sanjay thumma Vahchef with Indian food videos inspires home cooks with new recipes every day.

Spices And Properties

Every thing about Spices And Properties | Vahrehvah :

Spices And Properties


Anardana comprises the dried seeds (with flesh) of pomegranate fruit. It is a native of iran, afganistan and baluchistan. It is found growing wild in the valleys of Himalayas. The pomegranate is an ancient and popular fruit. The fruit is a large glucose berry, shiny red, yellow green, or whitish when ripe.

The fruit is filled with angular hard seeds which are covered with a juicy red, pink or yellowish white, sweet astrigent acid pulp, these seeds are sundried and dehydrated. It is grown on the hilly slopes of Jammu and parts of Chamba, Kangra and Mandi district of Himanchal Pradesh and Punjab. Anardana is mostly used as a condiment for acidification of chutneys and certain gravies. Mint Chulney Pudina Masala


Asafetida is the dried latex or oleogum resin exuded from the living rhizone or rootstock, taproot of several species of ferule, three of which grow in India, mainly in Kashmir. These are perennial herbs belonging to the genus ferula which are the sources of the oleogum resins used as a condiment as well as a medicine. It is imported into India from iran and afganistan.

Asofoetida is acrid and better in taste and emits a strong, disagreeable, pungent colour due to the presence of sulphur compounds. It is exentisvely used in India for flavouring curries, sauces, pickles in the intestinal and respiratory tracts and the nervous system. It is useful in asthma, whooping cough and chronic bronchitis. In the marination of tandoori pomfret in conjuction with ginger garlic paste .


Bay leaves are dried leaves and are grown in the Mediterranean and are cultivated in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Central America etc. It is grown in Indian gardens but does not seem to thrive well. The surface colour of the leasf is green and the underside is pale green and somewhat yellowish. They are used whole or cracked. The taste is aromatic and bitter. It is amongst the worlds oldest herbs and is used in flavouring of soups, stews, meat, game dishes, and sauces, pickles etc.

Used for flavouring the Sikandri Raan. Garam Masala. CARDAMOM All cardamoms are broadly grouped into two categories. Choti Elachi Green Cardamom Badi Elachi Black Cardamom The former is far more commercially important than the latter. It is the second most important ‘National Spice’and is rightly known as the ‘queen of spices’. Its origin is in India and Ceylon.

They are small oddly shaped seeds which when crushed emit a cool eucalyptus scented flavour. They are chewed as stimulants. The Badi elachi is cultivated in swampy places along the sides of the mountain streams in Nepal, Bengal, Sikkim and Asam. The dark red brown globular capsules contain several seeds in each cell. They have sharp taste and are a tonic to heart and liver. The outside covering is good for headache and for teeth and heal stomtitis. The ripend fruit, considered to be delicacy is eaten raw. As a constituent of Garam Masala Choti elachi used in Reshmi Kebab.


It is the air dried unopened flower bud obtained from a handsome, medium sized, evergreen straight trunked trees grown in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It is the second most important spice in the world. It is derived from the French word “clov” and the English word “clout”, both mean “nail”, India’s production of clove is not sufficient thus it is dependant on imports from Zanzibar.

The full brown but unopened buds are picked green and dried in the sun till they become dark brown to form the clove of commercial use. Clove is very aromatic, has a fine flavour and imparts warming qualities. Clove is used for flavouring curies, gravies, pickles, ketchup & and spice mixtures. Clove has a stimulating property.

Clove oil is used in medicine as an aid to digestion, for its antiseptic and antibiotic properties in tooth ache. It is an ingredient in toothpastes and mouth washes. Used for flavouring all kind of food products-meats, sausges, confectionary, sauces, pickles etc. As an ingredient in the Garam Masala. Flavouring of the makhani gravy.

CORIANDER Coriander seeds and fresh coriander leaves are too well known to need any introduction in India. Coriander is actually the hose wife’s secret to tasty dishes. It is a native of the Mediterranean region. In India coriander is cultivated in Andhra, Maharashtra, U.P, Himanchal , Assam, M.P, etc., they are the richest source of VitC’ and Vit’A’.

It is used as a condiment in curries and fresh leaves for garnishing gravies and other dishes and in chutney as an appetizer. The fresh stem leaves and fruits of coriander have a pleasant aromatic odour. The seeds are used as a condiment in the preparation of curry powder, pickling, spices and seasoning. It has a pleasant aromatic taste. as an overall ingrediant


They are dried ripe fruits of species of genus capsicum. They are also called red peppers or capsicum and they constitute an important, well know commercial crop used both as a condiment or culinary suppliment and as a vegetable. It is virtually an indispensable item in the kitchen.

Red peppers and chillies are cultivated mainly in tropical and sub tropical countries, notably India. Major states are Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka. Highest yield is in Jammu & Kashmir. Chillies may be classified on the basis of their colour size, pungency and the end use to which they are put.

The varieties vary in colour red, yellow or white. The ripe fruits of these spices are dried in the sun or in mechanical drier. They are then powdered to the desired level. They are sold whole and ground. Dry chilli is extensively used as a spice in all curried dishes in India and abroad kashmiri mirch and deghi mirch are mild in pungency, used to colour, flavour and garnish dishes.

Chillies, when taken with food stimulate the taste buds and thereby increase the flow of saliva and which contains which contains the enzyne ‘anylase’ (any base) which in turn helps in the digestion of starchy or cereal foods into the easily assimilated sugar (glucose). If eaten fresh with salads or fruits they serve as a good supplement of Vit C and Vit A.

Green chillies are more nutritious than dry chilli powders. Extensively used in all kinds of marinations, stuffings in all forms- fresh and dried. Both red and yellow chilli powder are used. Marination of : Tandoori Chicken : Tandoori Pomfret : Tandoori Prawn : Tandoori Salad : Tandoori Aloo : Stuffing for kulcha : Reshmi Kebab : Tandoori Phool : Paneer Tikka : Chichken/ Paneer Khurchan


Cinnamon is one of the most important tree spice of India. It consists of layer of dried pieces of inner bark of branches and young shoots. The quality of cinnamon depends on the region where it is grown. In India it is grown on the west coast. Cinnamon is a very useful tree, every part of the tree finds some use. The bark has a delicate fragarance and warm agreeable taste. It is aromatic, astringent, stimulant. Cinnamon is used for flavouring confectionary, liqueur, soaps etc. powered cinnamon is used in chocolate in spain. Flavouring the Sikandri Raan. A constituent of (Garam Masala)


Cumin or ‘Safaid Zeera’ comprises the dried yellowish to grayish brown seeds of small slender annual herb of the coriander family, believed to be a native of Egypt & Syria. The aromatic seed like fruit is elongated, oval approximately 6mm long and lightish yellow brown in colour. The odour is peculiar, strong and heavy.

The flavour is warm, slightly bitter and somewhat disagreeable. In India cumin is cultivated in almost all the states. They have long been considered a stimulant, carminative, astringent all useful in diarrhoea. Garam Masala- Aloo Zeera. BLACK CUMIN (NIGELLA) Black cumin is the dried seed-like fruit of a small herb. It is said to be cultivated in Punjab, Himanchal, Bihar, Assam. It is considered to be a carminative, stimulant, diuretic and is used in treatment of mild cases of puerperal fever. Used against scorpion stings. The seeds are used scattered in linen or woollen clothes to preserve them against insect, silver fish etc. Tandoori salad Sikandri Raan Marination Kulcha stuffing


Fenugreek is the dried ripe fruit if an annual herb, native of south east Europe, cultivated in India also. The seed is very small and yellowish brown in colour. It has a pleasantly bitter taste and a peculiar flavour. The seed is produced as a spice, as a vegetable for human consumption, as forage for cattle. The robust herb is light from green in colour.

India is a major producer and exporter of fenugreek. Fenugreek leaves are rich in calcium, iron and ascorbic acid. The oil has a disagreeable odour and bitter taste. Fenugreek has been used both as a food or food additive as well as a medicine. Fenugreek stimulates the digestive process as well as metabolism in general. It can cure baldness in men. Paneer Khurchan


The art of blending garam masala involves grinding, a combination of dried spices. Spices are dried on side of tandoor for two days before they are ground into a powder. Garam masala for marination and mixed with other masalas used in bukhara. Recipe of a Garam masala is strictly adhered to.


Mixed spiece power with the base of mango powder. Used in marination of vegetarian kebab and the base for kabab masala.


Kachari is the fruit which is on creeper, green when raw and yellow when ripe. It has spots on the skin. Seeds are very similar to melon seeds. Used in bukhara or barah kabab.


Mace is produced from a nutmeg tree. Mace is the dried reticulated seed of the nutmeg. When the peach or apricot-like nutmeg fruit bursts open, it is seen as an attractive bright scarlet case closely enveloping the hard, thin, black, shining shell of the seed called nutmeg. The mace is removed gently pressed flat, dried, and is called mace turns pale yellowish brown or neddish brown and becomes brittle.

In India it is grown in Tamil Nadu, kerala, assam and other states. Mace is available in the marked as ‘whole’ ‘broken’ or ground. They are used in soups & preserves in sauces. It is used more as a drug than a condiment due to their valuable medicinal properties. As a constituent of Garam Masala. In the marination of Reshmi Kebab.


Mint or ‘Pudina’ is known to one and all, as used in chutney. The menthol spice growing naturally in India yields peppermint oil of desirable quality. The species are found in Nilgiris, Mysore and Kashmir, Japanese mint is cultivated in a large scale in jammu and Kashmir. Sunny weather with moderate rainfall in conductive to its luxuriant growth and high mentholcontent.

The herb is dried in small bundles hanging over wires in shades till it is reduced to 1/3 to ¼ of its original weight, mint or ‘pudina’ in very popular in the use of Pudina Dhania chutney. Mint is also used for flavouring meat, fish, sauce, soup. The fresh leaf tops of all mints are used in beverage, fruit cups, ice creams etc. roast lamb goes well with mint sauce. Mint Chutney


Nutmeg is the dried seed (kernel) of the peach like ripe fruit of the evergreen tree, native of molucas and cultivated in Indonesia, west indies etc. in India nutmeg is grown in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam etc. East Indian Nuts have the finest aroma. The colour is grayish brown nutmeg is used as a condiment and in medicine. It is a stimulant carminative, astringent and aphrodisiac.

As a constituent of Garam Masala. Black pepper or ‘kali mirch’ is rightly considered to be the ‘king of spices’. Black pepper or ‘kali mirch’ is the dried mature but unripe berries of a branching vine perennial shrub mostly found in hot and moist parts of sourthern India. There are 24 varieties of black pepper grown in India.

The fruits is ready for harvest when they are fully mature and start turning yellow. They are then sun dried, when completely dried up, outer skin of the berries become dark brown to black and gets shriveled. Other varieties are white pepper, green pepper etc. it is used as a presentative of meats. It is an essential ingredient of numerous commercial food stuffs. Garam Masala Kastoori Kebab Flavouring of Makhani Gravy


Saffron is one of the oldest and certainly among the worlds most expensive spices. One pound of saffron consists of about 225,000 to 500,000 dried stigmas, requires picking by hand, this gives an idea of the human labour involved in harvesting saffron. The colour of saffron is bright yellow red, the aroma powerful, some what bitter, medicinal, flavouring and colouring properties. Marination of Seekh Kebab


It is an ancient spice of India, consists of the dried boiled, cleaned and polished rhizone. Turmeric not only adds its typical flavour but colour also, it is used in medicine and cosmetics, tonic, blood purifier, vermicide and antiseptic. Used in the marinade of Tandoori chicken, Prawn, Pomfret.

Be the first to know about Our Recipes and Foods: Subscribe to Newsletter