Jain World
Sub-Categories of Passions
The Vegetarian Way
Dride Beans, Peas and Lentils
Bitter Melon  (Karela nu shak)
Stuffed Bread with Dal Filling
Spongy Cheese Balls in Syrup

Chapter-1 : The Vegetarian Way


Spices & Herbs

           Known the world over as the �Home of Spices,� India has for centuries shared with the world a cornucopia of spices and condiments, thus enriching the ream of the culinary art with this invaluable gift. Long before the rise of the Greek and Roman Empires,. Ships carried Indian spices to Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt.

        Merchants from far away lands, plying the trade routes of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, thronged the market placeless, discovering, sampling and buying the various spices.  Back in their homeland, the variety of the spices from the strange lands, used primarily as a means of preserving foods from spoilage, were put together in ever-varying combinations to tantalize the tastebuds and entice with heady, exotic fragrances and perfumes.  These concoctions and potions were greatly desired by the nobles and aristocrats.  High-ranking officials made sure that their storehouses were well stocked with condiments and were willing to spend fortunes to do so.  In this way the need and demands for the spices grew greater and greater.  Gradually,. The fame of Indian spices tr4avelled far and wide luring many seafarers to the shores of India, making India the world�s major producer and exporter of the spices.

           Thus, the fascinating history of spices became a story of adventure, exploration, expedition and competition.

           Once a royal luxury, it now became everyone�s necessity.  So today�s spices, or racks, in jars and all manner of simple and fancy containers, is a common sight on the shelves of every kitchen.  With growing awareness of the factors contributing to the state of one�s health, people are paying more attention to the kind of food they are giving their bodies, and want to know more about their effects and merits.  Spices are becoming popular and readily available, and more people are utilizing them in their daily cooking.  So I have given a brief description and uses of each spice to provide a general background for the interest and welfare of the readers.  Even those on salt-restricted diets need not feel deprived of flavorful meals when spices are judicially combined in the preparation of the dishes.

          Altogether there are about 70 spices grown in different parts of the world.  But as it would be cumbersome to include all of them, only those spices used in the recipes given in this book are described for the benefit of the cook.

        Spices are comprised of different plant components or parts such as roots (horse-radish, leverage, etc.) or rhizomes (ginger, turmeric, etc.) or bark (cinnamon) or leaves (bay leaves, sage, etc.) or bulbs (garlic, onion, etc.)  or seeds (cumin, poppy, fennel, caraway,etc.) or berries (black pepper, all-spice) or kernel (nutmeg) or aril (mace) or floral parts (cloves saffron, etc.) or fruits (cardamom, tamarind, etc.)

         Spices impart aroma and add zest to the flopped, making the insipid dish desirable and palatable.  Their innumerable uses in the kitchen are surely amazing.  They are sometimes used as preservatives (especially useful when there were no refrigerators), for example, as with cloves which contain chemical; called Eugene; that kills bacteria.  Many spices also have medicinal; properties useful for luring illnesses and correcting many health problems.  Spices are also used top activate the secretion of saliva in the mouth.  Saliva is rich ptyalin-an enzyme possessing the property of converting starch into dextrin and maltose (which are simple sugars) causing the foods high in carbohydrates to digest more easily.

          Thus, when the nature and uses of the spices and condiments are discovered and known, it inspires and encourages incorporating them creatively in one�s daily cooking.

Happiness By the Cupful

          A heaping cup of happiness,                A level cup of wisdom,

         2 of love and caring,                             1 of artful living,

         1 of understanding                                1 of thoughtful insight,

         1 of joyful sharing,                                 1 of selfless giving,