Asafoetida imparts a deep aroma and a leek-like flavour to dishes. It is most often used with lentils to aid digestion and reduce flatulence,
Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in slow cooking for their distinctive bitter flavour and fragrance.
Black-eyed peas are creamy white in colour and have a black mark on their inner curve. They have a subtle, nutty aroma and a rich creamy taste that is slightly earthy.
One of the more common legumes used in Indian cooking. The product sold as black lentil is usually the whole urad bean, whereas the skinned and split bean, which has a white interior, is called the white lentil.
Black mustard seeds are usually fried quickly in oil to give a hot and spicy flavour once the seeds have popped. When fried, the taste is nutty rather than fiery.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.
Carom seeds, or ajwain, belong to the cumin and parsley family. They are tiny, erect and oval-shaped with a sharp and penetrating taste. They are used to flavour oil used in dal dishes.
This masala is used to sprinkle over snacks, vegetables, fruit and into drinks.
Chickpea flour, or gram flour, is gluten-free flour used in the preparation of several sweet and savoury snacks.
Chickpeas are used in snacks, salads and dals. They are the basic ingredient in besan, a gluten-free flour used extensively in Indian cuisine. Some of our favourite recipes in this book feature chickpeas, or besan.
This green chilli pickle, hari mirch ka achaar is hot and intensely chilli flavoured. It is cooked largely in the sun, with lemon juice, salt and spices.
Chillies are synonymous with Indian food. You don't necessarily have to overdo it - and have your eyes streaming and be drenched in perspiration - but, without some chilli, dishes seem incomplete.