Butterflies are innocent, but beautiful! They see the world with an open eye and wide angle. Come join me to see the world in a different way. Let's make fun of ourselves, while getting to know what's around us!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Spices make your food delicious
Every one of you is sure to have heard about spices. Your mum uses them in her cooking and they add extra flavour to your food. If someone you know cooks yummy food, that is because he/she knows how to use spices properly.
Today, we are going to tell you some facts about spices. Spices are the main 100 per cent natural ingredient people use to add flavour and colour to the food they cook. Chilli, turmeric, pepper and condiments (thuna-paha) are the main spices we use everyday.
Spices not only add flavour to food, but they also have herbal components that kill harmful bacteria or prevent their growth, therefore keeping us away from illnesses. Do you know what properties are found in these spices? Let us explain them a bit to you.
Chilli is the fruit of the plants from the genus Capsicum, and helps add the hot flavour and colour to curries. As you may know, people in Asia love to use chilli in their curries as they want their dishes extra 'hot'. People mostly make chilli powder by drying the capsicum and grinding it.
Turmeric is the rhizome or underground stem of a ginger-like plant. It is usually available as tubes or ground into a bright yellow, fine powder. It is used in dishes to give them a nice yellow tinge and also successfully masks the odour of fish and meat. It is also said that turmeric fights harmful bacteria.
Pepper is another popular spice. We usually use dried fruits, known as peppercorns, to make pepper powder. Depending on the harvest time and the method of processing, peppercorns can be black, white, green or red. Black pepper is most commonly used in our kitchens.
Pepper is used in almost every kind of dish to add them flavour.The next variety is the famous thuna-paha. People choose three or five different spices to make mixed curry powder; for example, coriander, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and fennel are some of the spices which may be used to make thuna-paha. Now you know about some of the commonly used spices. But you should also be aware about their quality as they are used in food. After all it concerns your health.
As you may know, some people adulterate (make something impure) spices by mixing them with various other things. They do this to increase the quantity of spices they sell so they can make more profit.
People mix sand, salt, flour, straw, poonac, sawdust and chaff (the layer which covers grains) with the spices. Because of the adulteration of spices, the quality of the spices goes down and the flavours they infuse into food become different; most importantly, this could badly affect your health. To find out if salt has been added to your spices, you can taste any of the spices you have bought. If it tastes like salt, then you know that salt has been added.
It is very common to see papaw seeds being mixed with peppercorns. To see if this has been done, place some peppercorns in water and keep for a while. If you find any seeds floating, they are papaw seeds and not pepper. Obviously, they wouldn't taste like pepper too!