Ingredients Guide

Bay Leaf: is a small, dried, green leaf used as a staple in the Indian sub-continent to add flavour. Its a tradition, to remove the bay leaf before serving the dish.

whole spices

Whole Spices (clockwise) Green cardamoms, Bay leaf, Black peppercorn, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves

Cardamom: is a rich, aromatic and savory spice which is used in curries and also for tea. Cardamom also has excellent health benefits, such as improving digestion and stimulating the metabolism.

Chili powder:is a blend of ground chilis and other spices and herbs. When I refer to chili powder in my recipes its always Red chili powder, which is very strong, so be careful with how much you use.

Chile Powder for sale in Bolivia

Ground spices (photo credit Wikipedia)

Cloves: are the immature unopened flower buds of a tropical tree. Pungent and aromatic, and brown in colour. They are to be used in small amounts, as they can easily over power a dish.

Coriander: Fresh leaves are known used as Cilantro in North America. Coriander powder and seeds are used to give dishes a sweet and mellow flavour.

Creole Seasoning: mixture of salt, red & black pepper, chili powder, spices, salt and garlic powder. Use it like salt, when its salty enough, its seasoned to perfection.

Cumin: is available in whole seed form or ground. An aromatic spice with a distinctive bitter flavor and strong warm aroma. A very good source of iron.

Curry Powder: is a blend of different spices such as  black peppercorns, coriander, cumin, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper etc. Please note that every curry does not necessarily have curry powder, but used as just one ingredient in many dishes.

Fenugreek: known as methi in the Indian subcontinent, comes in seed or leaf form. Fenugreek might taste bitter at first, but its smoky, caramel-like finish is what you’ll remember. To be used in small quantities and make sure the seeds don’t burn, or it will taste bitter.

Garam Masala: blend of ground roasted spices used throughout the Indian Subcontinent. Widely available in the international section of grocery stores.

Green chili pepper

Green chili pepper

Green chilies: Peppers that are small and slender in shape, and ends in a sharp point. My recipes use the ones that Canadian stores sell as “Thai green chili peppers”. A very important ingredient in Bengali cooking.


Nutmeg & Mace Powder: Known in Bengali as Joyful Joytri, is a combination of  50% ground nutmeg and 50% ground mace. Nutmeg and mace have similar flavour, except that mace has a more peppery taste. The mix compliments a variety of foods, such as kebabs and chutneys.

Panch Foron: a blend of five (panch) spices and lends a lovely aroma and nutty flavour, when added to a dish. It consists of whole spices which are fennel, cumin, fenugreek, mustard and nigella seeds.

Panch foron

Panch foron

Rosewater: has a distinctive flavor, and is well known for its pleasant fragrance. It is the diluted extract of special strain of edible rose and is used to enhance the flavor of food and drinks, all over Asia.

Saffron: used mainly in various cuisines as a seasoning and colouring agent. One of the most expensive spices in the world, but only a little amount is required for a recipe.

Turmeric: is one of the most common ingredients used in Indian sub-continent food. Used only in ground form, it gives curry a unique, warm flavor and yellow colour. Widely available in all supermarkets.

Various Spices

Various Spices

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