With Martin’s focus on local, fresh, seasonal produce, you can be sure all of the ingredients in our dishes are pure. We make everything–yes, everything–from scratch. Even the spices are ground daily. Martin has taken such care to develop unique and authentic curries that only the finest ingredients measure up to his recipes.
What makes for an authentic curry recipe?
There is nothing like curry! Take onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, cumin, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and numerous other spices layered in some permutation, and you can get thousands of authentic curry recipes. Several countries, including England, India, Jamaica, Japan and Thailand, have their own curries. Many a grandmother has her own. At Martin’s Curry Rice, we help you create your own.
INDIAN SPICES – Spices are the essence of Indian and many other types of cuisine. They also offer myriad health benefits and some have medicinal uses. We grind our spices daily to prepare Martin’s unique sauces every day as well. Read on to learn more about the tastes and properties of these spices:
Turmeric – Distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot pepper flavor and a mustard-like smell.
Culinary uses: Apples sautéed in butter, steamed cauliflower or potatoes, on green beans and onions. Complements any recipe that features lentils.
Medicinal uses: anti-inflammatory agent, remedy for gastrointestinal discomfort and other digestive disorders, antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises. Currently being investigated for benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis and other clinical disorders.
Star anise – Closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pod.
Culinary uses: Enhances the flavor of meat. Widely used in Chinese, Malay and Indonesian cuisines. An ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. In Indian cuisine, it is a major component of garam masala and is an ingredient of masala chai.
Medicinal uses: Remedy for rheumatism and aids digestion. Modern studies demonstrate that it possesses antimicrobial, antioxidant, insecticidal, analgesic, sedative and convulsive properties. Major source of shikimic acid, a primary ingredient in the antiflu drug Tamiflu.
Mustard seeds, black or brown – Tiny with a slightly reddish hue to some seeds, with a spicy, aromatic, rustic taste and fragrance.
Culinary uses: Used in Indian cooking and the most pungent of all mustard seeds.
Medicinal uses: Related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and contains the same phytonutrients that make these vegetables so healthy. Contains selenium, magnesium and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Stimulates the appetite by increasing salivation by up to eight times and has digestive, laxative, antiseptic and circulative stimulant properties.
Cinnamon - Obtained from the inner bark of several types of trees.Culinary uses in both sweet and savory foods. Cinnamon trees are native to South East Asia. A number of species are often sold as cinnamon: -”True cinnamon” Sri Lanka cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon Korintje or Indonesian cinnamon -Saigon cinnamon or Vietnamese cinnamon -Cassia or Chinese cinnamon.
Medicinal uses: High in antioxidant activity. Contains antimicrobial properties, can aid in the preservation of certain foods. Helps boost cognitive function and memory, treats rheumatism, helps with digestion and relieving certain menstrual disorders. Inhibits bacterial growth and food spoilage, making it a natural food preservative.
Recommended in a more current use: to help curb the urge for tobacco. The National Institute of Health recommends chewing cinnamon sticks when trying to quit the use of tobacco.
Coriander – In American culinary usage, the fruits (seeds) are generally referred to as coriander, the leaves as cilantro. The seeds have a lemony citrus flavor when crushed. It is described as warm, nutty, spicy and orange-flavored.
Culinary uses: Coriander seed is a spice in garam masala and Indian curries, which often employ the ground fruits in generous amounts together with cumin.
Medicinal uses: Contains antioxidants and can delay or prevent the spoilage of food. Used for the relief of anxiety and insomnia. Used as a diuretic and as a digestive aid. A traditional treatment for diabetes. Found to have both insulin-releasing and insulin-like activity and to lower levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. Increases synthesis of bile by the liver and the breakdown of cholesterol into other compounds.
Cardamom -Strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance.
Culinary uses: A common ingredient in Indian cooking, and often used in baking in Nordic countries. Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart the flavor. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavoring in coffee and tea. In South Asia, green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in masala chai (spiced tea). Used in garam masala for making curries.
Medicinal uses: Broadly used in South Asia to treat infections in teeth and gums, to prevent and treat throat troubles, congestion of the lungs and pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of eyelids and also digestive disorders. It also is used to break up kidney stones and gall stones.
Clove - The aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtacaea. Cloves are native to Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world. The English name derives from Latin clavus “nail” (also the origin of French clou and Spanish clavo, “nail”) as the buds vaguely resemble small irregular nails.
Culinary uses: Used in cooking either whole or in a ground form, but as they are extremely strong, they are used sparingly. In North Indian cuisine, it is used in almost all rich or spicy dishes and as an ingredient in garam masala. A key ingredient in Indian masala chai (spiced tea), a special variation of tea popular in some regions, notably Gujarat.
Medicinal uses: In Indian and Chinese medicine, and western herbalism and dentistry, the essential oil is used as a painkiller for dental emergencies. Used to increase hydrochloric acid in the stomach and to improve digestion. Western studies have supported the use of cloves and clove oil for dental pain. May reduce blood sugar levels.
Chili peppers – The fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum, members of the nightshade family.
Culinary Uses: The chili pepper figures heavily in the cuisine of the Goan region of India, which was the site of a Portuguese colony (Vindaloo, for example, is an Indian interpretation of a Portuguese dish). Chili peppers journeyed from India through Central Asia and Turkey to Hungary, where it became the national spice in the form of paprika.
Medicinal uses: Capsaicin is a safe and effective topical analgesic agent in the management of arthritis pain, herpes zoster -related pain, diabetic neuropathy, post- mastectomy pain and headaches.
Cumin – The seed of a small umbelliferous plant, native to the Levant and Upper Egypt. Its bouquet is strong, heavy and warm, with a spicy-sweet aroma. Its flavor is pungent, powerful, sharp and slightly bitter.
Culinary uses: Used in either seed or powdered form, helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to cooking, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as curries and chili. Often an ingredient in chili powder (Texan or Mexican-style) and is found in achiote blends, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder and baharat.
Medicinal uses: People in parts of South Asia commonly believe cumin seeds help with digestion. Some scientific evidence suggests cumin may aid digestion by stimulating enzymes to break down food.