What Are Nutmeg and Mace?

The nutmeg and mace spices both come from the seeds of evergreen trees in the Myristica family. Nutmeg is the kernel of the seed of the tree and mace is the lacy red skin (the aril) of the kernel. The aril is separated from the kernel and is then dried and sold as mace. The…

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What is Turmeric?

Turmeric is a plant belonging to the ginger family. It grows in hot climates that have lots of rain. It’s no surprise that India produces most of the world’s supply of turmeric and uses about 80% of the total crop itself. The roots of the turmeric plant are boiled, dried and then ground into a…

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What Are Cloves?

Cloves are the dried buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. Cloves are mainly grown in India and Indonesia and can be used as a curry spice or as a medicine. The spice is very strong and so cloves must be used sparingly in a curry (or any cooking). Some curry recipes call for…

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What Is Garam Masala?

Garam Masala can be loosely translated to Hot (Garam) Spice (Masala), however it is not in fact a spice itself, rather it is a blend of spices. Traditionally a Garam Masala is made up of cinnamon, roasted cumin, cloves, nutmeg (and/or mace) and green cardamom seed or black cardamom pods. Commercially, however, the mixture may…

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What Is Curry Powder?

curry powder

A more recent, and more comprehensive, blog about curry powder has been published since this original blog was written. The more recent blog is titled “Curry Powder – The Spice of Life“. Curry powder itself was actually developed by the British who wanted to take the taste of India home with them, without having the…

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What are Coriander and Cumin?

Coriander Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum) is an herb that is used a lot in Asian, Mediterranean African and Chinese cooking. The leaves and seeds are both used to give flavour as well as to provide a garnish. Coriander leaves are called cilantro in North America. Coriander leaves lose their flavour when heated so they are often…

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Benefits of Cayenne Pepper

What is Cayenne Pepper? Cayenne is a hot red fruit that is used to flavour dishes, its name comes from the city of Cayenne, which is the capital of the French Guiana. The fruit is often pulped into cakes and these cakes are then ground, or sifted, to make cayenne pepper. Cayenne Pepper helps Blood…

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What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon is a very widely used spice that comes from the bark of a tree in the Lauraceae family. The tree is native to Sri Lanka and southern India. Indonesia is now the main supplier of cinnamon to the world. The inner bark of the tree is used to produce cinnamon. The drying process causes…

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