Aniseeds is a graceful annual herb of the parsley family 2 to 3 feet high with feathery leaves and is the source of one of the oldest known aromatic seeds like fruits. Aniseeds is available as a spice either whole or ground. The whole seed may be used as a flavoring for soups and cakes.
Vietnam has recently become the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper (85,000 long tons in 2003). Other major producers include Indonesia, India, Brazil, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and China.
Green Cardamom is the Queen of Spices. In South Asia, Green cardamom is called "Elaichi". The world’s largest producers are Guatemala, India, El Salvador, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. In India, Kerala, Tamilnadu and Karnataka are the large producer and exporters.
The clove, Syzygium aromaticum, of the myrlte family, is a small, straight-trunked, conical evergreen tree that grows 30 to 40 feet high. The bark is rough and gray. The narrowly elleptic leaves, which are pinkish when young, and dark green when mature, are numerous and stalked. The cloves have a aromatic and very intensive fragrance and a fiery and burning taste. The clove tree is very rich in essential oils: The yield of oil, obtained through steam distillation, may be around 16% from the clove buds. The name clove derives from Latin clavus "nail". The clove of commerce is the dried, unexpanded, nail shaped flower bud, which is picked just before the pinkish-green blossom opens out and turns a deep red.
Coriander is an annual herb of the parsley family indigenous to Southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. This green, shiny plant, which grows to a height of 2 to 3 feet, has a much-breached stem and finely defined leaves. The dried ripe fruits are the spice known as Coriander seed. The seeds aroma is warm, nutty and spicy.The seed is produced in Russia, India, South America, North Africa, especially Morocco - and in Holland. Coriandrum, is derived from the Greek koris, meaning bedbug, the fetid, unpleasant "buggy" odor of the foliage and of the green, unripened fruit is responsible for the name.
Cumin, is a small annual herb of the parsley family (Apiaceae). It grows from 1 to 2 feet tall and produces a stem with many branches. The seed like fruit, commonly termed "seed" is elongated, oval, approximately 1 cm. long, and yellowish-brown in color. The aroma is characteristic, strongly aromatic, hot, and of bitter taste which is modified by frying or dry roasting. The origin is Western Asia, where it is cultivated since Biblical times. Main production countries today are India, Iran, Indonesia, China and the South Mediterranean. Dried, crushed cumin seed, distilled with steam, yields from 2 to 4% of essential oil used in perfumery and for flavoring liquors.
Chillies are the most widely cultivated species throughout the world. The pungency of the capsicum pods is due to a crystalline substance known as capsaicin. In the milder types of C. annuum the capsaicin content is very low, but in the hotter varieties of C. frutescens the fruits may contain from o,2 to 1 % of this highly pungent ingredient, concentrated mainly in the thin tissues of the placental region where the seeds are attached to the spongy central portion.
Ginger (from the ginger family Zingiberaceae) is a spice obtained from the whole or partially peeled rhizomes. Ginger is the most important spice obtained from the rhizomes of any plant. Ginger seems to originate from southern China. Today main origins are China, India and Nigeria, with Nigeria being rather pungent.But lacking the fine aroma of the other 2 origins. The latin generic name Zingiber is derived from the Sanskrit Singabera "shaped like a horn", so called because of the resemblance of ginger to a deer's antler
Turmeric, Curcuma longa, is a robust perennial tropical herb of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) indigenous to southern Asia. In fresh state, the rootstock has an aromatic and spicy fragrance, which by drying gives way to a more medicinal aroma. On storing, the smell rather quickly changes to earthy and unpleasant. Similarly, the color of ground turmeric tends to fade if the spice is stored too long. Turmeric spice is made by grinding these orange-yellow, waxy, short rhizomes into a fine aromatic yellowish powder, which is used as a condiment and as an essential ingredient of curry powder. Turmeric is a colorful, versatile product, combining the properties of a spice and a brilliant yellow dyestuff.
Indian Garlic is used to enhance the aroma of dishes and is widely used as seasoning in Indian cuisine. India exporters take extreme care while powdering garlic to maintain proper grades. Owing to their procurement from well-known vendors, these garlic are uniform in size and excellent in taste.
The mustard is a well-known oil seed. It is a small annual plant which grows up to a height of one meter with some branches. It has round stem with long intermodes, simple, alternate and very soft yellowish green leaves. The fruit is a pod of about 2.5 cm's. long containing seeds. It also contain vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron, niacin, vitamin A, and are an excellent source of phytochemicals thought to prevent cancer an excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin C.
Nutmeg & Mace are two distinctly different spices produced from a fruit of an evergreen tree usually 9-12 mtr high. Mace is the dried reticulated ‘aril’ of the fruit and nutmeg is the dried seed kernel of the fruit. The trees are normally unisexual, bearing either male or female flowers. The male flowers are born in clusters, whereas female flowers are often solitary. Fruit is a fleshy drupe, spherical in shape, pale yellow in colour with a longitudinal groove in the centre. When the fruit mature it burst open along the groove exposing the bright attractive mace, covering the hard black, shiny shell of the seed called nutmeg.
Caraway (Carum carvi), also known as meridian fennel or Persian cumin, is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae,native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa. The plant is similar in appearance to other members of the carrot family, with finely divided, feathery leaves with thread-like divisions, growing on 20–30 cm stems. The main flower stem is 40–60 cm tall, with small white or pink flowers in umbels. Caraway fruits (erroneously called seeds) are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges. The fruits, usually used whole, have a pungent, anise-like flavor and aroma that comes from essential oils, mostly carvone and limonene. They are used as a spice in breads, especially rye bread. Caraway is also used in desserts, liquors, casseroles, curry and other foods. It is more commonly found in European cuisine. For example, it is commonly used in British caraway seed cake and is also added to sauerkraut. It is also used to add flavor to cheeses such as bondost, pultost, nøkkelost and havarti. Akvavit and several liqueurs are made with caraway. The roots may be cooked as a root vegetable like parsnips or carrots. Caraway fruit oil is also used as a fragrance component in soaps, lotions, and perfumes.