A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems from plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Sometimes, spices may be ground into a powder for convenience. Many spices have antimicrobial properties.
Clove is the dried bud of the flower from the tree Syzygium aromaticum. It belongs to the plant family Myrtaceae.It is the sweet and warming spice called Laung in India. Cloves are a popular flavouring agents used in a variety of ways across the world. Cloves are about 1/2-inch long and 1/4-inch in diameter and with their tapered stem. Dried cloves are brown, hard and nail like in shape, it is used as a spice, in whole and powder form. They are not only used as a spice and condiment, but also as medicines for any ailments. Ayurvedic medicine used clove for tooth decay, halitosis, and bad breath. With one clove intake, you carry in essential minerals calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium along with healthy fibres and vitamins k.
Elettaria cardamomum or Cardamom is a member of the family Zingibaraceae, sometimes known as the ‘queen of spices’, also called Elaichi. They are found in the form of a small pod with black seeds inside. Both seeds and pod give a pleasant aroma and flavour. This spice is classified into three varieties green, white or black. They are used as a flavouring agent in Indian cuisines. Its use is just not limited to hot and spicy dishes; the seeds are also added in desserts and beverages to enhance the sweet flavour. Cardamom powder is also widely used in Indian sweet dishes, vegetables and other richly flavoured dishes. Cardamom helps to aid in digestive problems as well as is consumed as a mouth freshener. These aromatic pods are rich in many vital vitamins, minerals like potassium, iron, manganese all are essential for optimum health..
Cumin seeds are more popular in the Indian kitchen households as ZEERA or Jeera found in every single kitchen without a doubt. Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum Cyminum, a member of the parsley family. These seeds are the unsung heroes of the spice world, which is used to perk up everything from Persian stews to Indian rice dishes, Mexican beans, soups and even beverages. These light yellowish brown colored seed, oblong shaped with ridges, and measures 3 to 6 mm long. Its flavour is peppery and penetrating, thus making it widely used spice throughout India. Packed within a hard cover is the rich benefit of vitamin B1 and contains iron, mineral, and manganese. It’s not only used as a strong pungent aroma but also serves of medicinal purposes.
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Fennel seeds or Saunf are the aromatic seeds of sweet or bitter fennel that have some crispy and sugary tasting range from pale yellow brown to green in colour with fine vertical stripes over their surface. Fennel seeds are one of the most sought after ingredient in many popular cuisines and accepted widely all across the globe. It’s an age old Indian remedy to keep the mouth fresh and breathe smelling sweet. Fennel bulbs are nutritionally high in potassium, Vitamins A and C and calcium, vitamin B-6. It’s not only used as a spice for beverages and veggie preparation and post meal refreshment but also possesses some medicinal benefits and health benefits...
Sesame seed comes from the Botanical family of “Sesame Indium”, with a crunchy texture and a nutty taste, they are added to many dishes for the extra supplement, and as are obtained in a variety of hues like black, red, and yellow, ivory. Sesame is generally acknowledge as ‘TIL’ in India and is considered as one of the multipurpose seed having incredible nutritional value. Use of sesame seeds is quintessential to Indian cuisine. These seeds are not only used in snacks but also used in vegetables preparations also. Every bit of its intake is enriched with iron, rich fibre, healthy proteins, potassium, and vitamin C and lots of advantageous characteristics.
Bishops weed is an annual herb in the family apicasesa, scientifically known as Aegopodium podagraria. The small yellowish brown to greyish green seed of Ajwain (also known as carom seeds), oval in shape with ridges structure along with strong thyme with a slightly bitter and pungent taste. It is just a tiny shrub that always has approximately 12 blooms from which the seeds are taken out. This seeds are used as a flavour modifier in Indian cuisine mostly it is used in vegetable dishes and homemade pickles. It is well known seed for instant remedy for stomach-ache. The seeds, oil, flower and extract are used as medicine for various diseases. These seeds are a rich source of fibre, anti oxidants, minerals and vitamins..
Trigonella Foenum-Graecum, or Fenugreek is the small, hard mustard yellow seeds with tangy and bitter flavour. Fenugreek leaves are used as an herb and the seeds as a spice. It’s also termed as METHI which have a special place in the spice rack of Indian kitchen. Fenugreek seeds are gvery small seeds but have lots of health benefits which are used for years as medicinal, therapeutic and natural home remedies. Every bit of its intake is enriched with iron, fibre, healthy proteins, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6.It is an essential part of Indian spices and used in food not only for enhancing the taste of food , but it also provides some prevention health benefits.
Black cumin seeds belong to the family Ranunculaceae and known scientifically as Nigella Sativa. Kalonji is obtained from black cumin fruits that contain numerous seeds. Nigella is widely used as a spice in cuisines, because of its pungent and bitter taste in the entire world. It adds a beautiful aroma and a hint of flavour in dishes and is a vital ingredient in homemade pickles and chutneys. It has been used in ayurvedic treatments since ancient times and used as an herbal remedy for various ailments. It cures constipation and gas troubles. The seeds are also used in making oil and Kalonji oil is equally good as kalonji. Flavour and aroma aside, the tiny black seeds come with a whole lot of health benefits. It’s loaded with the trace elements vitamins, proteins, like iron, potassium, calcium.
Mace is evergreen tree belonging to Myristicaceae family, and known scientifically as Myristica fragrans. It’s also called Javitri In India. Mace is a bright crimson lace up to 35 mm (1-1/2 in) long, encasing the brown nutmeg in irregular, fleshy lobes, used as a common ingredient in Indian cuisine. This warm, sharp, aromatic spice is used both for savoury as well as sweet dishes as a flavour enhancer. As it is dried, it develops its characteristic aroma but loses its bright red colour. Mace is highly nutritious and extremely rich in protein and fibre. Besides, there are plenty of health benefits that make mace a significant spice to be stored in the kitchen cabinet. It contains some of the anti oxidants compound, vitamins and minerals as well as rich source of iron, calcium, copper and magnesium.
Brassica Juncea or Mustard seeds are the small fruit pods obtained from mustard plant, belonging to Brassica family. It is available in white, brown and black varieties and used by people in all over the world. The black seeds are pungent and they are difficult to harvest, while white seeds are milder. Black and brown seeds are widely used in Indian cuisine. When fried, the black and brown seeds are much more penetrating than white variety. It is used as a condiment in food at regions all over the world. Mustard seeds are very popular for their pungent aroma and are almost a part of their daily diet. Most of the Indian dishes are tempered using mustard seeds. Its split is used in making pickles etc. They are also loaded with several health promoting properties. Mustard seeds are an excellent source of antioxidants and minerals like iron, calcium, copper, zinc along with vitamins A, C and K.
Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree belonging to Myristicaceae family, and known scientifically as Myristica fragrans, roughly egg shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1.2 in) long as well as 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) broad, Nutmeg is a delicate, slightly sweet spice that is widely used in cuisines around the world, which is also known as Javitri. Pleasantly aromatic, nutmeg is actually seed kernel of fruit-nutmeg. Centrally situated oval shaped hard kernel popular as "nutmeg spice." A dusting of nutmeg adds aroma and enhances the taste of your food. This spice generally is a rich source of copper, potassium, manganese, zinc as well as rich minerals and vitamin A, B, C.