamon, curry, basil, oregano, garlic (technically not a spice), salt and pepper. Oh and also anise, and corriander.
rel

Whitesnake said...

be careful what you wish for.
Ya might just get it!

DJPare said...

I love Indian food!
And I still have about 5 years worth of spices in my kitchen left behind by my last roommate - a lovely Indian woman...

forgetfulone said...

While Indian food is a bit too spicy for me personally, I enjoy the aromas of different spices in the cooking process. I'm also one of those people who love the smell of coffee but don't drink it. I'd love a "recipe" for how to make the tea with spices to cure what ails us.

Annie said...

Nutmeg tea with sugar and milk sounds wonderful. I must try it. I enjoyed readig about the spices you use.

dsnake1 said...

46 deg C, that's spicy! :D

Over here, i can find Indian food easily. one of my fave beverages is ginger tea, and breakfast item is prata.

yes, your spicy drinks certainly can cure a cold. once, i had a bad cold, a friend recommended a spicy Indian soup, i finished it in one go as instructed, and there and then, instant relief!

tania said...

Thank you, as usual, for a wonderful post and for your supportive comments on my blog.

You're always such a sweetheart, brightens my day every time you comment :)

I'm now off to my local curry place as your blog made me feel the need for some spicy paneer.

Gill said...

A lovely post! Living in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa we enjoy lots of lovely spicy food and hot weather too in the Summer.