SPICES: “A tickling treat for your taste buds.”
India, a country that is rich in heritage and tradition, is well known all over the world for its spices. No one can do without Indian spices as they have ruled over the minds and hearts of all, around the world. India was the nerve center of the spice trade and it is these very spices that led to various countries invading India as well as the discovery of the Americas by Columbus.
LMJ spices give food its best taste and flavour. It provides a variety of spices and these spices are natural from the way they are grown to how they are steam treated, blended and packaged. Pride and care go into each product. No preservatives and colourants are added.
Indian spices which have long been part of gourmet lore are:
- Pepper: There are two types of pepper-Black pepper and White pepper. Black is slightly different in taste from White pepper, one hits the tip of the tongue where as the other one hits the back of the tongue. The black pepper is the dried berry, whereas the white pepper is just the seed alone. They are used to flavor a variety of dishes from soups to the main courses.
- Cumin: All Curries and Dals in the Indian kitchens have cumin in them in small quantities. Cumin gives these dishes an aroma that serves to enhance the dish further. Cumin can also be used in the powdered form but for stronger aroma and it is best to use the seeds as they are.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice derived from the bark of an evergreen tree. Cinnamon is native to India and as such, its usage ranges from that of a flavoring agent to a medicinal agent. Cinnamon oil can also be prepared from this bark. The Cinnamon is used both as a condiment as well as a flavoring agent and is light-yellowish brown in color.
- Black Cardamom: Black Cardamom also known as “Bada Elaichi” (in Hindi) is well defined by the smoky aroma. It is widely used as a flavoring agent like the green cardamom. The black Cardamom is widely used in cooking all the way from India to China and has found its place in a variety of dishes ranging from the erstwhile Biryani to the noodle soup.
- Green Cardamom: Green Cardamom is a small seed pod with black seeds in the shell. This is used primarily for flavoring anything from drinking water to a cup of Chai (Indian Tea). It is small in size compared to the other cardamom variety but packs quite a nice aroma inside its pod. The green cardamom is also used in medicine to treat infections of the teeth and the gums.
- Saffron: Saffron is one of the most delicate spices in the world. It is derived by drying the stigma of the flower: Saffron Crocos. This spice is used both as a coloring as well as a seasoning agent. This spice is also one of the most expensive ones and is valued greatly for its coloring abilities more than anything else.
- Ginger: Ginger a perennial plant that adds its own bite to the food and is more of a stem than root as is commonly believed. It is found all over India and has a pungent taste that is unmistakable. Ginger besides adding flavor to food is also known for its medicinal properties as well. Their medicinal usages range from being used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines to the ever famous ‘Ginger Masala tea’.
- Coriander Powder: Coriander also known as Cilantro is a herb with a fresh, sweet aroma. The Coriander powder also known as Dhania powder is an essential spice in almost every single Indian kitchen. It is used as a flavoring agent in dals and curries. It imparts the dish with its unique aroma of freshness. The coriander seeds are first dried up and then grounded into a powder form.
- Asafetida: Asafetida also known as ‘the devil’s dung’ is known for its pungent odour. It originated in America but, in the recent past, seems to have made its home in the sub-continent-Asia. It is used as a condiment and flavoring agent in cooking.
- Curry Leaf: Curry leaves are as essential to Indian cooking as bay leaves are to European ones. The curry leaves as well as the oil that is obtained from them are highly priced not just as a flavoring agent but also for the medicinal properties of the oil.
- Turmeric: It is one of the key ingredients for many Indian, Persian and Thai dishes such as in curry and many more. Ancient Indian medicine, Ayurveda has recommended its use in food for its medicinal value. It is used as an agent to impart a rich, custard-like yellow color. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders. Although usually used in its dried powdered form, turmeric is also used fresh, much like ginger.
- Red Chillies: It is used as a spice to add pungency or piquancy and flavor to dishes to make it tastier. It is high in demand due to its high quality, excellent flavor and rich aroma.
- Fenugreek Seeds: It is an ancient spice which is small, hard, yellowish-brown, smooth and oblong shaped and has slightly bitter taste. The fresh tender green leaves of the fenugreek plant, called methi or menthi have a bitter-sweet flavor and are used as a regular green vegetable in Indian cuisine like dals and vegetables. The sprouted Fenugreek seeds have a slight pungent-sweet flavor and are used to prepare salads. The dried form of Fenugreek leaves, called “Kasoori Methi”, is a popular spice, used to enhance the flavor of Indian dishes.
- Fennel Seeds: Dried fennel seed is an aromatic, anise-flavoured spice, brown or green in colour when fresh, slowly turning a dull grey as the seed ages. For cooking, green seeds are optimal. The leaves are delicately flavoured and similar in shape to those of dill. The bulb is a crisp vegetable that can be sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled, or eaten raw. They are used for garnishes and to add flavor to salads. They are also added to sauces and served with pudding. The leaves used in soups and fish sauce and sometimes eaten raw as salad. Fennel has got medicinal usages too.
Our successful origination in the global spice industry is due to our strength and experience to navigate this complex market. We export spice in Whole and Grounded Form for the importers who either process and pack in their units or sell directly to the shops and end customers. LMJ facilitates exports in its own and buyer’s brand and packaging.
The key to our success has been the combination of a fantastic product, together with a competitive pricing model, and thus markets around the world have given our natural range of products a welcome to their shelves and into their meals. This has created long lasting customer value.
A food is not a dish unless it contains LMJ’s natural spices tickling the mind as well as the body.