Spice Route

Spice Route: Vanilla 

3 Jun , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL Vanilla

There was a time in India when vanilla was the only flavour we knew of in ice cream or cakes.  In our naivete, we imagined the store-bought vanilla essence to be the real thing. It was only many years later that we realised that the real vanilla came out of a pod and not out […]

Spice Route

Spice Route: Cloves 

17 May , 2015  

FDL featured cloves

Cloves are like a famous house guest; no introduction required. Not only are they a staple ingredient in many Asian, African and Middle Eastern dishes, they are also used in perfumes (because of their heady smell), traditional Chinese and Indian medicines and even as flavours in cigarettes.  Cloves are flower buds harvested from trees in […]

Spice Route, Spices

Spice Route: Star Anise 

2 May , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL Star Anise

If ever there was a spice that would win a beauty contest hands down, that would be star anise. No other spice comes even remotely close. Any aspiring food photographer knows that, in order to make a biriyani look appetising and attractive, he only has to scatter some star anise around it. That perfect star […]

Spice Route, Spices

Spice Route: Cardamom 

26 Apr , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL cardamom spice

In Salman Rushdie’s famous book, ” The Moor’s last Sigh”, the narrator says,”–we were ‘not so much sub-continent as sub-condiment’, as my distinguished mother had it. ‘From the beginning, what the world wanted from——–mother India was daylight-clear,’ she’d say. ‘They came for the hot stuff——‘” History repeatedly corroborates the fact that cardamom too was one of […]


Spice Route: Nutmeg

23 Apr , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL nutmeg

Nutmeg is rarely the star of most recipes; it is more often used to enhance flavour, to add a tinge of the exotic to an otherwise simple meal. But, what many don’t know is that nutmeg was the star, or rather the reason for a war that the Dutch in the 17th century fought against the […]

General, Recipes, Spices

6 Recipes with Cinnamon For A Rainy Day

15 Apr , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL Cinnamon Recipes

We in India have long been blindly adding cinnamon in some form or the other to our cooking. It’s mostly mixed in the garam masala, so we don’t even know it’s there. It’s tossed as a whole spice into biriyani, it’s used to flavour tea. But it needed the West to tell us about the […]

Spice Route, Spices

Spice Route: Cinnamon

13 Apr , 2015  

Featured Image for FDL Cinnamon

Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, aka cinnamon. The very mention of the name is enough to set me all misty-eyed and wistful, recalling a childhood spent in Trivandrum, redolent with the smell of wild cinnamon leaves, vayana ila in Malayalam. There was a very artistic looking sweet made using these leaves as a wrapping. Raw rice flour, jaggery, […]

Recipes, Spices

5 Gourmet Recipes with Saffron Threads

21 Mar , 2015  

Spin Away

Saffron is undoubtedly the most expensive spice in the world. And as exciting and intriguing it is to cook with this fabulous ingredient, it can also be a tad petrifying. You wouldn’t want to waste a single thread of this ingredient now, would you? What’s your solution? Find great recipes which are worthy of the […]


7 Exquisite Spices That Only the Gourmet Would Identify

2 Mar , 2015  

Behind every exquisite dish is an exquisite spice

Spices are the eternal temptresses. It was the lure of the spice that brought the Europeans to India, first as traders and then as conquerors. Right down to the present day, any chef/cook worth his salt knows that it’s the judicious use of spices that gives a dish its ‘signature’ touch; it is the combination […]

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