Mouth watering aroma, finger-licking taste and blend of colours, it is nothing but magic of delicious Indian cuisine. Have you ever thought what makes Indian food so tasty? Yup, none other than exotic collection of spices they add to it. Indian spices are used in food recipes and to treat ailments. But it is not the only reason why these spices are important. Indian spices have great historical role. Yes, there was a time when these spices were as precious as gold. So what was the reason behind it? Let’s check it out.
Trade and conflicts on Indian spices: Spices offered great to attraction traders. They moved to India just to establish their market for spices. They even used political and other powers to make it possible.
- History of Indian spices is almost as old as 7000 years.
- India has always been largest producer, user and exporter of
- Vasco Da Gama was first European to have spice trade with India. It was after him, when Indians began to export spices.
- Then the Dutch and the English took charge of spice trade in India and knocked out the Portuguese.
- The driving force for expeditions of East were Indian spices.
- Romans even fought battles to keep their way clear for spice trade with India.
Literature about Indian spices:
- Arthashastra was a concise scripture written on significance of spices like cardamom, fenugreek and pepper.
- Rigveda also gave an overview of importance of different spices.
- Atharveda told that turmeric could used cure leprosy and jaundice.
- Ayurveda enlisted the medicinal uses of spices.
Invention of garam masala: North India is cold area. They always wanted a way to escape from cold. It was garam masala.
- It is blend of Indian spices like pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cloves and cumin.
- Word garam masala literally stands for “hit spices”.
- Most common version of garam masala used was actually originated from North India.
- It was spread in Britain by people of India in between 1800 to 1950.
This short history of spices is very fascinating. Spices add flavour to food and life!