Tandoori cuisine is known for its amazing taste and distinctive flavours. It is popular worldwide thanks to its incredible aromas. Tandoori chicken is surely the hot favourite dish of all Indians across the world. Indian cuisine in general boasts of authentic spices and hence, the mind-blowing flavours. Some of the common spices that are responsible for the authentic taste and flavour of Tandoori cuisine are discussed here.
There are two kinds of cardamom that are used in Tandoori cuisine: Black and green cardamom. Green is used for commonly and you would find it in almost all Indian spice mixes, desserts or even lassis. The flavour is sweet and light and has a really mild eucalyptus note. Green cardamom is usually, blended whole while making spice mixes such as garam masala. However, while using it for desserts and sweets, you would be requiring only the crushed and powdered fragrant black seeds. Black cardamoms are supposed to be smoky and very powerful and used with utmost caution. Usually, only the seeds are used. Whenever the entire pod is being used, it is best to take it out before the dish is served as it would be tremendously spicy, if you end up biting into it. Tandoori chicken and the kebabs get their authentic flavouring from garam masala containing cardamom.
Clove is used quite commonly in Indian cooking. Clove has a very strong flavour because of concentrated essential oils. Cloves are actually flowers. Their oil is extracted before they are dried to be used in cooking. Cloves could be used in powdered spice mixes such as garam masala and could be used whole. They are pretty overpowering and may neutralize delicate spices.
Cinnamon/ Cassia Bark
Cassia bark is a highly interesting spice. This is more commonly referred to as Chinese cinnamon. Cinnamon, however, is slightly different from cassia and is known as the true cinnamon. Cassia is relatively cheaper and most of the ground cinnamon comprises cassia bark. Indians are used to using cassia and not true cinnamon while cooking authentic Indian or Tandoori food as it could be used in large quantity, thanks to its mild flavours.
Black pepper is known to be native to India; Black pepper is usually toasted before blending. For getting the best flavour, grind fresh black pepper directly into dishes.
Nutmeg and Mace
Mace and nutmeg are used in Indian cooking especially, in Tandoori dishes. Mace is supposed to be the darker outer layer/ shell of the nutmeg. Mace is dried and powdered and is known to add warm flavour to any dish. Use freshly ground nutmeg in your cooking as its flavour is known to degrade quite quickly once it has been grounded.
This is undoubtedly, the most expensive among all spices in the world. This is in reality, more valuable and expensive by weight in comparison to gold. This is chiefly because it involves very much a labour-intensive process of production. The best saffron comes from Iran, Kashmir in India and Spain. Fresh saffron is known to infuse deeper colour to your delicacies such as Biryani, kebabs, Pulaos, kulfis etc.
Spices make all the difference to your cooking. Come to any well-known restaurant in Richmond to enjoy authentic Indian or Tandoori cuisine and experience the pleasures of desi spices and flavours.