Leafy Spices – Herbs – Spices – Seasonings
Leafy Spices – Curry leaves,Coriander leaf,basil …..
Offering both nutritional and medicinal benefits,herbs and spices,even in small quantities,can make a big impact on any diet. Use them to top a favourite pasta dish or curry,or bake them into delicious breads or muffins. Seasoning or spice blends are generally unique to particular regions, yet there are some spice blends that are found throughout the world. These have a common theme, but contain different spices because of their availability and regional and cultural preferences. Two primary examples are the green spice blends and chile blends. Every country has its own green blend and chile blend that is used as seasonings, whether in soups, sauces, stews, rices, pastas, salads, or as marinades.
There are several Mediterranean leafy spices. They are a class called “herbs” . Only ones which have reached commercial production in India are Rosemary and Parsley. Others,which are produced in india only as a garden crop in cooler regions, are Oregano,Marjoram,Bay Leaf (Laurel) thyme,Lovage,Hyssop,Terragon,sage etc
Curry Leaf (Murraya koenigil L | Rutaceae
It is mainly grown in India,where people cannot do without its flavour. Indian culinary recipes has curry leaves as one of its essential ingredient. It is more popular among south Indian states. This simple leaf has an amazing flavour and distinctive aroma. Curry tree is widely grown in Indian subcontinent. Fresh leaves has a light green colour and matured ones has a dark green colour. The powdered form of curry leaves are also used in various dishes. Apart from its culinary uses it is also known for its health benefits. In Kerala it is called by the name ‘Karuveppila‘
Mint India is the major producer of mint, such as Mentha arvensis .Mint plants are native to Europe and Asia. ‘Mentha’ is the scientific name of this herb. Mint leaves has been used since long for its wide array of health benefits.It is considered as one of the oldest and popular herb that is used around the world. Mint exists in many different varieties, each having its own distinct aroma and flavour. One of its widely used form is Peppermint. It is used as a natural seasoning and flavoring agent in many different foods and beverages.Mint Preferably with fish, bruschetta, tomatoes and salads. Any plant with the aromatic family ‘mentha’. The leaves are used to make essential oil or for seasoning and flavoring.
Coriander leaf from coriander plantIt is used as a fresh herbal spice . It has an excellent aroma and gives an essential oil.Coriander is known as Dhania in Indian Subcontinent and Cilantro in America and some parts of Europe. In Kerala, it is called by the name ‘malli’.
Coriander belongs to the herb family which is used all around the world as a garnish, condiment or as a decorating agent on culinary dishes. Dried or raw leaves and fruits of coriander is commonly used for culinary purpose due to its distinguished and pleasant aroma. Apart from its culinary uses, coriander leaves are famous for its health benefits. The nutritional components like oils, acids, minerals and vitamins can provide numerous health benefits.
Basil is most commonly used fresh, and in cooked recipes. is generally added at the last moment, as cooking destroys the flavor quickly. The fresh herb can be kept for a short time in plastic bags in the refrigerator, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water. Mediterranean and Thai cuisines frequently use basil, the former frequently combining it with tomato. Basil is one of the main ingredients in pesto.
Fish and fish sauces, even cold sauces. e.g. Mayonnaise of Chantilly Sauce. Like caraway, its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor many foods. such as gravad laks (pickled salmon), borscht and other soups and pickles. The seeds are also used to flavor pickles. Dill leaves must be used fresh, as they lose their flavor rapidly if dried: even freeze-dried dill leaves have very little flavor. It is thus necessary to grow a supply of plants. rather than store the leaves.
Thyme is often used to flavor meats, soups and stews. It is used in French cuisine. where it is an important element in a bouquet gami, as well as in Herbes de Provence. It is also widely used in Caribbean cuisine. In Jordan the condiment zahtar contains thyme as vital ingredient.
Pizza and tomato sauces. Aromatic. warm and slightly bitter. Oregano largely varies in intensity: good quality is so strong that it almost numbs the tongue. but the cultivars adapted to colder climates have often unsatisfactory flavor. Oregano can effectively combined with pickled olives and capers or lovage leaves; other than most Italian herbs. oregano harmonizes even with hot and spicy food. as is popular in Southern Italy. The cuisines of other Mediterranean countries make less use of it. but it is of some importance for Spanish: French and Greek cooking.
Parsley : With everything. In parts of Europe, and particularly in West Asia: many foods are served with chopped parsley sprinkled on top. The fresh flavor of parsley goes extremely well with fish. Parsley is essential to several West Asian salads. e.g. tabbouleh which is the national dish of Lebanon. In Southern and Central Europe, parsley is part of bouquet gami, a bundle of fresh herbs used to flavor stocks, soups and sauces.
Rosemary : Preferably with roast chicken. The fresh and dried leaves are used frequently in traditional Mediterranean cuisine as a herb: a tisane can also be made from them. Rosemary can be added as an unusual extra flavoring in lemonade.
Sage :Veal Saltimbocca. Rabbit. Parma Ham. As a herb, sage is considered to have a slight peppery flavor. In Western cooking. it is used for flavoring fatty meats (especially as a marinade), cheeses, and some drinks. In Britain and Flanders. sage is used with onion for poultry or pork stuffing and also in sauces. In French cuisine, sage is used for cooking white meat and in vegetable soups. Germans often use it in sausage dishes. Sage is also common in Italian cooking. In the Balkans and the Middle East: it is used when roasting mutton.
Tarragon :Egg, fish and poultry dishes, savory butters. salads and vegetables. Tarragon has a spicy flavor reminiscent of anise. French tarragon is the variety generally considered best for the kitchen. It cannot be grown from seed. Russian tarragon can be grown from seed but is much weaker in flavor.