Desi Spices – The Perfect Blend of Aroma & Taste
Indian cuisines have always had a distinct flavor, aroma, and richness to offer – this complexity and uniqueness of flavors in Indian food come from the very aromatic and healthy Indian spices. These desi spices are not only wholesome and rich in adding flavor, but are also equally rich in their history and the health benefits they offer.
Ground from an extensive range of plants, desi spices are native to the Subcontinental region and the surrounding South Asian countries; mostly India and Pakistan. Since these desi spices are being cultivated and traded for centuries now, there was once a time when these desi spices were used in the form of currency.
There was a time when “Spice Trade” held the position of being the world’s largest trade industry; when spices were traded along “The Silk Road” i.e. a popularly known historic route that connected Asia with the Mediterranean region of Europe.
History of Desi Spices
Ancient Times & The Middle Age
Some 6 million years ago, early man stumbled upon the spices in quite an accidental manner. The hunters after hunting their prey and cooking the meat over fire realized that their food tasted and smelled different (in a well-enhanced way) once they wrapped the meat in leaves of certain plants.
Ancient Egyptian history cites the usage of garlic, mint, fennel, poppy, and coriander for their medicinal value. Herbs and spices played their part in ancient Greek medical science as well. Hippocrates (460-377 BC) noted the utilization of thyme, saffron, mint, and marjoram for herbal remedies. American culture came under the influence of the spice trade in the late 18th Century. Spices like pepper, cloves, ginger, and cassia were traded for American amenities like cheese, beef, tobacco, soap, and candles.
Desi spices were unobtainable to an extent, considering the dominance of spice trade and commerce. By the 20th century it was now easily available since The United States space shuttle program embedded the astronauts’ food with spices; making it available even in outer space by now. By the mid-20th Century, the usage of spices jumped exponentially, initiating a new era of global cuisine sharing.
For several centuries, desi spices were considered to be one of the most valuable commodities, such as jewelry or gold – However, in today’s time, these spices are valued as a low-cost commodity, utilized for the purpose of food additives, food preservations, along with being used to eliminate foodborne diseases.
Desi spices are quite beneficial for the human body considering their health benefits of being anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and immune-boosting. The World Health Organization (WHO) carried out a survey that concluded that 80% of people around the world depend on modern medicine and healthcare sourced from herbal origin – However, 60% of the people worldwide focused direct dependence on herbal plants and spices for their biomedical attributes.
India: ‘Spice Hub of The World”
The history of Indian spices takes us back to nearly 7000 years ago, even when Roman and Greek civilizations were nonexistent. Heavy rainfall, high humidity, and hot and cold weather conditions favored the cultivation of various spices and herbs. Out of 109 herbs grown in different parts of the globe, 83 of them are cultivated only in India, making this spices-rich country “The Land of Spices”.
Modern Science Confirms Ancient Indian Wisdom
Just as in ancient times desi spices were used as a means of currency, similarly, in today’s time scientists have deemed Indian spices as a currency that when appropriately utilized can be used to maintain good health. As these Indian spices are full of the minerals we need, along with the dietary polyphenols and flavonoids, which are the compounds that are capable of providing strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, helping protect against diseases, helping with digestion, as well as boosting immunity.
Desi spices, regardless of their origin; be it Indian spices or Pakistani spices – these desi ingredients are the best and the most flavourful way the addition of such beneficial nutrients to your everyday diet.
Laree Adda, being home to Subcontinental cuisines and all the desi spices in New Jersey, proudly offers Indian food as well as Pakistani food, with a tinge of nostalgic desi culture when you walk in.
Visit us at Laree Adda, and cherish the centuries-old desi food with authentic taste and aroma!