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Spice encyclopedia.

What are spices – Spices are the aromatic parts of tropical plants traditionally used to flavor food, or the dried seeds or fruit of temperate plants used in the same way. Some of the substances we call spices to come from the bark or roots of certain plants, but the majority are berries, seeds, or dried fruits.

Spice Age – The history of spice is almost as old as human civilization. It is a history of lands discovered, empires built and brought down, wars won and lost, treaties signed and flouted, flavors sought and offered, and the rise and fall of different religious practices and beliefs. Spices were among the most valuable items of trade in ancient and medieval times. As long ago as 3500 BC the ancient Egyptians were using various spices for flavoring food, cosmetics, and for embalming their dead. The use of spices spread through the Middle East to the eastern Mediterranean and Europe. Spices from China, Indonesia, India, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) were originally transported overland by a donkey or camel caravans. For almost 5000 years, Arab middlemen controlled the spice trade, until European explorers discovered a sea route to India and other spice-producing countries in the East. The Indian spice history is over 700 decades old & today every home across the universe spices from India. For almost half of the universe’s spice demand, it is met by the Indian subcontinent

How to use Spices – Complex flavors can be created by using mixtures of spices that complement each other. Some spices are used for their taste while others are used for their aroma. The stage at which spices are added to a dish can make a big difference. Typically they will impart flavor if added at the beginning of the cooking process, but if they are added at the end it is their aromas that will be most noticeable. The aroma and flavor of spices come from essential oils. The oils in most spices contain a dozen or more constituent chemical compounds. Many of these chemicals are present in more than one spice (which is why cinnamon and cloves have a similar flavor), although typically these chemicals are in different proportions. To release the essential oils in spices, the cell walls must be ruptured. This can be done by: grinding, pounding, grating, and cooking, the essential oils in spices are volatile and they begin to evaporate once exposed through processing. This is why spices are best (in terms of their aroma and flavor) when they are freshly processed. In their whole form though, some spices can keep for years.

How Pizza is introduced in India?

Pizza is the most popular food in India in 2022. It is available in any local area and its a very famous street food. But do you know How pizza came in India? and Who introduce pizza in India?
Ever since 1977 when Mr. Nirula opened the first restaurant in Connaught Place, The name of the restaurant is” Nirula”. They have been creating Epic Moments for generations of Dilliwalas. Their heritage of iconic servings includes ice creams, sundaes, burgers, pizzas, and a lot more. In the 90s Don Giovanni’s was the only pizza delivery service in Calcutta
Before this as the term ” Pizza” was not much known by Indian people. It was served as snacks by small bakeries. The ingredients were costly and availability was less in the Indian market making the cost of pizza high which was far from the reach of common people. As time passed pizza get an incredibly popular food in India. In today’s time, there is more demand for pizza in the Indian market which makes pizza ingredients easily available in the local market at affordable cost. This has also reduced the cost which makes it available for common people also.
In 1996, Domino’s entered in the Indian food market and opened its first shop in New Delhi. Domino’s dominated the nation in the early 2000s following Pizza Hut opening their franchise in all over the country. They entered the country, they study about Indian culture, and adopted their menus as per their knowledge.
“Playing on nostalgia and great advertising campaigns over the years such as ‘Dominos 30 minute free pizza delivery’ campaign has enabled them to grow and expand their presence. Another very important piece is that they controlled last mile delivery and owned customer data which meant they could ensure that the customer is satisfied and use that data to expand their business,” added Gupta.
In recent years, the population of India has developed an appetite for pizza. Though pizza has been available in this country for some time, in the last few years, the popularity of this food has boomed. As such, key players in the pizza market are finding tremendous opportunities for investments and growth in this region. Outlets are the popular food of choice for many residents in India.
The increased demand for pizza in India in recent years has opened more opportunities for new startups in the pizza industry. A huge surge in consumerism, more women in the workforce, changing lifestyles, and the steady growth of incomes among the middle class are all factors that are driving the growth of this market.
India has experienced quick services in restaurants over the span of the past few years. At first, pizza proved to be a challenging sector or key players to enter in this country because the entry barriers were high, and moving up in this sector was difficult. However, several brands have paved the way for other key vendors in this industry.
As the popularity of pizza creates new opportunities for local pizza shops. In order to meet the growing demand for this type of food, both local and international pizza establishments have developed and advanced the market for pizza in India.
Today Pizza is the most popular food in India. Today’s young generation prefers pizza to their fast food menu. They like to eat pizzas in their party and other celebration
Some pizza franchisers have also started to look into using an online delivery format. This format is preferable in locations that are heavily trafficked, such as malls, universities, tech parks, and railway stations. This strategy was used by Pizza Hut to increase its sale and work. They were successful in this strategy. Pizza Hut has seen a large increase in its online sales over the past year. An estimated 35 percent of the sales that the franchiser makes are through online sales and home delivery. The chain started utilizing online ordering via its website and app.
In today’s Indian pizza industry is worth 1,500 corners and has been growing at a CAGR of 26 percent for the last five years.

History of spice

Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world was soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes. The Roman-Indian routes were dependent upon techniques developed by the maritime trading power, Kingdom of Axum (ca 5th century BC–AD 11th century) which had pioneered the Red Sea route before the 1st century. By the mid-7th century, the rise of Islam closed off the overland caravan routes through Egypt and the Suez and sundered the European trade community from Axum and India
Arab traders eventually took over conveying goods via the Levant and Venetian merchants to Europe until the rise of the Ottoman Turks cut the route again by 1453. Overland routes helped the spice trade initially, but maritime trade routes led to tremendous growth in commercial activities. During the high and late medieval periods, Muslim traders dominated maritime spice trading routes throughout the Indian Ocean, tapping source regions in the Far East and shipping spices from trading emporiums in India westward to the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, from which overland routes led to Europe.
Spices such as cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric were known, and used for commerce, in the Eastern World well into antiquity. These spices found their way into the Middle East before the beginning of the Common Era, where the true sources of these spices were withheld by the traders, and associated with fantastic tales. The Egyptians traded in the Red Sea, importing spices from the “Land of Punt” and from Arabia. Luxury goods traded along the Incense Route included Indian spices, ebony, silk, and fine textiles. The spice trade was associated with overland routes early on but maritime routes proved to be the factor that helped the trade grow. The Ptolemaic dynasty had developed trade with India using the Red Sea ports.

The trade between India and the Greco-Roman world kept on increasing; within this trade spices were the main import from India to the Western world, bypassing silk and other commodities.
In Java and Borneo, the introduction of Indian culture created a demand for aromatics. These trading outposts later served the Chinese and Arab markets as well. The Greek document Periplus Maris Erythraei names several Indian ports from where large ships sailed east to Khruse.
Pre-Islamic Meccans continued to use the old Incense Route to benefit from the heavy Roman demand for luxury goods. The Meccan involvement saw the export of the same goods: Arabian frankincense, East African ivory, and gold, Indian spices, Chinese silks, etc.

Fact about Indian Spices

spice facts

Allspice Ground

Botanical name: Pimenta dioica  Family name: Myrtaceae
Allspice is the dried berry of an evergreen tree which grows to a height of 9-12 m, but in the wild can be up to twice this height. The round allspice berries have a rough surface because of tiny oil glands. Inside there are two hard, kidney-shaped seeds, but most of the flavour comes from the husk or shell.

Native range: West Indies, Central America, South America
Major producers: Jamaica, India

Harvesting: The fully developed but still green allspice berries are harvested between July and September, about 3–4 months after flowering. The berries change to purple and then brown as they are dried in the sun.

Taste and aroma: The name “allspice” is derived from the fact that it tastes and smells like a blend of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
Culinary uses: Widely used in European cooking as an ingredient in sweet recipes including cakes, biscuits, and Christmas puddings. Ground or whole spice is also used in preserves and chutneys, and to contribute flavour in liquors such as Benedictine and Chartreuse. Whole allspice berries are a popular ingredient for mulled wine.

Other uses: Oil from the berries and leaves of allspice are used in antiseptics, medicines, and perfumes.
Historical uses: Mayan Indians used allspice to embalm their dead, and the preservative properties of allspice were valued by early seafarers for keeping both fish and meat edible on long voyages.

Storage: Allspice berries retain their freshness best if stored whole in an airtight container, and crushed or pounded when needed.

Anise Ground

Botanical name: Pimpinella anisum  Family name: Umbelliferae
Anise (or aniseed) is the dried seed of an annual herb of the parsley and carrot family. The feathery anise plant grows to about 0.6 m. The plant is mainly cultivated for its seeds, but young leaves are also used as a herb.

Native range: Eastern Mediterranean, North Africa, Central Asia
Major producers: India, Central America, South America
Harvesting: Anise plants are harvested when the fruit begins to ripen and left in stacks until ripening is complete. The tiny ovoid seeds, which vary in colour from pale brown to green-grey, are separated from the flower heads by threshing. Bits of the thin stalk is often attached to the seeds.

Taste and aroma: Anise seeds have a sweet aromatic bouquet with a distinctive liquorice flavour. The spiciness of the seeds is similar to fennel.
Culinary uses: Anise is used in savoury and sweet dishes. The seeds are often dry-roasted to enhance the aroma. In the Middle East and India, anise is used mainly in bread and savoury foods. Around the Mediterranean, anise is often used to flavour fish stews.
Other uses: Oil from anise seeds is used in cough mixtures, antiseptics, perfumes, and soaps. It is also an essential ingredient in aperitifs and liqueurs such as ouzo, pastis, and anisette.
Historical uses: The ability of this spice to counteract indigestion was well known to the Romans, who used to serve a special spice cake after gastronomic orgies.
Storage: Anise will retain its flavour for at least 2 years if kept in an airtight container. The aroma of ground anise dissipates quickly so grind seeds as needed.

Black Pepper Ground

Botanical name: Piper nigrum  Family name: Piperaceae
Pepper is a perennial vine indigenous to the Malabar Coast of India, and this area is still reputed to produce the highest quality pepper. Pepper grows best in humid, rainy, tropical areas. The plants start fruiting after about 3 years and continue to do so every third year for up to 40 years. The history of the spice trade is essentially about the quest for pepper. Trade routes were fiercely protected and empires were built and destroyed because of it. In volume and value pepper remains the most important spice.
Native range: Southern India

Major producers: India, Indonesia, Brazil, Malaysia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia
Harvesting: To produce black pepper, immature green berries are picked, briefly fermented, and then dried. During drying, the peppercorns shrivel, become wrinkled, and turn dark brown to black. For white peppercorns, the berries are picked when yellowish-red and almost ripe, and then soaked to soften and loosen the outer skin. Once this is removed, they are rinsed and sun-dried.
Taste and aroma: Black pepper has a fine, fruity fragrance with warm, woody, and lemony notes. The taste is hot and biting with a clean, penetrating aftertaste. White pepper is less aromatic and can smell musty. The flavour of white pepper is cleaner, less rich, and not as complex as black pepper.

Culinary uses: Pepper is one of the most versatile spices. Although mostly used in savoury cooking and as a table condiment, it can also be used with fruits and in some sweet bread and cakes. Pepper brings out the flavour of other spices and retains its own flavour well during cooking.

Other uses: Pepper has long been recognised as an ingredient for stimulating the appetite as well as aiding in the relief of nausea. In India, it has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to treat anything from paralysis to toothache.
Historical uses: In ancient Greece and Rome, taxes were paid in pepper. In the Middle Ages, pepper was used as money and at times was as valuable as gold.

Storage: Black and white pepper rapidly lose their flavour and aroma when ground, so it is best to buy whole peppercorns and grind or crush them as required. Whole peppercorns will keep for a year or more when stored in an airtight container.

Cardamom Ground

Botanical name: Elletaria cardamom  Family name: Zingiberaceae
Cardamom is the fruit of a large herbaceous perennial shrub of the ginger family. It flourishes in areas which have a constant warm temperature and moderate rainfall and grows wild in the forests of southern India.
Native range: Southern India, Sri Lanka

Major producers: India, Guatemala, Tanzania, Vietnam, Papua New Guinea
Harvesting: The cardamom plant bears fruit pods after 3 years and continues to produce for 10-15 years. The elongated green pods ripen from September to December and are hand-picked to avoid damaging both pods and plants. This labour-intensive harvesting accounts for the fact that cardamom is one of the most expensive spices.
Taste and aroma: The aroma of cardamom is strong but mellow and it has a warm, slightly lemon-like flavour with hints of eucalyptus and camphor.

Culinary uses: Cardamom is an essential ingredient in a wide range of Indian dishes. It is often used to flavour sweets, milk products, and masala tea. Cardamom can also be used in savoury foods like biriyani and meat curries, and it is an essential ingredient in curry powders, masalas, and other spice mixtures such as berbere from Ethiopia. Cardamom is used extensively in Scandinavian cooking, in pickles, cakes, pastries, and with herrings. In Arab countries, cardamom-flavoured coffee (gahwa) is popular and in Bedouin culture is served with much ceremony as a symbol of hospitality.

Other uses: The seeds and pods of cardamom contain an essential oil which is used in perfumes and as a stimulant.
Historical uses: Cardamom has been used in Indian ayurvedic medicine for more than 2,000 years to ‘remove fat’ and as a cure for urinary and skin complaints. It reached Europe along the caravan routes, and the Vikings took it from Constantinople to Scandinavia. Cardamom was used in perfumes by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Storage: Cardamom pods should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place.

To be continued …..

Different types of Indian cuisine.

“Every food is depended on their culture and region.”

We know that in India, food is seen as more than just a means of survival. According to Indian culture, food is considered to be multidimensional, In India food is not only a consumable thing food is feelings, but food is also love, food is our culture, and food is our identity. In India food is a very important thing and their taste is also very important. India has different types of cuisine and taste. Indian cuisine consists of many different cuisines, Basically, it is the combination of all the food from different states and their sub-cuisine also, for example, Karnataka cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Kodagu cuisine, Karavali cuisine, and Saraswat cuisine. and all these cuisines are very different from each other, their preparation techniques and the dishes and recipes are very different. In India, the types of food and taste change in every region.
Indian cuisine can be categorized into 4 major cuisines as North Indian cuisine, South Indian cuisine, West Indian cuisine East Indian cuisine.

North Indian cuisine

⦁ Awadhi cuisine
⦁ Bhojpuri cuisine
⦁ Cuisine of kashmiri
⦁ Kumaori cuisine
⦁ Mughlai cuisine
⦁ Punjabi cuisine
⦁ Rajasthani cuisine
⦁ Cuisine of Uttar pradesh

South Indian cuisine

⦁ Kodava cuisine
⦁ Andra cuisine
⦁ Karnataka cuisine
⦁ Tamil Nadu food
⦁ Chettinad cuisine
⦁ Araswat cuisine
⦁ Mangalorian catholic cuisine
⦁ Cuisine of kerala
⦁ Telegu cuisine

West Indian cuisine

⦁ Gujarati cuisine
⦁ Marathi cuisine
⦁ Konkan cuisine
⦁ Saoji cuisine
⦁ Malavari cuisine
⦁ CKP cuisine
⦁ Kandesi cuisine
⦁ Kolaphuri cuisine
⦁ Marwari cuisine
⦁ Goan cuisine
⦁ Parsi cuisine

East Indian cuisine

⦁ Bengali cuisine
⦁ Naga cuisine
⦁ Assamese cuisine
⦁ Bihari cuisine
⦁ Oriya cuisine
⦁ Meghalayan cuisine
⦁ Manipuri cuisine
This list is endless, there are many cuisines that are yet to be discovered.

Different Cuisine Inspired By The Indian Cuisine.

Indian Chinese cuisine:-

Indian Chinese cuisine, also known as Indo-Chinese originated in the 19th century among the Chinese community of Calcutta during the immigration of Hakka Chinese from Guangzhou (Canton) seeking to escape the first and second opium wars and political instability in the region. Upon exposure to local Indian cuisine. they incorporated many spices and cooking techniques into their own cuisine, thus creating a unique fusion of Indian and Chinese cuisine.
After 1947, may Guagzhou immigrants opened their own restaurants in Calcutta, whose dishes combined aspects of Indian cuisine with Guagzhou cuisine. In other parts of India, Indian Chinese cuisine is derived from Calcutta-Chinese cuisine but bears little resemblance to their Chinese. counterparts as the dishes tend to be flavored with cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric, which with a few regional exceptions, are not traditionally associated with Chinese cuisine. Chilli, ginger, garlic, and dahi are frequently used in dishes.
Popular dishes include Chicken Manchurian, Chicken lollipop, chili chicken, Hakka noodles, Hunan chicken, chowmein, and Szechwan fried rice.
Soups such as Manchow soup and sweet corn soup are very popular, whereas desserts include ice cream on honey-fried noodles and date pancakes.
Chowmein is now known as one of India’s favorite Chinese dishes. Especially in west Bengal, it is one of the most loved street foods.

Indian Thai cuisine:-

Thai cuisine was influenced by Indian cuisines, as recorded by Thai monk Buddhadasa Bhikku in his writing ‘ India’s Benevolence to Thailand’. He wrote that Thai people learned how to use spices in their food in many ways from Indians. Thais also obtained the methods of making herbal medicines ( Ayurveda) from the Indians. Some plants like Surabhi or family Guttiferae, kanika or harsinghar, phikun or the rose chestnut were brought from India.

Malaysian Indian cuisine:-

Malaysian Indian cuisine or the cooking of the ethnic Indian communities in Malaysia consists of adaptations of authentic dishes from India, as well as original creations inspired by the diverse food culture of Malaysia.
A typical Malaysian Indian dish is likely redolent with curry leaves, whole and powdered spices, and fresh coconuts in various forms.

Indian Singaporean cuisine:-

Indian Singaporean cuisine refers to foods and beverages produced and consumed in Singapore that are derived, wholly or in part, from South Asian culinary traditions.
The variety of Singaporean food includes Indian food, which tends to be Tamil cuisine, especially local Tamil Muslim cuisine, although North Indian food has become more visible recently.
Indian dishes have become modified to different degrees, after years of contact with other Singaporean cultures, and in response to locally available ingredients, as well as changing local tastes.

Indian Indonesian cuisine:-

Indian-Indonesian cuisine refers to food and beverages in Indonesian cuisine that has influenced Indian cuisine, mainly Tamil, Punjabi, and Gujarati cuisine. These dishes, such as appam, biryani, murtabak, and curry, are well integrated.

Indian Filipino cuisine:-

Filipino cuisine, found throughout the Phillippines archipelago, has been historically influenced by Indian cuisine. Indian influences can also be noted in rice-based delicacies such as bibingka(analogous to the Indonesian bingka) puto, and puto bumbong. The latter two are plausibly derived from the south Indian puttu, which also has variants throughout Maritime Southeast Asia ( e.g. Kue putu, putu Bangkok).
The kare-kare, more prevalent in Luzon, on the other hand, could trace its origins from the seven years War when the British occupied Manila from 1762 to 1764 with a force that included Indian sepoys, who had to improvise Indian dishes given the lack of spices in the Philippines to make curry. This is said to explain the name and its supposed thick. yellow-to-orange annatto and peanut-based sauce allude to a type of curry.
Atchara of the Philippines originated from the Indian achar. which was transmitted to the Philippines via the acar of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Anglo-Indian cuisine:-

Anglo-Indian cuisine developed during the period of British colonial rule in India, as British officials interacted with their Indian cooks.
well-known Anglo-Indian dishes include the salted beef tongue, kedgeree, ball curry, fish rissoles, and mulligataw+ny sound.

Outside India

Indian migration has spread the culinary traditions of the subcontinent throughout the world. These cuisines have been adapted to local tastes and have also affected local cuisines. The international appeal of curry has been compared to that of pizza. Indian tandoor dishes such as chicken tikka also enjoy widespread popularity.


A Roy Morgan Research survey taken between 2013 and 2018 found that Indian cuisine was the top-rated international food among 51% of Australias, behind Chinese, Italian, and Thai.


As in the United Kingdom and the United States Indian cuisine is widely available in Canada, especially in the cities of Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa where most Canadians of South Asia heritage live.


Indian food is gaining popularity in China, with many Indian restaurants in Beijing, and Shenzhen. Hong Kong has more than 50 Indian restaurants, some dating back to the 1980s. Most of the Indian restaurants in Hong Kong are in Tsim sha Tsuj.

Middle East:-

The Indian culinary scene in the Middle East has been influenced greatly by the large Indian diaspora in these countries. Centuries of trade relations and cultural exchange resulted in a significant influence on each region’s cuisines. The use of the tandoor, which originated in northwestern India, is an example.
The large influx of Indian expatriates into Middle Eastern countries during the 1970s and 1980s led to a boom in Indian restaurants to cater to this population and was also widely influenced by local and international cuisines.


Indian cuisine is available in the streets of Nepalese cities, including Kathmandu and Janakpur.

Southeast Asia:-

Other cuisines which borrow inspiration from Indian cooking styles include Cambodian, Lao, Filipino, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Burmese cuisine. The spread of vegetarianism in other parts of Asia is often parts of Asia credited to Hindu and Buddhist practices.
Indian cuisine is trendy in Southeast Asia due to the strong Hindu and Buddhist cultural influence in the region. Indian cuisine has had a considerable impact on Malaysian cooking styles and also enjoys popularity in Singapore. There are numerous North and South Indian restaurants in Singapore, mainly in Little India.
Singapore is also known for fusion cuisine combining traditional Singaporean cuisine with Indian influences. Fish head curry, for example, is a local creation. Indian influence on Malay cuisine dates, to the 19th century.

United Kingdom:-

The UK’s first Indian restaurant, the Hindostanee Coffee House, opened in 1810. By 2003, there were as many as 10,000 restaurants serving Indian cuisine in England and Wales alone. According to Britain’s Food Standards Agency, the Indian food industry in the United Kingdom is worth 3.2 billion pounds, accounts for two-thirds of all eating out in the country, and serves about 2.5 million customers every week.
One of the best-known examples of British Indian cuisine is chicken tikka masala, also called “an authentic British national dish.


Ireland’s first Indian restaurant, the Indian Restaurant, and Tea Rooms opened in 1908 on Sackville, now O’Connell street in Dublin. Today, Indian restaurants are commonplace in most Irish cities and towns. Non-Chinese Asians are the fastest-growing ethnic group in Ireland.

United States:-

A survey by The Washington Post in 2007 stated that more than 1,200 Indian restaurants across the US, vary based on regional culture. North Indian and South Indian cuisines are exceptionally well represented. Most Indian restaurants in the United States serve Americanized versions of North Indian food, which is generally less spicy than its Indian equivalents.
At sit-down restaurants with North Indian cuisine ( the most common), complimentary papadum is served with three dipping sauces typically hari chutney ( mint and cilantro), imli chutney (tara mind), and spicy red chili or onion chutney in place of European style bread before the meal.