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Herbs & Spices








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Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, Kurundu, Myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice, is a spice which is the dried unripe fruit ("berries") ofPimenta dioica,
a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world.[2] The name "allspice"
was coined as early as 1621 by the English, who thought it combined the flavour of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.Anise (Pimpinella anisum, also anís (stressed
on the second syllable) and aniseed) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia known for its
flavor that resembles liquorice, fennel, and tarragon.












Anis, (Pimpinella anisum, also anís (stressed on the second syllable) and aniseed) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwest Asia known for its flavor that resembles liquoricefennel, and tarragon.















Basil (Ocimum basilicum) (pronounced /ˈbæzəl/ or /ˈbeɪzəl/), of the Family Lamiaceae (mints), is a tender low-growing herb. Basil is a culinary herb 
prominently featured in Italian cuisine, and also plays a major role in the Southeast Asian cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam,Cambodia, and Laos. The plant 
tastes somewhat like anise, with a strong, pungent, sweet smell. There are many varieties of basil. That which is used in Italian food is typically called 
sweet basil, as opposed to Thai basil, lemon basil and holy basil, which are used in Asia. While most common varieties of basil are treated as annuals, 
some are perennial in warm, tropical climates, including African Blue and Holy Thai basil. Basil is originally native to Iran, India and other tropical 
regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years
















Bay leaf (plural bay leaves) refers to the aromatic leaf of the Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis, Lauraceae). Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for 
their distinctive flavor and fragrance[where?]. The leaves are often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean Cuisine. The fresh 
leaves are very mild and do not develop their full flavor until several weeks after picking and drying.














Brassica nigra (black mustard) is an annual weedy plant cultivated for its seeds, which are commonly used as a spice.The plant is believed to be native 
to the southern Mediterranean region of Europe, and has been cultivated for thousands of years.The spice is generally made from ground seeds of the plant, 
with the seed coats removed. The small (1 mm) seeds are hard and vary in color from dark brown to black. They are flavorful, although they have almost no 
aroma. The seeds are commonly used in Indian cuisine, for example in curry, where it is known as 'rai'. The seeds are usually thrown into hot oil or ghee 
after which they pop, releasing a characteristic 'nutty' flavor. The seeds have a significant amount of fatty oil. This oil is used often as cooking oil 
in India.In Ethiopia, where is it cultivated as a vegetable in Gondar, Harar and Shewa, the shoots and leaves are consumed cooked and the seeds used as 
a spice. Its Amharic name is Senafitch.







Caraway or Persian cumin (Carum carvi) is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to western AsiaEurope and Northern Africa. The plant is similar in appearance to a carrot plant, with finely divided, feathery leaves with thread-like divisions, growing on 20–30 cm stems. The mainflower stem is 40–60 cm tall, with small white or pink flowers in umbels. Caraway fruits (erroneously called seeds) are crescent-shaped achenes, around 2 mm long, with five pale ridges. The plant prefers warm, sunny locations and well-drained soil.














The name cardamom is used for herbs within two genera of the ginger family Zingiberaceae, namely Elettaria and Amomum. Both varieties take the form of a small seedpod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Elettaria pods are light green in color, while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.The two main genera of the ginger family that are named as forms of cardamom are distributed as follows:
  • Elettaria (commonly called cardamom, green cardamom, or true cardamom) is distributed from India to Malaysia.
  • Amomum (commonly known as black cardamom(沙仁), brown cardamom, Kravan, Java cardamom, Bengal cardamom, Siamese cardamom, white or red cardamom) is distributed mainly in Asia and Australia.

The Sanskrit name for cardamom is "elā" or "truṭī." In Urdu/Hindi/Gujarati and some Southern Indian languages, it is called "elaichi" or "elchi." InMalayalam, it is "Aelam". In Telugu & Tamil, it is "elakkai" and in Kannada it is "yelakki". There were initially three natural varieties of cardamom plants.

  1. Malabar (Nadan/Native) - As the name suggests, this is the native variety of Kerala. These plants have pannicles which grow horizontally along the ground.
  2. Mysore - As the name suggests, this is a native variety of Karnataka. These plants have pannicles which grow vertically upwards.
  3. Vazhuka - This is a naturally occurring hybrid between Malabar and Mysore varieties, and the pannicles grow neither vertically nor horizontally, but in between.




Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are the smallest species of the onion family[1] Alliaceae, native to Europe, Asia and North America. They are referred to only 
in the plural, because they grow in clumps rather than as individual plants. Allium schoenoprasum is also the only species of Alliumnative to both the New and the 
Old World. Its species name derives from the Greek skhoinos (sedge) and prason (onion).[3] Its English name, chive, derives from the French word cive, which 
was derived from cepa, the Latin word for onion. Culinary uses for chives involve shredding its leaves (straws) for use as condiment for fish, potatoes and soups. 
Because of this, it is a common household herb, frequent in gardens as well as in grocery stores. It also has insect-repelling properties which can be used in gardens 
to control pests.














Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as cilantro, particularly in the Americas. Coriander is native to southern 
Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to 50 cm [20 in.] tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base 
of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in small umbels, white or very pale pink, asymmetrical, with the petals 
pointing away from the centre of the umbel longer (5-6 mm) than those pointing towards it (only 1-3 mm long). The fruit is a globular dry schizocarp 3-5 mm diameter.











The name cinnamon comes from Greek kinnámōmon, itself ultimately from Phoenician. The botanical name for the spice—Cinnamomum zeylanicum—is derived from Sri Lanka's former (colonial) name, Ceylon. InTelugu, it is called Dalchina Chakka, Chakka meaning bark or wood. In Indonesia, where it is cultivated in Java and Sumatra, it is called kayu manisand sometimes cassia vera, the "real' cassia.[3] In Sri Lanka, in the original Sinhala, cinnamon is known as kurundu,[4] recorded in English in the 17th century as Korundam and in Tamil it is known as karuvappattai. In Sanskrit cinnamon is known as tvak or dārusitā. In Urdu, Hindi, and Hindustani cinnamon is called darchini, in Assamese it is called alseni, and in Gujarati taj. In Farsi (Persian), it is called darchin. In Arabic it is called qerfa.









Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum, syn. Eugenia aromaticum or Eugenia caryophyllata) are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the familyMyrtaceae. Cloves are native to Indonesia and India and used as a spice in cuisine all over the world. The English name derives from Latin clavus 'nail' (also origin of French clou 'nail') as the buds vaguely resemble small irregular nails in shape. Cloves are harvested primarily in Indonesia, Madagascar,Zanzibar, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka; it is also grown in India under the name Lavang, called "lavanga" (లవంగ) in Telugu. In Vietnam, it is called đinh hương. The clove tree is an evergreen which grows to a height ranging from 10-20 m,  having large oval leaves and crimson flowers in numerous groups of terminal clusters. The flower buds are at first of a pale color and gradually become green, after which they develop into a bright red, when they are ready for collecting. Cloves are harvested when 1.5-2 cm long, and consist of a long calyx, terminating in four spreading sepals, and four unopened petals which form a small ball in the centre.












Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum) depending on whether the petioles (stalks) or roots are eaten.














Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, a member of the parsley family. The cumin plant grows to 30-50 cm (1-2 ft) tall and is harvested by hand.

Cumin seeds resemble caraway seeds, being oblong in shape, longitudinally ridged, and yellow-brown in colour, like other members of the Umbelliferae family such as caraway, parsley and dill. Cumin has been in use since ancient times. Seeds, excavated at the Syrian site Tell ed-Der, have been dated to the second millennium BC. They have also been reported from several New Kingdom levels of ancient Egyptian archaeological sites.Originally cultivated in Iran and Mediterranean region, cumin is mentioned in the Bible in both the Old Testament (Isaiah 28:27) and the New Testament(Matthew 23:23). It was also known in ancient Greece and Rome. The Greeks kept cumin at the dining table in its own container (much as pepper is frequently kept today), and this practice continues in Morocco. Cumin fell out of favour in Europe except in Spain and Malta during the Middle Ages. It was introduced to the Americas by Spanish colonists. Since returned to favour in parts of Europe, today it is mostly grown in IranUzbekistanTajikistanTurkeyMoroccoEgyptIndia, Syria, Mexico, and Chile.






Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), (also known as Tamil: சோம்பு, Sombu or Perunjeeragam) and known as saunf in Hindi is a plant species in the genus Foeniculum (treated as the sole species in the genus by most botanists). It is a member of the blunden family Apiaceae (formerly the Umbelliferae). It is a hardy, perennialumbelliferous herb, with yellow flowers and feathery leaves. It is generally considered indigenous to the shores of theMediterranean, but has become widely naturalised elsewhere (particularly, it seems, areas colonized by the Romans[1]) and may now be found growing wild in many parts of the world, especially on dry soils near the sea-coast and on river-banks.

It is a highly aromatic and flavorful herb with culinary and medicinal uses, and is one of the primary ingredients of absintheFlorence fennel orfinocchio is a selection with a swollen, bulb-like stem base that is used as a vegetable.

Fennel is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including the Mouse Moth and the Anise Swallowtail. The word fennel developed from the Middle English fenel or fenyl, and is pronounced finocchio in Italian. This came from the Old English fenol or finol, which in turn came from the Latinfeniculum or foeniculum, the diminutive of fenum or faenum, meaning "hay". The Latin word for the plant was ferula, which is now used as the genus name of a related plant. As Old Englishfinule it is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century.

In Ancient Greek, fennel was called marathon (μάραθον), and is attested in Linear B tablets as ma-ra-tu-woJohn Chadwick notes that this word is the origin of the place name Marathon(meaning "place of fennel"), site of the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC; however, Chadwick wryly notes that he has "not seen any fennel growing there now". In Greek mythology,Prometheus used the stalk of a fennel plant to steal fire from the gods. Also, it was from the giant fennel, Ferula communis, that the Bacchanalian wands of the god Dionysus and his followers were said to have come.




Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. Its close relatives include the onionshallotleek, and chive. Garlic has been used throughout recorded history for both culinary and medicinal purposes. It has a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor that mellows and sweetens considerably with cooking.[1] A bulb of garlic, the most commonly used part of the plant, is divided into numerous fleshy sections calledclovesSingle clove garlic (also called Pearl garlic or Solo garlic) also exists—it originates in the Yunnan province of China. The cloves are used as seed, for consumption (raw or cooked), and for medicinal purposes. The leaves, stems (scape), and flowers (bulbils) on the head (spathe) are also edible and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. The papery, protective layers of "skin" over various parts of the plant and the roots attached to the bulb are the only parts not considered palatable.













The jalapeño (pronounced /ˌhaləˈpeɪnjoʊ//ˌhæləˈpeɪnjoʊ/; or /ˌhæləˈpiːnoʊ/Mexican pronunciation /halaˈpɛɲo/) is a medium- to large-sized chili pepperwhich is prized for its warm, burning sensation when eaten. Ripe, the jalapeño can be 2–3½ inches (5–9 cm) long and is commonly sold when still green. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum originating in Mexico. It is named after the town of Xalapa, Veracruz, where it was traditionally produced. 160 square kilometres are dedicated for the cultivation of jalapeños in Mexico alone, primarily in the Papaloapan river basin in the north of the state of Veracruz and in the Delicias, Chihuahua area. Jalapeños are also cultivated on smaller scales in JaliscoNayaritSonoraSinaloa andChiapas.

The jalapeño is known by different names throughout Mexico, such as huachinango, and chile gordo. The cuaresmeño very closely resembles the jalapeño in appearance, but the two are sold separately in Mexico. The seeds of a cuaresmeño have the heat of a jalapeño, but the flesh has a mild flavor closer to that of a green bell pepper.

As of 1999, 5,500 acres (22 km2) in the United States were dedicated to the cultivation of jalapeños. Most jalapeños were produced in southern New Mexico and western Texas.

Jalapeños are a pod type of Capsicum. The growing period for a jalapeño plant is 70–80 days. When mature, the plant stands two and a half to three feet tall. Typically, a single plant will produce twenty five to thirty five pods. During a growing period, a plant will be picked multiple times. As the growing season comes to an end, the jalapeños start to turn red.

Once picked, individual peppers ripen to red of their own accord. The peppers can be eaten green or red.

The jalapeño rates between 2,500 and 10,000 Scoville units in heat. In comparison with other chili peppers, the jalapeño has a heat level that varies from mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. The heat, which is caused by capsaicin and related compounds, is concentrated in the veins (placenta) surrounding the seeds, which are called picante. — deseeding and deveining can reduce the heat imparted to a recipe that includes jalapeños. They also have a distinct acidic taste. Handling fresh jalapeños may cause mild skin irritation in some individuals. Some handlers choose to wear latex or vinyl gloves while cutting, skinning, or seeding jalapeños.



Nutmeg or Myristica fragrans is an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia, or Spice Islands. Until the mid 19th century this was the world's only source. The nutmeg tree is important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.[1]

Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or arillus of the seed. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices.

Several other commercial products are also produced from the trees, including essential oils, extracted oleoresins, and nutmeg butter (see below).

The outer surface of the nutmeg bruises easily.

The pericarp (fruit/pod) is used in Grenada to make a jam called "Morne Delice". In Indonesia, the fruit is also made into jam, called selei buah pala, or sliced finely, cooked and crystallised to make a fragrant candy called manisan pala ("nutmeg sweets").

The most important species commercially is the Common or Fragrant Nutmeg Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands of Indonesia; it is also grown in Penang Island in Malaysia and the Caribbean, especially in Grenada. It also grows in Kerala, a state in the south part of India. Other species include Papuan Nutmeg M. argentea from New Guinea, and Bombay Nutmeg M. malabarica from India, called Jaiphal in Hindi; both are used asadulterants of M. fragrans products.



Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a bright green biennial herb, often used as spice. It is common in Middle EasternEuropean, and American cooking. Parsley is used for its leaf in much the same way as coriander(which is also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro), although parsley has a milder flavor.Two forms of parsley are used as herbs: curly leaf and Italian, or flat leaf (P. neapolitanum). Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. One of the compounds of the essential oil is apiol. The use of curly leaf parsley may be favored by some because it cannot be confused with poison hemlock, like flat leaf parsley or chervil.

Root parsley

Another type of parsley is grown as a root vegetable, as with hamburg root parsley (Petroselinum crispumvar. tuberosum). This type of parsley produces much thicker roots than types cultivated for their leaves. Although little known in Britain and the United States, root parsley is very common in Central and Eastern European cuisine, used in soups and stews. Parsley grows best between 72 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (22 to 30 degrees Celsius).

Though it looks similar to parsnip it tastes quite different. Parsnips are among the closest relatives of parsley in the umbellifer family of herbs. The similarity of the names is a coincidence, parsnip meaning "forked turnip"; it is not related to real turnips.





Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice andseasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is a small drupe approximately five millimetres in diameter, dark red when fully mature, containing a single seed. Peppercorns, and the powdered pepper derived from grinding them, may be described as black pepper, white pepper, green pepper, and very often simply pepper. The terms pink peppercornsred pepper (as in bell or chile), and green pepper (as in bell or chile) are also used to describe the fruits of other, unrelated plants. However, green peppercorns are simply the immature black peppercorns.

Black pepper is native to South India (Tamil:milagu, மிளகு; Kannada:meNasu, ಮೆಣಸು; Malayalam:kurumulaku, കുരുമുളക്; Telugu:miriyam, మిరియం; Konkani:miriya konu, Marathi: Miri मिरी) and is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Black pepper is also cultivated in the Coorg area of Karnataka.

Dried ground pepper is one of the most common spices in European cuisine and its descendants, having been known and prized since antiquity for both its flavor and its use as a medicine. The spiciness of black pepper is due to the chemical piperine. It may be found on nearly every dinner table in some parts of the world, often alongside table salt.

The word "pepper" is ultimately derived from the Sanskrit pippali, the word for long pepper[2] via the Latin piper which was used by the Romans to refer both to pepper and long pepper, as the Romans erroneously believed that both of these spices were derived from the same plant.[citation needed] The English word for pepper is derived from the Old English pipor. The Latin word is also the source of German PfefferFrench poivreDutch peper, and other similar forms. In the 16th century, pepper started referring to the unrelated New World chile peppers as well. "Pepper" was used in a figurative sense to mean "spirit" or "energy" at least as far back as the 1840s; in the early 20th century, this was shortened to pep.




White mustard (Sinapis alba) is an annual plant of the family Cruciferae. It is sometimes also referred to as Brassica alba or B hirta . Grown for its seeds, mustard, as fodder crop or as a green manure, it is now wide spread worldwide although it probably originated in the Mediterranean region. The yellow flowers of the plant produce hairy seed pods, with each pod containing roughly a half dozen seeds. These seeds are harvested just prior to the pods becoming ripe and bursting. White mustard seeds are hard round seeds, usually around 1 to 1.5 millimetres in diameter[1], with a color ranging from beige or yellow to light brown. They can be used whole for pickling or toasted for use in dishes. When ground and mixed with other ingredients, a paste or more standard condimentcan be produced.

The seeds contain sinalbin, which is a thioglycoside responsible for their pungent taste. White mustard has fewer volatile oils and the flavor is considered to be milder than that produced by black mustard seeds. The blooming season of this plant (February-March) is celebrated with the Mustard Festival, a series of festivities in the Wine Country of California (Napa and Sonoma counties).

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