Exotic Spices From South India

Aaisha Aslam

Living in India is like growing up eating spicy foods since childhood, seeing red, yellow, black and many other colors together in just one small box, called masala box. Spicy doesn’t only mean just chilly, there’s a large variety of it being used in Indian cuisine since ages. Spices are one of the most important ingredients in our food, without it our taste buds wouldn’t be satisfied. But spices don’t just add taste to the food, but also used for many other purposes like performing rituals, cosmetics, and most importantly it carries a lot of medicinal properties in it. In Ancient times, vaids (doctors) used spices for treatment of the illnesses and infections, which is now called Ayurveda or Ayurvedic method that has no side effects unlike western medicines.

India has a very unique climate which supports the cultivation of spices and is known for its spices all over the world. As we all know that Britishers took many things from India during independence, and spices were one of them. Well, this was just an example about how the world especially west gives importance to Indian spices. There are few amazing spices only found in South India which is enriched with a lot of beneficial stuffs in it.

Pepper: We all must be familiar with black pepper and salt sprinkled on our omellette and has been our most common breakfast, especially in western countries. But ever thought from where does this spice came from?  It came all the way from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is one of the most traded spice in the world, must be because of the fact that it not only holds flavor in it but strong medicinal properties too.

Cardamom: Cardamom is used to flavor from kheer to paneer to tea and also one of the most important ingredient in biryani. It is the third most expensive spice in the world and India is one of the largest exporters, but can only be grown in three states of Southern India i.e. Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Clove: Our mothers have always suggested using clove for any dental problem, which has now been recognized by medical science too, that clove is always favorable for dental health. This spice is especially in the regions of Kerela, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Nutmeg & mace: This spice is again grown in the authentic regions of Sourthern India, i.e. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala where you will get many dishes that has an amazing flavor. These dishes get their mouth-watering flavor just by adding their unique spices together.

Cinnamon: Cinnamon rolls, pies and many others may have been America’s favorite and one the popular desserts, but it is cultivated mainly in Kerela and Tamil Nadu.

Kokam: Kokam can only be farmed in forest lands especially evergreen forests, riverside and waste lands, and no state has been gifted with these gifts simultaneously other than Karnataka in India. As sour flavor can be found in almost every food in South, it is an alternative to tamarind that gives the food a typical south Indian flavor. But this spice doesn’t restrict itself just to South Indian Food, it is used in Goan and Marathi cuisins too.

Cambodge : Have you seen any Kerelite? They have such a beautiful radiant face and wonderful figure, not because they diet or something, but because they include cambodge in their food, as it contains hydroxyl cytric. It is grown very commonly in Kerela and also found in some parts of Karnataka state.

So now the reason is clear that why the South delecacies has the most amazing tang in, it is due to all these spices which are rare in the world. It is the unique skill of we Indians that we prepare something delightful mixing different flavors in correct amount.

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