Spices are the defining characteristic of the Indian taste. For most of us, our first taste of Indian Cuisine is the curry. Curry spices vary from region to region, but are generally based around chilli, coriander, cumin, pepper and the cinnamon/anise flavours. Desserts also contain spices including cardamom and cinnamon.
Rice is a staple crop of India, and is present somewhere in most meals served in Indian restaurants. The most popular form of rice used in India is basmati rice. Rice is usually steamed in a covered pan, or chatti: see our guide on how to cook rice for an authentic method of achieving the perfect, fluffy Indian rice.
There are a great many vegetarians in India: roughly 400 million according to a recent survey. For most of these people, pulses are the primary source of protein. Lentils are the most popular pulse in India, followed by mung beans.
Pistachios are used in a similar manner to almonds in decorating Indian desserts. They are also crushed and used in lassi and used to make pistachio ice cream. We sell the unsalted pistachios which are required for this purpose.
Chickpeas are most commonly known as gram in India, and are usually ground and used in poppadums, pancakes, bhajis, pakoras and seos (the noodley bits from Bombay mix). Chickpeas are also eaten whole, both in curries, and roasted on their own.
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