Spices Sri Lanka.
It's Makes You Healthy..!
Spices enhance the color, fragrance and flavor of food. In addition many of them also have many health benefits. Used in the right combination, spices can turn the simplest food into an aromatic and rich experience in the world of cooking. Of course, used incorrectly, if the wrong spices are combined, they will make food taste terrible and bitter. Hence care and knowledge is important for the successful use of spices. Here are a few interesting things to know when cooking with spices.
History Of Sri Lankan Spices…!
The trade in Oriental spices is incredibly ancient – older, in some parts of the world, than civilization itself.
Indeed, some say it was partly responsible for the spread of civilization through Asia and Europe.
Sri Lanka has been a centre of this trade since time immemorial. Archaeologists have found traces of Sri Lankan cinnamon in
4,000-year-old Egyptian tombs. Greeks, Arabs, North Africans, Persians, Indians and Western Europeans were drawn to the
‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’ for her gems,her peacocks and her ivory – but above all for her spices.
Bloody wars were fought over Sri Lankan cinnamon and pepper. Great fortunes were made or lost in Europe on the Ceylon
spice trade. In the grand traditions of that trade, Spice of Life offers pure, gourmet-quality Sri Lankan spices, carefully selected for aroma, flavor, potency and freshness to satisfy the most demanding connoisseur.
Cinnamon And Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon was one of the initially exchanged spices of the old world. Ceylon Cinnamon is an ever green tree. This is a plant indigenous to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon produced in Sri Lanka has gained a long standing fame in the global spice market because of its unique kind, quality, shading, flavor and fragrance.
The exceptional system of handling and processing cinnamon is one of the reasons why Ceylon cinnamon has gained so much popularity among the cinnamon lovers all over the world.
Spices in Sri Lanka.
Curry Leaves. (Karapincha).
The Curry Tree (binomial name:- Murraya koenigii) is a tropical tree native to India and Sri Lanka, Its fragrant leaves are called curry leaves as they are popular for spicing up curries. They are mostly used as seasoning in the cooking of Sri Lanka, India and their neighboring countries. Curry leaves have many medicinal properties including being anti-diabetic.
Cloves, which are the flower buds of a form of evergreen tree, originate from the Maluku Islands, Indonesia. They are primarily used as a spice, but are also used for medicine, fragrance (pomander) and clove cigars. Cloves are harvested and traded mainly in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Pakistan, Tanzania and Zanzibar. When it comes to culinary purposes cloves are used in Asian, African, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are most often used to add depth to meats, curries and marinades.
Turmeric is an ancient spice, a native of South East Asia, used from antiquity as dye and a condiment. It is cultivated primarily in Bengal, China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Java. Peru. Australia and the West Indies. It is still used in rituals of the Hindu religion, and as a dye for holy robes, being natural, synthesize and cheap. Turmeric is in fact one of the cheapest spices. Although as a dye it is used similarly to saffron, the culinary uses of the two spices should not be confused and should never replace saffron in food dishes. Its use dates back nearly 4000 years. It is used mainly to impart color or in other words dye foods. When it comes to flavor, the spice tastes slightly bitter and peppery with undertones of earthy flavor. Though used mainly as a powder, turmeric is also used fresh in its rhizome form in certain regions of the world.
Cinnamon – (Kurudu).
Cinnamon is the most important and valuable spice produced in Sri Lanka. Before the advent of modern food preservation technology Europeans have used Cinnamon with Pepper to preserve meet products. Cinnamon is used in bakery products, Asian foods and flavored tea for its distinctive aroma & flavor. With growing concern on health hazards associated with synthetic flavoring agents used in the food industry there is an increasing preference for natural flavors worldwide.The Dutch started the cinnamon industry in Sri Lanka, and even today the island is the biggest producer of this, the most delicately scented of spices, which is used in curries and rice dishes.
pepper ( Gam Miris ).
Pepper is the most widely used spice in the world and known as “King of the Spices”. Pepper crop is native to South Asia and historical records reveal that pepper is originated in South India. Peppercorns were a much-prized trade good often referred to also as “black gold” and used by as a form of commodity money. Until well after the Middle age, virtually all of the black pepper found in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa traveled there from India’s Malabar region.
Pepper is the spice that is most commonly traded in the world.It is used for its strong aroma and for its spiciness as a chili replacement. In addition to its use as a spice it has medical purposes and is also used for massages (pepper oil). Pepper is native to South and Southeast Asia.
Cardamom ( Henasaal).
Sri Lankan Green cardamom is mainly consumed in their local markets and nearby small Islands. Hence, very less availability is offered for Exports. In acute shortage of Cardamom from other Origins; Sri Lankan Green Cardamom is acceptable in different Foreign Consumption Markets.
Cardamom is a small spindle shaped seedpod with black seeds inside. The covers are thin and pale green (Elettaria) or dark brown (Ammonium). It is the third on the list of the world’s most expensive spices, right behind vanilla and saffron. Cardamom is used as a cooking spice as well as flavoring (mainly for tea and coffee). It is also used in medicine. Cardamom is native to India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangaladesh. A few other countries, like Sri Lanka, have also taken up cultivation.
Nutmeg and Mace (Sadikka & Wasawasi).
Nutmeg is a perennial evergreen spice tree and a native of Molluscan in East Indonesia. There is some evidence to suggest that the Roman priests may have burned nutmeg as a form of incense. It is also known to have been used as a prized and costly spice in medieval cuisine, used as flavorings, medicines, preserving agents and that was at the time highly valued in the European markets. Nutmeg is the seed of a type of evergreen tree (Myristica fragrans), while mace is the reddish netlike covering surrounding the seed. Nutmeg and mace are used as a flavoring for many sweet dishes from the cuisines of various countries, and as a spice in many savory dishes.
Lemongrass & Citronella (Sera).
Lemongrass is a culinary herb which as a subtle citrus flavor. It is very popular in Asian cuisine and can be used fresh or dried and powdered. Lemongrass is used as a medical herb, pesticide and preservative as well.
When it comes to citronella grass, it is from the same family of plants and is a very close relative to lemongrass. It is used in soaps, candles and insect repellent sprays. East Indian lemongrass is from Sri Lanka, India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Lemongrass is a long thick grass with leaves at the top and a solid portion several inches long at the root end. The lower portion is sliced or pounded and used in cooking. As a spice fresh lemon grass is preferred for its vibrant flavor, but is also sold in dried form. The dried spice is available in several forms: chopped in slices, cut and sifted, powdered.
Vanilla is a word that has Spanish origins and comes from the word ” Vaina’, literally translating to ‘little pod’. It is a flavoring extracted from orchids of the Vanilla genus, mainly the Mexican flat-leaved Vanilla. Since the only natural pollinator is a Mexican species of bee, hand pollination is required to grow it in any other countries other than Mexico and South America. a vanilla could be used as a flavoring all by itself and versatility of the exotic bean was finally uncovered. However, only in 1858, Gobble was able to isolate vanillin from vanilla pods. Today vanilla is grown by Madagascar, Indonesia, Mexico, Tahiti and few other countries including Sri Lanka as a commercial crop.
Ginger ( Inguru).
Ginger is the root of flowering plant. It is used as a spice for food, flavoring for beverages or in folk medicine. Ginger originated in South China and later spread all over Asia followed by the African continent. The spice was introduced to Europe from India in the 1st century AD. Ginger is believed to be originated in East Asia and has historic records more than 3000 years. Ginger has been used as a spice from ancient times. It has been widely used in Chinese and in Ayurveda medicine. There is information that says at the time of ruling of Emperor Nero the Roman army used ginger as a medicine. It was found that ginger was imported to the European countries as a spice by 1547 A.C.
The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the portions used as the dried spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown in color with longitudinal ridges. Coriander seeds are available whole or in ground powder for Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.
Cummin (Cuminum cyminum) is a flowering plant in the family Apiece. Native from the East Mediterranean to India it owns seeds used in recepies of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. The name comes from ancient Semitic languages even if the first form of the word is the Mycenaean Greek ku-mi-no.Cumin seeds are used as a spice for their distinctive flavor and aroma. It is globally popular and an essential flavoring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian, Northern African and Latin American cuisines. Cumin can be found in some Dutch cheeses (as Leiden cheese), and in some traditional France breads.It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine, in chili powder. We commonly can find cummin in achiote blends, garam masal,curry powder and india..
Gamboge, usually ground with a little hot water, is used as a souring and thickening agent in white curries, fish and meat preparations, and certain vegetable curries.
The whole plant is used in medicinal preparations. The seeds and paste of leaves are beneficial in treatment of oedema and burning sensation. Fenugreek gives a good motion and reduces pain and constipation. It is a good laxative and is also used to treat loss of appetite, indigestion, worm infestation and piles. It purifies the blood, stimulates blood circulation, is an expectorant and reduces phlegm.
In women, fenugreek strengthens and contracts the uterus and purifies menstrual blood. It is effective for skin diseases. The seeds reduce fever and promotes body strength. For the latter, add half to one teaspoon of uluhal to kola kenda (porridge) and eat. It increases nutrients and taste in the porridge.
For pain, diabetes and bowel disorders, prepare a curry with garlic and roasted fenugreek seeds and eat for a period of time.
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