Sula’s Kitchen: Spices Explained Intro

Indian Spices Vancouver Sula Indian Restaurant

Vancouver’s Commercial Drive is Foodie Heaven.  You’re able to grab a perfect cup of Italian espresso on one end then walk to the other and pass by cuisine possibilities from all over the world.  Encountering endless cuisine possibilities within a short distance is one of the reason’s  why we decided to open Sula Indian Restaurant along Commercial.

Whether you’re interested in something that’s from South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, or parts of Europe, spices (several different kinds in fact) are the common thread. Every cuisine type has a history entrenched in its culture of how a dish is prepared, when it’s often made for and a feeling it’s often associated with. Even the very basic spices, salt and pepper, have a distinct personal association for many.

From left to right:

First row: Cumin, Coriander seeds, Green Cardamon and Fenugreek

Second Row: bay leaves, black pepper, cloves, star anise, black cardamon

Third row: Cinnamon, Turmeric, Black Salt and Kashmiri Red Chillies

When it comes to Indian cuisine, for example, the types of spices, their preparation and how/when they’re applied varies from dish to dish and preference to preference.  To be honest, sometimes the easiest thing to do if you’re trying your hand at making your favorite curry or rice preparation at home is to cheat with the prepared spice compound found at any store. I actually remember a time when eating lunch at an Indian restaurant years ago I asked the chef what he used to make my dish, he replied, “many secret spices.” For a long time afterward, I assumed that what made some of my favorite curries amazing was a set of secrets known only by experienced Indian chefs.

So, in an attempt to step away from the “oh so easy spice kits” and to start using some of my spice collection properly, we will be profiling a different type of spice commonly used in Indian cooking each weekend for the next couple of months with a great recipe to go with.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts featuring: Turmeric, Yellow Pepper, Black Cardamom, Black Cumin, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Garam Masala, Ginger, Black Salt, Mint, Mustard Seed, Nutmeg and Star Anise.


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