The Story Of Indian Spices

Discover The Story Of Indian Spices

Spice is a term which is mostly listen in each Indian household where no food is complete without them. India is a country which is well known globally for its spices where it is been so intertwined with Indian history and the culture of spices which is spread globally. They are used in different forms like whole, chopped, ground, roasted, sautéed, fried or topping. It is full of aroma, which enhances the taste of the dish and it is a secret of each Indian cuisine which makes it rich and full of flavours. According to a study it is noted that India is a country which produces two million tonnes of spices every year. It is one of the top world spice exporters all over the world. 

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History Of Indian Spices

The history of spices in India dates back thousands of years. Herbs and spices have been used by Indian tribes for almost as long as the “human civilization of spices. The Rig Veda (about 6000 BC) and Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharveda provide the first written record of spices in India. During the Vedic period, information was mostly passed down orally from generation to generation via hymns. Several spices are mentioned in the Rig Veda, and the Yajur Veda also makes mention of black pepper.

In 1498, Vasco da Gama voyaged to India via the southernmost tip of Africa, driven by a desire to plot a direct route to a land where spices were plentiful and cheap. His arrival on India’s Malabar Coast, the centre of the spice trade, marked the start of direct trading between Europe and South East Asia. Conquering tribes ranging from the Assyrians and Babylonians to the Arabians, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, British, and Portuguese invaded India with the same purpose: to profit from the vast natural resources and origin of spices.

When we talk about spices India is the country which we remember first. Regional spices have been utilized in India for millennia, both in cuisine and in traditions like Ayurvedic healing. This age-old technique, the world’s oldest type of medicine, is being practised today in many parts of the Indian subcontinent. Spices are utilized when herbs are burned, pastes are applied, or smells are employed to improve, change, or otherwise impact a patient receiving Ayurvedic treatment.

Read More: Essential Indian Spices 


Why Are Spices Only Grown In India? 

India is a country which usually grows a variety of spices and export all over the world and it is largely based on her physical attributes. The environment is perfect for growing spices – high humidity and a range of climatic conditions produce ideal conditions for cultivating a wide variety of spice crops. Turmeric, cinnamon, black pepper, clove, coriander and red chilli, to name just a few. Many of these are native to the subcontinent, but others have arrived from elsewhere in the world. 

Spices such as ginger, turmeric, and fenugreek have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, even earning mention in ancient Vedic scriptures. Ginger prevents dyspepsia; turmeric is deemed to cure stomach ulcers; pepper acts as an antihistamine. Spices have also traditionally been used in food preservation – it has long been known that spice slows down the growth of bacteria. Some spices such as cloves, fennels and cardamom are used as mouth refreshing agents, often dished out in restaurants after a meal to aid digestion and prevent heartburn.

These species are used to flavour much Indian food which is luxurious and daily staples. These spices steadily made their way throughout the continent as travellers travelled through the area. Where invaders and rulers have long sought India’s golden mine of spices, from Genghis Khan of the Mongol Empire to the many rulers of the British Empire. Because of this increased interest in Indian spices, India eventually became the global hub for what became known as the Spice Trade. The globe couldn’t get enough of India’s tastes, from cumin to coriander, saffron to sage, black pepper to black mustard seeds.

Indian Spices

Jagriti Shukla
I am Jagriti, the cook and the writer behind this small blog. I have grown up in the kitchen alongside my mum and conversations in my family are always about the next meal. The love for food and cooking is always a passion for me. But my passion allowed me to follow my cooking journey.

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