Cooking with Spices

Spices in Mapusa Market, Goa, India.
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Spices can be very beneficial to good health, especially cinnamon, garlic, ginger, clove, and tumeric. It is believed that some of these spices are most beneficial when taken raw — based on how most natural enzymes are prone to molecular changes when exposed to heat. At any rate, however, eating garlic raw is only probably best when you have got the entire house to yourself.

Someone was asking me how you could make a curried rice dish — without the extra heat from pre-packaged curry powder. Any curried dish that has a rich yellow colour to it would most likely have tumeric powder in it. To further add flavours to it, you can add lemongrass and a bit of coconut milk; or instead of 1 required cup of water for every cup of rice, you could use chicken stock to prepare your rice. Optional: cashews and/or raisins.

Rice is a very versatile dish; the only trick to remember about curried rice is to not add too much water. Basmati rice would be the best kind of rice to use; brown rice would work fine as well. If you have left-over plain rice, best way of “re-cycling” the rice would be to add a teaspoon of tumeric powder and other spices and fry it with butter! I never make the same curried dish twice, but ‘other spices’ could include: grounded anise, cumin, coriander, galangal powder (but not for curried rice)… If you would like to keep it simple, you could omit adding any additional spices other than tumeric powder.

Spices are like colours; the dish we make is the canvas. Happy experimenting!

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