• Mar 31, 2021
  • by Neil Chotai

As compared to other nations, India has a deeply involved history with the spice trade. Due to extensive exposure to the spice trade, different varieties of spices are found in India which are not found in any other part of the world. Extensive exposure to aromatic and versatile spices and herbs makes Indian cooking the most flavourful worldwide. Indian cooks use two kinds of spices - whole and ground spices but they strongly believe that using whole spices is enough to add the best flavour to any simple dish. The popularity of these spices is not limited to India as worldwide customers are demanding them and incorporating them in their daily cooking. So, if you want to buy whole spices online, you can contact any reputed online or brick-and-mortar grocery store.

Though the list of whole spice is exhaustive, some of the most popular whole spices easy to use during regular cooking are:

  1. Asafoetida or Hing Powder: This is an extremely fragrant and popular spice used while preparing vegetarian dishes. The asafoetida has a strong and pungent smell that usually presents in the kitchen even after cooking gets over. It is added to any dish after adding ghee or oil in a very little quantity. 
  1. Whole Coriander: Some people prefer using coriander powder whereas some are not ready to compromise with its flavour and aroma and use whole coriander. It is one of the core spices used both in vegetarian and meat dishes. With amazing cooling properties, whole coriander is a common addition to any recipe after adding oil, asafoetida and cumin seeds. You can easily buy whole spice i.e. whole coriander online from any UK-based grocery store.
  1. Turmeric: It is hard to imagine any Indian dish without yellow-coloured spice i.e. turmeric. This spice is usually added for giving any food item bright yellow colour. Having a strong presence in the masala box, you can use turmeric for gaining beauty benefits also. 
  1. Fennel: Having a presence similar to black licorice, whole fennel seeds have tremendous flavour and importance in Indian curries. This is one of the spices having a pleasant aroma and sweet taste. It is a good source of vitamin C and aids in digestion also. This makes it a popular ingredient served in restaurants and hotels after meals.
  1. Saffron: Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world having a sharp flavour with floral undertones. Harvested manually, this is one of the most common spices used during weddings for preparing Indian sweet dishes to impart yellow colour. Some of the most popular recipes prepared with saffron spice are lamb and saffron rice.
  1. Ginger: It is easy to give spicy flavour to any savoury and sweet dishes by adding ginger in small quantities in a grated form. You will find both fresh and dried ginger in the marketplace with different flavours. Commonly used in Southeast Asian and Asian cuisines, ginger makes a common addition to baked goods, spice cookies, soups and stews like Squash stew.

How to Use Whole Spices in Cooking?

It is truly your choice whether to use whole spices in raw or in grind form. Mostly, people use them in the whole form to add their strong flavour in recipes like ham roasts, pork, etc. To get the required flavour in cooking, it is necessary to cook them on medium heat. For instance, after adding ghee or oil, you need to add whole spice. Allow it to heat on a low flame so that they leave behind their aroma. Avoid overcooking the spices; otherwise, they leave behind an acrid burnt taste and smell.

How to Store Whole Spices?

You can buy whole spices online from any online store in large quantity but ensure to store them rightly for retaining their freshness and flavour. Prefer storing them in an air-tight container and keep them out of the reach of sunlight. Store the container in a cool, dry and dark place and use up to 6 months. Even if you grind the whole spices, you can store them for up to 6 months.

So, if you like tasting Indian cuisines, do not forget to add different kinds of whole spices to them to experience their unique aroma and flavour.