Traditional recipes

Essential Pantry Ingredients for Baking

Essential Pantry Ingredients for Baking

Don't leave the store without these basic baking ingredients

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Definitely keep all-purpose flour around all the time. Also nice to have are unbleached flour, cake flour, whole-wheat flour, and semolina.

Flour

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Definitely keep all-purpose flour around all the time. Also nice to have are unbleached flour, cake flour, whole-wheat flour, and semolina.

Sweeteners

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

At a bare minimum, and not just for baking, always have some granulated white sugar in the cupboard. Brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, real maple syrup, and honey are also good to have for baking.

Extracts

Hemera/Thinkstock

At the very least, always keep on hand a bottle of pure vanilla extract (none of that artificial stuff). Almond extract is nice, too.

Spices

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Cinnamon, clove, allspice, and ground ginger are always good to have in the spice rack. Nutmeg, too — just make sure to buy whole nutmeg, not ground, since the flavor and aroma are far superior.

Dried Fruits and Nuts

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Raisins, dried apricots, and dried cranberries are great for breads and cookies, and walnuts, almonds, and pecans are always good to have around, although it's important to keep the shelf life in mind: Even when stored in a cool, dark place, an open package of shelled nuts will last at most about 18 months.

Grains

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Oatmeal, cornmeal, and bran are great pantry staples to have if you like baking cookies and muffins.

Leavening

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Baking soda and baking powder — what's the difference? Baking soda works in the presence of an acidic ingredient such as yogurt or buttermilk. Baking powder is baking soda with cream of tartar added to it along with some starch. Cream of tartar acts as the acidic ingredient in baking powder. It's a good idea to have both on hand because many recipes call for one or the other (and sometimes both). Without either of these, your baked goods won't rise.

Fat

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Some type of fat is a must for just about any baking recipe. Keep vegetable oil and good-quality unsalted butter on hand, as well as shortening.

Chocolate

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

If you're a chocolate lover, you'll want to keep some unsweetened cocoa powder in the cupboard, as well as some milk chocolate and semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.


Essential Ingredients in the Indian Pantry

Unlocking a treasure trove of spices, Indian dishes showcase elaborate, intricate flavors. Here are twenty-five essential staples of the Indian pantry.

For centuries, India enticed spice-hungry traders. As foreigners took away spices, they also contributed to India&aposs cuisine. The Chinese brought rice and the wok the Portuguese introduced vinegar, tomatoes, potatoes, and chilies. Persian, Mongolian and Indonesian influences were also significant. Here are key ingredients to stock in your pantry for delicious DIY Indian recipes.

A Peek Inside the Indian Pantry

Cardamom: An important spice in garam masala, cardamom has a grapefruit-like, floral, soapy flavor containing some green/woody notes. It has a menthol undertone and is similar to ginger. It is used as whole pods, as seeds, and ground. Try it in Easy Vegetarian Kofta Curry.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is characteristically woody, musty and earthy in flavor and aroma and is warming to taste. The finer the grind, the more quickly the cinnamon is perceived by the taste buds. Whole cinnamon sticks are often infused in saucesਊnd rice. Unlike in the West, where cinnamon is associated with sweet baked goods, in India it isਊ savory spice that is also used in meat dishes. Try it in Curry Stand Chicken Tikka Masala Sauce.

Cilantro/Coriander: The flavor and aroma of cilantro (fresh coriander) is generally described as being waxy, citrus, and soapy. The flavor of the leaf is distinctive, and quite different from that of the coriander seed. Cilantro is used as a garnish, in seasoning blends, and in sauces such as masala and curry. Ground coriander is an important ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. Its flavor is described as being minty, sweet and citrus-like.

Cloves: The flavor of cloves is strong, pungent, sweet--almost hot. They are one of the most penetrating of all spices and their bitter, astringent flavor leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth. Cloves are an important ingredient in the spice blends of Sri Lanka and North India. They are used in garam masala, biryanis, and pickles.

Cumin: An important ingredient in garam masala and curry powder, cumin is characterized by a strong musty, earthy flavor which also contains some green/grassy notes. Both whole seeds and ground cumin are used in cooking. Try it in Indian Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani).

Listen to Allrecipes "Homemade" podcast to hear Aarti Sequeria&aposs essential Indian spices and more!

Fenugreek: Rich and round with a slight bite, this aromatic plant is known for its pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds. Fenugreek seeds, which come whole and ground, are used to flavor many foods, including curry powders, spice blends and teas. Fenugreek seeds should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months. Try it in Dal Makhani (Indian Lentils).

Garam masala: Garam is the Hindi word for "warm" or "hot," and this blend of dry-roasted ground spices from the colder climes of northern India adds a sense of warmth to both palate and spirit. There are as many variations of garam masala (which may contain up to 12 spices) as there are Indian cooks. It can include black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chiles, fennel, ginger, mace and nutmeg. Garam masala is usually either added to a curries, vegetable dishes, soups, or stews toward the end of cooking or sprinkled over the surface just before serving. Check out 10 Amazing Indian Recipes to Make with Garam Masala.

Mint: Often paired with lamb dishes and served in raitas and chutneys, this cooling herb has a pleasantly fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor. Try it in Indian Style Sheekh Kabab.

Tamarind: Also called Indian date, concentrated tamarind pulp is used to add a somewhat sour flavor to chutneys and curries. Limes are an acceptable substitute. Try it in Lamb Shank Vindaloo.

Turmeric: This ground dried root has a characteristic musky, earthy aroma and a pungent, slightly bitter flavor. Turmeric is a powerful yellow-orange coloring agent, used as a dye for fabrics and foods such as pickles, relish, and chutneys, plus rice, lentil, and vegetable dishes. Turmeric is thought to aid the digestion and to work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Try it in Super Easy Oven-Roasted Okra.

Additional spices: Indian food is so rich with spices that what we have above is only a partial list. For a well-stocked pantry, you might consider stocking up on peppercorns (the source of "heat" in spicy foods before the introduction of chiles), fennel seeds, poppy seeds, bay leaves, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds (kalonji--sometimes called black onion seed), saffron, and asafoetida.

Chiles: Indigenous to America, chiles were introduced into India by the Portuguese. They are essential ingredients in making vindaloo curries (itself a perversion of a Portuguese word vindalho, which combines the words "vinho," for vinegar, and "aldos," for garlic.) Indian cuisine makes use of both fresh chiles (whole, minced, or made into a paste) and dried chiles. If a recipe calls for chile powder, use ground cayenne pepper — do not use a spice blend. Try cayenne in Jonagold&aposs Chicken Vindaloo.

Coconuts: The milk and oil from coconuts are important particularly in Southern Indian cooking where it is popular in curries. Grated coconut is often used in desserts or added to sauces. Try coconut milk in Mango Coconut Sauce.