What gives Maggie Masala its distinctive taste

International spice dictionary: Exotic for a special taste

International cuisine is gaining in importance and influence. More and more amateur cooks like to experiment, and often with foreign spices. From the Orient to Asia - the culinary diversity of foreign countries and continents is to be explored. Here is a little spice lore:

India: the mother of spices

India is the land of curry. Whereby curry is not an independent spice, but a mixture of mostly 13 different spices - including turmeric, chilli, pepper, cardamom, coriander, ginger, cumin, clove and nutmeg. Curries are available as powder and paste as well as in different degrees of spiciness. A special form of curry is Garam Masala - almost every family in India has kept its own recipe for generations. Curry and Garam Masala are not the only Indian spice classics. Three more examples from India's spice dictionary:

  • Amchoor, which is made from green mangoes and gives dishes a sweet and sour note.

  • Fenugreek, which gives every proper chutney the right taste.

  • Fennel seeds, which give dishes a fine aniseed note and make them easy to digest.

Thailand: flavors without end

Thailand's cuisine is also popular with us because of its fresh, healthy ingredients. The numerous herbs and spices smell competitively and provide unmistakable aromas. Typical spices in Thailand are ginger and the galangal root, which smells of citrus fruits and pine and has a sweetish-spicy taste. Galangal is always used fresh in Thailand and gives coconut milk soups and Thai curry pastes their distinctive character. Coriander is also a very important ingredient in Thai cuisine, but not every European will like it. Many perceive the taste of coriander as "soapy", which is why the spice is also reviled as "soap herb". Other eaters, on the other hand, rave about the spicy aroma. Coriander spices up soups, salads and many other dishes in Thailand. It is put into the dishes roughly chopped, but must not be boiled, otherwise the typical taste will be lost.

Thai basil tastes very different from "our" basil, rather sweet with a touch of pepper. In Thai dishes, it often appears as a duo with coriander. Thai basil also does not tolerate cooking heat, so it is stirred or sprinkled into the dishes at the end. Lemongrass is one of the classics among Thai spices. The hard stem gives countless dishes a fruity citrus touch and also gives it Tom Yam Gung, a sour-spicy shrimp soup, its sour character. It is said that there is no other spice in the world that can even come close to replacing lemongrass. It is a must for anyone who wants to try original Thai recipes.

Tip:We have put together many Thai dishes in our recipe collection.

Spices from 1,001 night