Asian cuisine is a wonderful blend of the traditional and the modern. It is visually appealing and delicious too, with its myriad flavours that you can savour with each mouthful. Having gained in popularity worldwide, authentic Asian food is easily accessible across the globe today. This cuisine caters to vegetarians too with a host of delicious herbivore creations on offer.
The hallmark of Asian vegetarian recipes is the use of wonderful spices that help bring out the flavours of the other ingredients so perfectly. This also makes Asian cuisine so tempting and irresistible. The fragrant spices commonly available in Asian households and used to add an interesting dimension to these recipes are:
Green cardamom pods are frequently incorporated in Asian dishes. They can be gently bruised to release their delicious aroma before adding them to the cooking pot. Alternately, powdered cardamom can also be used as it is equally fragrant. For this, the tiny seeds from inside the cardamom pod are removed and then ground in a mortar and pestle. Ground cardamom is popularly used to flavour beverages. Cardamom pods are often used as mouth fresheners too. Another larger variety having great depth of flavour is black cardamom.
There are many chilli varieties available emitting varied levels of heat. Depending on the degree of pungency you wish your vegetarian dish to have, you can either use chilli flakes, red chilli powder, fresh green chillies or whole dried red chillies. The amount you add is based on the level of spiciness one can tolerate. For just a hint of heat in the recipe, use chillies in moderation. While using the fresh green ones or the whole dried red chillies, removing the seeds from within before adding them to your cooking pot will help tone down the pungent element to a great extent.
Whole peppercorns are generally ideal flavouring agents for stocks and gravy dishes that involve a slower cooking process. Both black and white peppercorns are available though the former is more commonly used. When you want to incorporate pepper in its powdered form, it is better to freshly crack and grind the peppercorns to prevent them from losing their pungency.
These perfumed sticks also known as cinnamon quills lend immense warmth and comfort to Asian vegetarian recipes. Cinnamon sticks are commonly used in savoury dishes as they are delicately aromatic. Ground cinnamon is often added to desserts, cakes, and beverages.
Fragrant Coriander Seeds
This spice adds a welcome punch to your vegetarian treat with its intense aroma and delightful flavour. To make coriander powder, one should first lightly toast the seeds and then crush them to release their essential oils.
The wide array of delectable vegetarian fare that Asian cuisines offer, often tempt even the hardcore carnivores.