About... Cooking Desi Food

What spices?

Table of Contents

Let’s check out some spices.

Lots of spices in different dishes
Spices of so many varieties

Now most of the spices you saw in the video seem familiar – but did you know that some of the spices used did not even originate in the Indian Subcontinent?

Did you know – potato – known as aaloo or batata or whatever it’s called where you are from are actually from South America? (The potato is native to the Peruvian-Bolivian Andes) – and another surprise – the beloved tomato is also from the same region!

Chili or Chilli or Chillie Peppers

Chili peppers
Different types of Chili peppers

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Where are Chili peppers from?

Chili peppers have been around for centuries, originating in the Americas and spreading across the globe. They are now grown in a variety of climates, from tropical to temperate regions. But what’s so special about chili peppers? And why have they become such an integral part of many cuisines around the world?

India produces over half of all global Chili production!

The most widely accepted theory is that chili peppers originated in Mexico and were spread by Spanish explorers during their travels to Asia, Africa and Europe. From there they continued to be cultivated throughout these continents as well as other parts of South America. Today some of the biggest producers include India, China, Mexico and Spain with India being responsible for over half of all global production!

Varieties of Chili peppers

When it comes to types or varieties there are hundreds out there but some stand out more than others due mainly because their popularity has made them famous worldwide! One example would be jalapeños which can easily be found at any grocery store or restaurant – making them one of the most common varieties available today! Other popular ones include habanero (which packs quite a punch!), cayenne pepper (used often in hot sauces), poblano (great for stuffing) & Anaheim chili pepper (a milder version).

Bell Peppers of different colors arranged in a pleasing way
Bell Peppers or Capsicum – different colors

How are Chili peppers used around the world?

No matter where you go you’re sure find dishes that feature these fiery ingredients – whether it’s Mexican tacos al pastor or Indian curry dishes like vindaloo; both use different kinds but still provide plenty heat & flavor! Even countries like Thailand & Vietnam who don’t traditionally grow chilies themselves rely heavily on imported versions from nearby countries such as Cambodia & Laos respectively – proving just how far this humble vegetable has come since its humble beginnings centuries ago!. So next time you reach for your favorite bottle hot sauce remember how much history lies behind each drop…and enjoy every bite knowing it was crafted with love using only nature’s finest spices: Chili Peppers

Black Pepper

Black and White Pepper corns
Black and White Peppercorns

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Where is pepper from?

Pepper is one of the most widely used spices in the world and its history dates back centuries. It originated in India, where it was first cultivated more than 4,000 years ago. From there, pepper spread to other parts of Asia and eventually made its way to Europe via traders from the Middle East. Today, pepper is grown all over the world with Vietnam being one of the largest producers followed by Indonesia and India.

Pepper originated in India
Vietnam is now the largest producer

How is Pepper used around the world?

In terms of usage, countries like China consume a large amount due to their traditional cuisine which heavily relies on pepper for flavorings as well as medicinal purposes such as treating colds or digestive issues. In North America black peppercorns are very popular while white peppers are preferred in European dishes – although both types can be found across different cuisines globally!

Pepper while on the tree - the original queen of all spices
Peppercorns still on the creeper

When it comes down to popularity however no type beats freshly ground Tellicherry black peppercorns which have been around since ancient times when they were traded along Silk Road routes between east & west cultures; this makes them culturally important too! The trade importance has also increased significantly over time due mainly thanks to modern technology that allows us access these delicious spices at any given moment without having worry about scarcity or cost-prohibitive prices associated with long distance transportation costs.

Overall Pepper has become an integral part of our lives whether we realize it or not; so next time you reach out for some spice make sure you’re using quality ingredients like Tellicherry Black Peppers – after all why settle for anything less?


Turmeric Root and powdered Turmeric
Turmeric (Root and powdered form)

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Where is turmeric from?

Turmeric is one of the oldest and most widely used spices in the world. It has been traded as a spice for thousands of years, with its origins tracing back to South Asia. In fact, it was first cultivated in India over 4,000 years ago! Turmeric’s popularity spread from there across the globe through both cultural and trade influences.

Turmeric was cultivated in India
over 4000 years ago

Today, turmeric is grown mainly in tropical climates such as India (the largest producer), Indonesia and China which account for nearly 90% of global production according to FAO figures. The type of turmeric most commonly produced worldwide is Curcuma longa or Indian saffron – a yellow-orange powder made from grinding up dried rhizomes (underground stems). This variety has become popular due to its bright coloration and strong flavor profile that stands out among other spices like cumin or coriander seed powder.

How is Turmeric used around the world?

In terms of usage however, some countries use more than others depending on their cuisine preferences – particularly Asian nations like Thailand where it’s an essential ingredient for curries; Japan where it’s often added into miso soup; Korea where they make kimchi with plenty of turmeric; Malaysia & Singapore who use this spice extensively in their cooking too! Other parts outside Asia also have notable consumption rates such as Europe whose citizens consume around 3kg per capita per year compared to 1kg/year by North Americans on average – making them second biggest consumers after Asians overall!

Turmeric not only adds flavor but also provides many health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties which makes it highly sought after globally today – although historically trading this precious commodity dates back centuries when merchants would transport goods between continents via ships during medieval times before modern transportation methods were invented..


Ginger root
Ginger root

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Where is Ginger from?

Ginger is an ancient spice that has been used for centuries and its origins can be traced back to Southeast Asia. It is believed to have first been cultivated in India more than 5000 years ago, before being spread across the globe by trade routes and travelers. Today it is widely available throughout the world, with some of the largest producers being China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

Ginger was cultivated in India
over 5000 years ago

How is Ginger used around the world?

When it comes to ginger’s popularity around the world there are several types that stand out as favorites; fresh or dried ground ginger root powder from Jamaica or Fiji; pickled young ginger from Japan known as gari; crystallized stem ginger which originated in England during Victorian times; candied stems found mostly in Europe where they are called “stempelkaneel” (cinnamon sticks); preserved slices of stem commonly referred to as “ginger candy” found mainly in Asia Pacific countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia.

Ginger was traded long before recorded history began but one of its earliest uses was medicinal rather than culinary – dating back at least 2200 BC when Chinese medicine prescribed a mixture containing ground up pieces of this spicy root for treating ailments such as nausea or indigestion problems. In fact many cultures still use it today either alone or combined with other herbs for curing various illnesses ranging from colds & flu through digestive complaints right up until modern day cancer treatments! Its cultural importance has seen a resurgence over recent decades due largely thanks TV cooking shows featuring dishes prepared using this versatile ingredient – making people aware once more just how beneficial adding a little bit extra zing into their meals can be!



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Where are Cloves from?

Cloves are one of the oldest spices in the world, and have been used for centuries both as a flavoring and medicinal ingredient. Originating from Indonesia, cloves have spread across the globe through trade routes established by early civilizations such as Ancient Greece and Rome. Today, they are grown in many different countries including India, Pakistan, Madagascar, Tanzania and Brazil.

Cloves originated in Indonesia
and were used even in Ancient Greece and Rome

How are Cloves used around the world?

The most popular type of clove is Syzygium aromaticum which is native to Indonesia’s Maluku Islands (formerly known as The Spice Islands). This variety has a strong flavor with hints of sweetness that makes it perfect for seasoning dishes or adding fragrance to drinks like tea or mulled wine. Cloves were first traded over 4500 years ago during ancient times when traders would transport them along maritime routes throughout Asia Minor into Europe where they could be sold at high prices due to their rarity compared with other spices available at the time.

In addition to its culinary uses cloves also hold cultural importance around the world especially in Asian countries where it’s believed that burning dried cloves can ward off evil spirits while bringing good luck into homes or places of business – this practice dates back thousands of years! In India specifically clove oil is often used medicinally due its antiseptic properties; it can help treat headaches toothaches sore throats digestive issues skin rashes among other ailments making them an invaluable resource for natural medicine practitioners all over India who rely on these remedies instead pharmaceutical drugs whenever possible!

Overall there’s no denying how important cloves are not only because their unique taste but also because their cultural significance; whether you use them cooking, baking, aromatherapy even just decorating your home we guarantee you won’t regret having some handy!


Coriander Seeds - a very popular item used to create spice mixes like garam masala
Coriander Seeds

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Coriander is an ancient spice that has been used for centuries in a variety of dishes. It’s believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, but it spread quickly across the globe due to its popularity and versatility as a seasoning. Today, coriander is widely cultivated throughout Asia, Europe and North America.

Coriander Leaves
Coriander or Cilantro

India is one of the world’s top producers of coriander seeds – producing more than half of all global production each year – followed by China and Mexico respectively. In terms of usage however, India also leads with almost 70% consumption worldwide! Other countries known for their use or production include Thailand (known for its fragrant green leaves), Morocco (which produces large amounts) and Egypt (where it was once traded as a valuable spice).

Coriander is believed to have
originated in the Mediterranean;
India is now the top producer of coriander seeds

The most popular type of coriander seed is Coriandrum sativum which can be found in both whole form or ground into powder form depending on preference or desired flavour intensity level. The plant itself grows best when exposed to direct sunlight so if you plan on growing your own at home make sure you provide plenty!

How is Coriander used around the world?

Coriander has been traded since antiquity; records show that even during Ancient Egyptian times it was already being used as far back 4500 years ago! Its cultural importance lies mainly within Middle Eastern cuisine where it plays an integral role especially with regards to meat-based dishes like kebabs & curries among others – providing depth & complexity through its unique aroma & flavor profile which makes any dish stand out from ordinary ones without using too much effort nor resources required either way making this herb truly invaluable over time up until today’s modern era still yet again proving how timelessly classic this particular ingredient really does remain after all these years!

Coriander may have started off somewhere around the Mediterranean region thousands upon thousands ago but thanks largely due to human migration patterns plus trade networks established between cultures over time now we can find this amazing aromatic herb virtually anywhere around us nowadays bringing color, vibrancy along with it’s deliciousness no matter where we go.


Cumin -  - a must in the spices found every Indian kitchen - used in tadka
Close up of cumin seeds

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Where is Cumin from?

Cumin is a spice that has been used for centuries and its origin can be traced back to ancient Egypt. It was also mentioned in the Bible, which suggests it was widely known and used by many cultures at the time. Cumin spread across Europe, Asia, Africa and eventually North America through trade routes established during antiquity.

Cumin was used for centuries and is traced back to Ancient Egypt
India grows over 70% of the cumin in the world today – and uses almost 80% of all cumin

Today cumin is most commonly grown in India where it accounts for over 70% of global production but other countries such as Syria, Iran and Turkey are also major producers of this fragrant spice. In terms of usage around the world India again leads with an estimated 80% share followed by Mexico (6%), Bangladesh (5%) Pakistan (4%) China(3%).

The most popular type of cumin is ground or powdered form although whole seeds are becoming increasingly popular due to their superior flavor profile when compared to pre-ground varieties . This form dates back thousands years ago when traders first began trading spices from one region to another thus making them available on a much wider scale than before .

How is Cumin used around the world?

In terms of cultural importance ,cumin has played an integral role throughout history particularly in Indian cuisine where its distinctive aroma adds depth complexity flavor all sorts dishes ranging from curries stews soups etc . Not only does add great taste food but believed possess medicinal properties well including digestion relief reduction inflammation & more . Additionally, it’s often found it’s way into religious ceremonies in various forms symbolizing purity, faithfulness, devotion some cases even immortality life itself !


Mustard Seeds - a must in the spices found every Indian kitchen - used in tadka
Mustard Seeds

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Where is Mustard from?

Mustard is a condiment that has been around for centuries, with its origins dating back to Ancient Rome. It was originally used as a medicinal remedy and later spread across the globe through trade and cultural exchange. Today, mustard is one of the most popular condiments in the world, enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

Mustard has origins back in ancient Rome!
India now produces almost half of the mustard used around the world

The most common type of mustard grown today is yellow mustard (also known as white or American), which originated in Europe during Medieval times but was eventually brought to North America by early settlers. Mustard also comes in other varieties such as brown (or Dijon) and black mustards which are more pungent than their milder counterparts.

Today, India produces nearly half of the world’s total amount of mustard while Canada produces about 20% – making them two countries who use it extensively both domestically and abroad.. The United States follows close behind at 15%, with Germany rounding out fourth place at 7%.

How is Mustard used around the world?

In terms of popularity among consumers worldwide however; yellow or white American-style mustards remain king when it comes to usage levels due largely in part because they offer an ideal balance between flavor intensity without being too spicy for those who prefer milder tastes .

As far back as 500 BC ,mustard has been traded internationally not only for its culinary uses but also its medicinal benefits – including helping reduce inflammation , regulating blood pressure levels & aiding digestion . This makes it clear that even after all this time ,mustard still holds significant cultural & economic importance throughout many parts Of The World !

What are curry leaves?

Curry leaves are a popular herb used in Indian cuisine for their unique flavor and aroma. They are also known as “sweet neem leaves” or “kadi patta” in Hindi.

Curry Leaves used in indian curries - now used in a lot of other south asian countries as well
Curry Leaves – which are almost always used in Indian Cuisine

What are they from?

The leaves come from the curry tree (Murraya koenigii), a tropical tree native to India and Sri Lanka. The tree is also grown in other parts of Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The tree has been cultivated in India for thousands of years and is an important part of Indian cuisine and traditional medicine.

The use of curry leaves has since spread to other parts of Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where they are also commonly used in cooking.

Today, curry leaves can be found in many parts of the world due to their popularity in various cuisines and their unique flavor and aroma.

How are curry leaves used?

Curry leaves are used in many Indian dishes, especially in the southern and western regions of India. They are commonly added to curries, rice dishes, chutneys, and soups for their distinct flavor.

Aside from culinary use, curry leaves also have medicinal properties and are used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments such as indigestion, diabetes, and skin problems.

Curry trees are typically grown from seeds or cuttings and require a warm, humid climate to thrive. They can be grown in pots or in the ground and require regular watering and fertilization. The leaves are harvested by hand and can be used fresh or dried for later use.


The images used in this article including the header for the post are from – Unsplash is internet’s source of freely usable images.

The images were all free and below is the list of the images and the photographers (in no particular order) who shared them with everyone.

Curry: Photo by Sanket Shah on Unsplash

Spices: Photo by Agnieszka Kowalczyk on Unsplash

Ginger: Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Bell peppers: Photo by Jess Torre on Unsplash

Different chili peppers: Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

White and black peppercorns: Photo by Christina Rumpf on Unsplash

Pepper on a tree:Photo by Liz Pullan Pattathy on Unsplash

Turmeric: Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

Cloves: Photo by K15 Photos on Unsplash

Coriander seeds: Photo by Mockupo on Unsplash

Coriander leaves: Photo by Chandan Chaurasia on Unsplash

Cumin: Photo by Pradeep Javedar on Unsplash

Mustard: Photo by Avinash Kumar on Unsplash

Curry Leaves: – Photo by Phoenix on Unsplash

Our Sincere Thanks to and the gracious photographers!

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