Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Spice Box

Last week, I challenged myself to cook Indian food everyday for a week. Why?
  1. I love Indian food.
  2. My husband is half Indian and grew up eating delicious curry dishes made by his mom.
  3. I wanted to learn how to incorporate a variety of spices into my cooking
  4. Since I had to buy several new spices, I wanted to make it worthwhile by using them for several dishes at least.
As a starter, I followed recipes exactly from my cookbook. Most of the dishes turned out just okay, not great. The best way to describe them was 'something is missing...', so I'm not ready to post any recipe here on my blog yet. I think I can do better now that I've tried different recipes and have a better understanding of the flavors of spices. Maybe I'll have another week of Indian food between holidays...

When I visited my Indian friend a while ago, I saw her using a beautiful spice box to store all of her basic spices. Since she uses so many different kinds of spices in one dish, I thought it was really practical that she didn't have to open and close spice jars for each spice. The spice box has always been in the back of my mind, so I finally got one for myself!

As I expected, it is very handy! The fact that I have most (not all) of my spices in one container and don't have to open/close each spice jar makes this spice box very practical. I'm sure this is probably a standard kitchen item among Indian families...

I put cumin seed (center), then clock wise from a red one; chili powder, turmeric, mustard seeds, onion seeds, cumin, garam masala.

I don't know if there is some kind of standard to which seven spices go into a box. I'm thinking about buying another one to create my Italian cooking spice box as well.