Cardamom or Elettaria Cardamomum Maton is hailed as the Queen of Spices. The cardamom seeds have a slightly pungent and aromatic flavour. They are used as a seasoning in dishes, mainly in curries and pastries. The curry leaf tree is a deciduous tree found growing in the mainland and is native to India.
This leaf (also called the sweet neem leaf) though slightly bitter, has a distinct aroma and is used to flavour most Indian cuisines. Frequently spotted in many vegetable gardens in the homes of locals, these leaves have been traditionally used to help with stomach ailments.
The main spices used in Indian cuisine are chilli, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ginger and garlic, and each spice has got a distinct taste and flavour. The beauty of traditional Indian cooking is in the varying proportions of these spices that result in a multitude of flavours that have made Indian food so popular in the UK.
Indian food owes its popularity not only to the myriad of taste buds it stimulates but also to its positive effect on the body. It promotes immunity, is antiseptic and an effective part of a healthy diet.