Aarti Sequeira on ‘the Sacred Seven’ Must-Have Indian Spices

Aarti Sequeira on ‘the Sacred Seven’ Must-Have Indian Spices

The chef revealed seven of the “essential” spices every kitchen should have on hand to add dimension to just about any dish.

Food Network star Aarti Sequeira kicked her culinary career off on The Next Food Network Star and since then, has shown viewers how to infuse an ordinary meal with exquisite flavor and aroma.

“I’m prancing around the garden of our house in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, a villa in a sprawling complex of villas, each of which looks the same as the other,” Sequeira writes. “… Generous marigold-hued pieces of tandoori chicken sizzle on the grate, and the whole neighborhood smells like garlic, ginger, fenugreek and cardamom.

These other spices round out the chef’s kitchen pantry essentials

-The spice Sequeira calls “the refined lady of the spice box” is Coriander. “Each tiny, round, tan-colored seed contains a captivating fragrance, a mild mélange of lemon verbena, grass and caraway. … Its “thickening qualities,” she adds, give “curries and gravies a lovely texture.”

-Red chile flakes or cayenne pepper: “choose whichever one you like.”

-Paprika, the “bright red spice that’s quite hot.”

-Lastly, Sequeira depends greatly on Garam Masala, “an indispensable spice in Indian cooking.” While she highly recommends making your own version of this “warm spice mix,” she says that “if you’re in a hurry or if you’re just starting on your Indian cooking odyssey, then the store-bought version is fine.”

-Brown or black mustard seeds remind the chef of “South Indian cooking, the food of my childhood.”

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