Spices are the soul of Indian food. Spices not only gives a delicious taste to food but also makes it healthy, as they do not contain any calories or fat. Spices like cumin, mustard, pepper, cloves, fennel, cinnamon and turmeric are very important in Indian food. Curry is a sauce derived from the Tamil word "Kari" meaning a mixture of spices. The spice levels may vary from mild to strong, hot, sour, tart, fragrant etc. When spices are cooked with rice/fish/meat, it gives a great savoury taste and makes people want more.
Some of the important Indian spices!
Many voyages have changes the whole trade scene of our country. In \(1492\) Columbus went West to find India and pepper but ran into America and the chilli. Vasco da Gama, six years later, went around Africa to reach Kozhikode, the home of pepper. These voyages set the stage for a new world in the spice trade.
Spices were traded with many countries along with perfumes and textiles \(7000\) years ago. Ayurveda had listed the use of spices for cooking and in medicines, a thousand years ago. While these spices are readily available today, there was a time when people risked their lives to get Indian spices. We have been using spices about \(52000\) years now! Black pepper, known as black gold, was traded with many countries. Cinnamon was appreciated all over the world for its fragrance and taste, and people were willing to spend huge amounts on it.