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Blending of spices:
The magic of Indian cooking is in the blending of spices. Therefore, it is important to know which spices are suited to which food. All spices have a particular function in a recipe. Some spices are for aroma, some for flavor and some give body to the gravy’s.
Spice blends differ by region. One factor that influences the blend of spices for each region is the climate. In cold climates there is heavy use of spices that create heat, such as fennel, saffron and ginger powder.
The form of the spice impacts the taste. Ground spices will change the flavor and whole spices will just enhance the taste. There is a general assumption that all spices are hot to taste. This is incorrect. Very few spices are hot to taste; most of them will just flavor the food or add some digestive value to the food.
While cooking techniques are similar across the country, the blend of spices to make the infusion or tarka does vary from region to region. Ingredients used in all areas include ginger, garlic, turmeric and asafetida.
These spices deserve a separate mention. Turmeric often defines the food as Indian Cuisine. High medicinal value and color makes turmeric important in the Indian Cuisine. Asafetida as well, has a very high medicinal value and is used across the vast country.