No meal is complete without herbs and spices especially when it’s Indian food. Herbs and spices enhance the taste of the food and boost your health. That’s why one should cook their food with herbs and spices on regular basis and if possible, try using several at once.
Herbs like basil and rosemary are the leaves of a plant while cinnamon is made from the bark, barriers, seeds, or roots of a plant. Both of them are used to intensify the flavor of the food but researches show that these are filled with health benefits. Spices and herbs fight inflammation and lower down the damage to your body cells. That is because of the presence of phytochemicals in each one of them.
Adding herbs and spices to your meal has enormous benefits as well: since they are flavorful, they make it easier to cut down on less healthy ingredients such as sugar, salt, and added fat.
Tips for Using Herbs and Spices:
If you are a kitchen newbie and have no knowledge of herbs and spices, we recommend you try a pinch at a time to figure out which spice or flavor combination works well for you.
So here are a few tips to use herbs and spices:
- Don’t swamp a dish with too many condiments and never combine two or more strong herbs together. Rather use one with strong flavor and one with milder flavor to make it incredibly tasty.
- While preparing a meal, put dried herbs in the beginning but use fresh herbs at the end for minimal flavor. Add herbs and spices to the cold dishes hours before serving so that flavors get blended nicely.
- Fresh herbs like coriander should be chopped very thin to allow food to absorb more of the flavor.
- Dry herbs and spices are usually more flavorful than fresh. So, use the following guide: ¼ teaspoon of powder = ¾ teaspoon dried = 2 teaspoons of fresh herbs.
Best Herbs to Enhance Your Food Flavors
We are all aware that filling our plates with more fruits, vegetables, pulses, and grains is healthier for us as well as for our planet. Preparing plant-based foods, the focus of your meal doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Using spices, oils, and citrus juices is one of the best tricks to add amazing flavors to vegetables.
Below are some herbs and spices to think about adding to your meal:
If you love the flavor of chai, you will definitely love cardamom – not only in hot drinks but in deserts as well. This small-sized herb adds an unusual aroma to the baked food and pancakes and goes well with homemade applesauce or in a sweet dish.
Turmeric is a spice that belongs to Southeast India. It is usually available in dried and ground powder form. This yellow spice gets a lot of attention in Indian meals and all because of its health benefits.
Turmeric, also known as Haldi, is a good source of antioxidants, and curcumin that lowers inflammation and ease the pain. Research shows that consuming a small amount of turmeric on regular basis can prevent or slow down Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric has a peppery warm flavor and intense color that looks like saffron. It is the best and affordable substitute for saffron when looking to achieve a rich yellow color in a dish
Rosemary is an ultra-fragrant herb that is highly rich in antioxidants and prevents cell damage. Even sniffing rosemary is also beneficial. As per research, it is found out that people who sniff rosemary performed better on memory than others who didn’t. Adding a few strands of this amazing herb will enhance the taste of your food.
Ginger is widely used as a spice and medicine. Ginger products are made using dried or fresh ginger roots. It is a mildly hot and bitingly sweet spice that can be used in several dished be it sweet or savory. Use ginger marinade for chicken, fish, or vegetables.
Ginger is perfect for Asian dishes such as soy sauce. Garlic perfectly complements the ginger. Ginger can also be used in chocolate or bread to make desert taste spicy and sweet at the same time.
Cumin is made from dried seeds from a plant of the parsley family. Pungent, earthy, and slightly nutty, this spice is widely used in Indian, Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Cumin is sold in either whole or powder form. It is suggested to roast cumin seeds before turning it into the powder as roasting releases its full flavor. Cumin enhances the taste of the dishes and no curry powder is complete without it.
Basil plants have a strong aroma that resembles the mint and cloves. Basil leaves are rich, spicy, and slightly peppery which makes it perfect to use fresh or dried. While basil leaves are very fragrant but the taste is subtler. It’s used widely in Italian and Tai cooking.
Basil comes with wonderful health benefits and can be eaten fresh and cooked. Use fresh leave on the salad to add that extra zing
Mainly basil tastes good in tomato dishes, especially Italian sauces. Lemon basil is often used in chicken dishes and desserts. Basils are also used for making delicious pizza sauces and dried herbs.
Oregano is a perfect dish to make a certain dish stand out while giving it an Italian flavor. Spread on pizza or your favorite spaghetti. It is easily available both fresh and dried. Fresh oregano tastes milder with a delicate flavor where dried oregano is filled with punchy flavors.
The smell of nutmeg is extremely good and powerful. Grate it on your coffee or roasted squash. It is an amazing spice that is also filled with health benefits.
If you use herbs in your food, we would love to hear about what types of herbs do you use to enhance the flavor of your food. Also, share your favorite ways of using them.