Registrato: 10/06/19 12:16
|Saffron: In history , Saffron is one of the most important spices in the world. Saffron has been seen in ancient hieroglyphics and was known for medical and cooking uses from the earliest times. In Indian, saffron is deeply treasured and for good reason. It is derived from the stigmas of a Saffron Crocus flower and it takes around one hundred and fifty flowers to produce one gram of Saffron. It is also very expensive due to the difficulty of getting such a small amount.
Medically saffron has been used for insomnia, a healing poultice for wounds and a perfume that is both pleasant to the nose and enhancing to the spirit.
To use saffron, the most simple pairing is saffron and rice. This sounds like such a humble dish , and it is. The first time you smell fresh saffron cooking with Indian Basmati rice, you will instantly know why it may be simple, but is not ever to be overlooked. Personally, I've made the mistake of putting a little too much on my plate and I end up ignoring other good food on my plate and making my entire meal the fragrant herb and rice.
Salt : If you want to get even more simple , consider the basic salt that we see on our table every day. It's in bottles around our house, in larger containers tucked away in cabinets, sometimes in the garage in preparation for melting ice or snow or making ice cream, in takeaway restaurants for free and just about anywhere else you can imagine. It's an ingredient in almost any food you eat.
For India , there is a special history for salt. Salt was once fairly easily obtained in India and it was also exported to other places. It was, of course, a critical component for many things from cleansing abrasions or teeth to basic cooking. If you've ever gone camping for a week and forgotten to take salt, you may have a slight idea of how much you would miss it if you didn't have it , even though most of us take it for granted.
When the British took control of salt to make it nearly impossible for Indian's themselves to buy it, this represented a whole new level of force. The British maintained a monopoly on salt for their own financial gain. Indians were forbidden to get salt in any usual way. They were not allowed to produce salt for themselves or sell it to others. Nations taxed salt heavily and it was too expensive for many Indian people to buy.
Mahatma Gandhi mounted a visible protest against the oppressive salt tax and he marched along the coast starting on March 12 and several dozen followers went with him. As he marched he spoke to the growing crowd about the outrage of the salt tax and spoke of non-violent protest. The crowd grew exponentially and on April 6 Gandhi and his followers began to pick up handfuls of salt along the shore which was essentially producing salt for themselves. Eventually the peaceful gatherers were beaten and then arrested by the police and sixty thousand people were jailed in the protest. Thanks to this powerful act, Indians and their brothers and sisters across the world enjoy salt again without a thought about cost.
Pepper : Since we've covered salt, let's get to the amazing peppercorn! Pepper is native to Asia and has been a part of Indian cooking since two thousand years before Jesus Christ walked the earth. Pepper was very valuable from the early times.
Among other things , pepper was considered an antidote to some poisons and perhaps swallowed in quantity did have an effect that allowed the poisons to be expelled since this is a natural effect of large amounts of pepper on a weakened digestive system. Some considered spicy foods including those with pepper to be aphrodisiac.
In cooking, pepper was valued not only to add heat, but to add depth and richness to sauces and the grains that were a staple for religious Indians who practiced vegetarianism. Pepper was often called black gold in ancient times and was expensive to acquire away from its native location. Indians used it liberally while others had to wait for exported pepper to get that extra snap in a dish! This was one of the reasons that other nations began to try to find ways to get to India faster so they could obtain beautiful fresh black, red , white, and green peppercorns more easily. Pepper is therefore responsible for some of the travel routes we still use, even though many were seemingly unsuccessful! Since the Americas themselves were first thought to be the end result of a trip toward India, one of the reasons for the diversity in America is over the simple spice we know as pepper.
Cloves : Cloves are a bit less commonly thought of in American cooking unless it's time to make clove apples at the holidays or add some clove to a variety of winter food and drink recipes. In India , clove is a spice that is routinely used in curries. They are often ground with other spices to make a less strong garam masala out of clove, cumin and coriander.
Indian Chai tea is made for both medicinal and flavor purposes. Cloves are used in different preparations as a painkiller. This has moved to Western medicine to a degree, particularly in the practice of dentistry since ground or shredded clove can be applied directly to the gums for fast pain relief. Chai is a rich spiced tea that is good for ailments of the throat, stomach and sinus. It is also simply delicious! Cloves are traditionally used whole during the making of Chai and when the brew is done , the cloves are strained out. In modern Chai, it is more common to use ground clove in a teabag for a similar but less spicy flavor.
Turmeric : This spice is native to southern India and has l
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