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Whole Spices

▶ Whole spices have maintained the utmost position of reverence in an Indian kitchen from time immemorial.

▶ Consider whole spices to be dried dormant seeds, leaves, bark, and roots that are rich in fragrant oils and wonderful spice flavours that are just waiting to be unleashed. Whole spices have a longer shelf life than powdered spices because they keep their freshness until their strong flavour is removed. That is why, even today, many Indian home chefs will not consider using just store-bought ground spices in their kitchen.

▶ For the most robust flavours of spices, it is recommended to use whole spices and ground them as required. You have a few alternatives when it comes to grinding spices. If you only need a small portion, a mortar and pestle is the way to go. If you're going to grind a large number of whole spices or if you've chosen to grind spices in your house on a more frequent basis, an electric spice grinder could be the way to go. Spice grinders, such as coffee grinders or nut grinders, will also work.

▶ The most common whole spices used in Indian households are Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Fenugreek, Fennel Seeds, Thymol Seeds, Sesame Seeds, etc.