Talk about India and you get to think about herbs and spices. We have a great variety of herbs that are quite capable of doing a lot more than you think. From the minor mundane ones that are available in your kitchen to the ones that might be quite unknown to you. Today we will be discussing all of them so that you can understand the importance of Indian herbs and spices in your kitchen.
In ancient times, the treasure trove of Indian herbs and spices attracted a lot of traders and invaders to the country. As we are living in the modern world a lot we do not know that these herbs and spices can be a game-changer in your kitchen.
Why are Herbs and Spices so Important
Each one of them has its importance. Each one of them has the power to cure treat and prevent human body without any help of western medicine. A lot of them are responsible for the flavoursome tastes in our foods. Starting from the tastemakers like black cardamom to the garnishing options like green coriander and Kasoori methi. You cannot imagine restaurant-style paneer without a hint of authentic spices in it. On the other hand, a spice like ajwain (carom seeds) is an amazing option for good digestion and a remedial cure for the common cold. Not just that, many others like these can be great for Indian cooking and culinary experiments.
Top Indian Herbs and Spices for Your Kitchen
Herbs and spices in your food for taste and good health. These culinary herbs may act as prevention as well as the cure for a lot of health problems. So, let’s begin with our list of best Indian herbs and spices along with their health benefits.
1. Curry Leaves (kadhi patta)
You cannot imagine your foods like poha, curry, sambhar, upma and others without it. It gives an irresistible flavour to the foods and the aroma of it splattering in the oil is divine. Kadhi patta is an antioxidant. Great to cure morning sickness or nausea. Also, it is a very useful herb for patients of high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. Tulsi Leaves (Holy Basil)
Indian and Hindu holy books have given great importance to Tulsi. It is a long-known tradition to pot a tulsi plant in the courtyards of many Indian houses. Hindu religion also believes in worshipping the plant. That is due to the divine benefits it carries in itself. The holy basil or tulsi boosts cardiovascular health, treats respiratory illness and may also help in lowering the cancer risks. Many of you would remember the time when grannies would give us a hot cup of kadha with tulsi in it when there was a need to treat cold, cough or indigestion. Of course, it has been there for many more home remedies through the times. Add it into your chai and enjoy it for a taste on a rainy day. That is the reason I added Tulsi into the list of important Indian herbs in your kitchen.
They are mostly used pronounced and even used together in the kitchen. Ginger and garlic in a grated or paste form help to create many delicious gravies and curries. It is an absolute part of the great Indian tadka and turns every dish aromatic. Ginger is great for digestion and garlic has anti-inflammatory properties.
You can use both of them in your daily tadka also use ginger separately in hot ginger-lemon tea which has a soothing effect on body and mind when consumed.
The sweet, nutty spice that commonly is found in the shelves of many Kitchens is a wholesome source of antioxidants and can be used both in sweet and salty savouries due to its unmatchable versatility.
Many people love using it in their coffees and teas, it is efficiently used in the healing kadhas due to its therapeutic values and make many of your Indian gravies lip-smacking.
Yes, a thing as common as turmeric is also making it into the list. As a matter of fact, turmeric is known as the king of herbs. That is because it is that one magical root and powder later on that heal you from inside and out. It gives colour and flavour to your food and blesses you with whooping immunity.
Add it to your daily food or make is a ‘before bed’ drink by mixing it with some milk and honey.
Brahmi is another powerful Indian herb. It is bitter-sweet in taste, and it has a therapeutic cooling effect. Experts suggest consuming Brahmi for a sharp memory and mind. It’s the best Indian herb that can also benefit children. You can make Brahmi Sharbat at home very easily. Adding sugar to it will turn it into a much sweeter drink that can be your ideal option on a hot summer day.
This Indian herb/ spice is greatly known for its flavour, taste and colour. In fact, saffron even has a colour named after it. It is extracted as a stigma of the beautiful flower of the saffron crocus. The Kashmiri saffron is a world-famous variety of saffron. It is high in antioxidants, it is great for skin, weight loss and quite an effective herb for PMS relief.
Saffron gives the food a crimson colour and nutty flavour. Add this Indian herb/spice into milk or home-made sweets.
Can you resist the flavour and smell of delicious pudina? Of course not. Fresh green mint leaves give an authentic Indian flavour to everything. This natural herb has countless benefits that include curing nausea, indigestion and any kind of uneasiness.
You can add this into your diet by making healthy home-made chutney with all the fresh spices, herbs and blending all of them. It tastes delicious and has a lot of health benefits as well.
It is an ancient Indian herb that can truly benefit the ones who usually feel less energetic and lethargic in their day to day lives. It helps in managing stress, and can also help managing stress, anxiety and depression.
Ashwagandha is also known as an effective Indian herb that can help in boosting brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol level. It is usually consumed as a supplement powder to enhance health effects. You can use the root to make powder at home or get it in the form of capsules from any local drug store.
Triphala is another great Indian Ayurvedic herb.It is a mix of three very powerful herbs, Amla, Bibhitaki and Haritaki. It has anti-inflammatory properties, has aiding qualities for dental problems and oral health issues and since the ancient times this magical herb mix has been used as a laxative. People who trust in the power of Indian herbal science still use Triphala to cure digestive issues like constipation and other issues.
India has always believed in remedial therapy and healing and strengthening your body with the food you eat. That is why the complete pack of all these herbs and spices can change the game of your kitchen while you cook home-made style food for your loved ones. Try adding them to your next grocery list with enthusiasm.
Siddhi Panchal is a food blogger at CookingwithSiddhi and food aficionado who loves to cook. Her cooking skills cover a range of Indian and international cuisines. Her aim is to enable other food enthusiasts explore their love for food by helping them cook delectable dishes from India and around the world.