Spice & semantics
posted on Monday, July 07, 2008 05:35 PM
Posted by Prakash Omari
IndiaOrganix work with organic spices every single day 24/7. We have a fantastic relationship with our spice growers and exporters, who transpoert the whole spices to our Head Chef in Brighton.
In Brighton, IndiaOrganix chefs spend hours sweating profusely while roasting whole spices in front of a tandoor oven at temperatures approaching 480°C (900°F). They then start grinding them with pestle and mortar, before slowly drop-by-drop adding the various Asiatic spice oils to create IndiaOrganix distictive wet massala paste and marinades.
The organic massala wet pastes form the basis of nearly all the regional signiture dishes which go to make the IndiaOrganix menus.
The mysterious world of Asian spices and the fascinating cultures of organic agricultural communities is what IndiaOrganix is all about.
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring, and sometimes as a preservative by killing or preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.
Many of these substances are also used for other purposes, such as medicine, religious rituals, cosmetics, perfumery or eating as vegetables. For example, turmeric is also used as a preservative; licorice as a medicine; garlic as a vegetable.
In our kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring purposes. Herbs, such as basil or oregano, may be used fresh, and are commonly chopped into smaller pieces. Spices, however, are dried and often ground or grated into a powder. Small seeds, such as fennel and mustard seeds, are used both whole and in powder form.
“If the appearance of spices were to reflect their real importance in the history of the world, the bottles of spices would be filled with bright glittery substances, diamonds, rubies, emeralds or gold would be appropriate. When you opened the bottle, a poof of vibrantly colored, mystically fragrant, magical smoke would slowly billow softly throughout the room.” The Lure and Lore of Spices