It goes without saying, but spices are the heart and soul of Indian cuisine. No amount of good-quality vegetables or meat would taste the way they do without spices. They can transform simple ingredients into aromatic, flavorful dishes that tantalize our taste buds. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a newbie in the kitchen, buying spices is a crucial step in your culinary journey. However, with the wide variety available in today’s market, it can be daunting. If you find yourself in a similar situation, then you’ve landed on the right page. Here are 6 simple things to keep in mind the next time you go spice shopping and elevate your cooking game.

Also Read: 7 Everyday Indian Spices You Should Keep In Your Pantry

Know which spice does what to dishes before buying them.
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Here Are Things You Should Keep In Mind Before Buying Spices:

1. Know Your Spices

Before you step into a spice market, familiarise yourself with the basics. Some of the common Indian spices include turmeric (haldi), cumin (jeera), coriander (dhania), and cardamom (elaichi). Understand their flavours, uses, and how they contribute to different dishes. For example, turmeric (haldi) adds an earthy flavour and warm colour to curries, while cumin (jeera) adds a nutty, peppery flavour.

2. Buy Whole Spices

When shopping, opt for whole spices instead of powdered varieties. Whole spices retain their flavour and aroma longer than ground ones. Buy spices like cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and black peppercorns in their whole form. For prolonged freshness, invest in a good-quality spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grinding them as needed ensures your dishes burst with fresh flavours and vibrant colours.

3. Analyze Spice Colors

Ensure the spices you buy are vibrant in colour, with consistency throughout. Dried chili powder should be vivid, while black peppercorns should be uniformly jet black. Dried herbs should be green, not brownish. Use your judgment to avoid spices that look old or dull.

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4. Buy Quality Spices

In the market, numerous brands offer the same spice at different prices. While cheaper options may be tempting, opt for organic or higher-quality spices to ensure purity and freshness. Transparent containers or packets allow you to inspect the spice’s quality and texture before purchase. When buying from local markets, choose vendors with a steady flow of customers and fresh stock.

5. Buy In Small Quantities

Spices lose aroma and flavour over time, so purchase them in small quantities. Avoid stocking up excessively, even in wholesale markets. Regularly replenishing your spice pantry with small, fresh batches ensures you use them at their peak flavour. This practice elevates your cooking significantly.

6. Spice Storage

Once you have your spices, store them carefully for longevity. Airtight containers in a cool, dark place, like a cabinet, protect spices from heat, light, moisture, and air, which can degrade their quality over time. Glass jars with tight lids are ideal for maintaining freshness.

Also Read: 6 Spices To Boost Your Weight Loss Journey

Do you have any other tips to keep in mind before spice shopping? Let us know in the comments below!

By Alex Benjamin

Alex Benjamin, historian, quizmaster, and author, passionately explores history's depths. Renowned for unearthing forgotten facts, he's a quiz expert captivating audiences worldwide.

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