I love spices, I love buying them, I love the smell of them, I love cooking with them. They are one of my favorite things when it comes to food. They are fantastic at adding flavor into your meals but they also have some great health properties - take ginger known for it's role in aiding digestive uses, particularly nausea or turmeric considered for it's properties in protecting against cognitive decline.
Most of the time I like to keep my supplies well stocked and tend to have around 25 herbs and spices at anyone time - why so many, well I make all my own home made curries (Indian and Thai) and I'm starting to experiment with more Mexican dishes, so having a stock of spices always comes in handy. Buying spices can be a little pricey to start with, but luckily they last and store well, plus you don't really need to have all of them.
If making your own homemade Indian curries spikes your interest, I'd suggest stocking up on at least the following;
- Chili powder
- Curry powder
- Herbs - especially cilantro, known as coriander in the UK
- Onion seeds
- Mustard seeds
- Garlic powder
- Ginger powder
- Cardamon (if you can find it)
While I've been making my own curries for the last three years, I've never considered making my own spice blend. No excuse, no real reason why. So when I came across this article from Woman's Health on DIY Spice Blends I thought, well why the hell not. The article has a great collection of 9 spices designed to help loose weight - which is a great added benefit of spices. The one I'm sharing is a curry blend, which those the spices it uses will be excellent for an Indian curry.
2 tablespoons of cumin powder
2 tablespoons of ground coriander
2 tablespoons of turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cardamon*
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
* Cardamon isn't always the easiest spice to find, but you can use a mix of cinnamon and nutmeg - equal parts of each to make an alternative.