a small mound of fenugreek seeds

fenugreek seeds

Fenugreek seeds are small, roughly angular, brownish yellow seeds, which have a pleasantly bitter flavour and strong aroma. They are used to temper vegetable and dal dishes to enhance the aroma and taste.

a jar of Eno fruit salts

fruit salt

Fruit salt has a similar effect to baking powder. It causes flours to rise and is used as a leavening agent in many recipes in this book.

a heap of garam masala

garam masala

Garam masala translates as ‘hot spice’ but a look at the ingredients would suggest something more savoury and subtle.

a bottle of gingelly oil

gingelly oil

Gingelly oil or til ka tel is an edible vegetable oil made from sesame seeds. It is used extensively in south Indian cuisine.

fresh ginger root, with a few sliced pieces


Fresh ginger has a tangy freshness, warmth, and a mellow sweetness. It can be a dominant flavour, notably in desserts, or it can work with other flavors. Many of the recipes in this book start with an onion, ginger and garlic paste.

a mound of ginger powder with a fresh root

ginger powder

Dried ginger powder is a fine off-white powder, which has a strong aroma and slightly pungent flavour. It is used mainly in north Indian cuisine.

a blocki of jaggery, with some shaved pieces at the side


Jaggery is an unrefined brown sugar made from sugar cane, It adds sweetness, colour and aroma to many of the dishes in the cookbook.

a heap of Kashmiri chilli powder

Kashmiri chilli powder

Kashmiri chilli powder is mildly hot, has a distinct flavour, and it adds a bright red colour to food.

A pile of dried kashmiri chillies with some powdered chilli in background

Kashmiri chillies

The Kashmiri chilli is mildly hot, has a distinct flavor, and it adds a bright red color to food.

a small mound of blades of mace


Mace is the crimson or bright red coloured spice  taken from the second membrane covering the seed of the nutmeg fruit.

a small mound of mung beans

mung beans

Mung beans are a most versatile product. They are eaten whole, sprouted, split with the skins on and split with the skins removed.

a small mound of nigella seeds

nigella seeds

Nigella seeds are tiny black seeds with a slightly bitter taste and some of the pungency of onion