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Kerala – The Land of Spices

Kerala – The Land of Spices



Kerala is a state which is located in south west region of India on Malabar Coast which stretches along the coast of Arabian Sea. Thiruvananthapuram also known as Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala. Kerala is one of the wonder of the world. According to Hindu Mythology, the derivation of Kerala arose geographically and culturally by lord Parasurama – the 6th avatar of Lord Vishnu, when he ordered the violent sea to reduce by throwing his warrior axe in the sea. The area where the axe landed, a land rose which came to be known as Kerala. It is one of the most illustrious destination for tourists in India. Kerala offers everything to the tourists which arrays from equal climate, tranquil beaches, backwaters, memorising hill stations, exotic wildlife sanctuaries, spectacular waterfalls, paddy fields, art, culture, music, dance festivals, exotic cuisines etc. Being the most peaceful and cleanest place in India, it is denoted as ‘God’s Own Country’.



It is believed that land of Kerala is gift of Arabian Sea. The copious rainfall throughout the year make Kerala suitable for agricultural. The profusion of water due to many ever flowing rivers, lakes small streams, backwaters and artificial dams takes agricultural to a great extent. The main plantation done in Kerala are Coconut trees, Rubber plantation, Tea plantation, Spice plantation etc. Kerala is known as – The Land of Spices. Spice plantation is one of the most vital plantation in Kerala.



The spices of Kerala are famous for its aroma and flavour throughout the world. Spice are grown on large scale in the magical state of Kerala. Kerala is often called as – Land of Spices because it is believed that the trade of spices started 3000 years back and is still going with full passion. Some of the essential spices grown well in this region are – Cardamom, Cinnamon, Pepper, Cloves, Nutmeg, Turmeric, Tamarind, Curry Leaves etc. the spices of Kerala are of export quality.



Pepper is known as – The King of Spices. Particularly black pepper is deliberated as the lushest spice among others. It is also known as Black Gold by external traders and sellers in olden days. The pepper plant grows best in humid climate. The seed of pepper gets mature and are ready to harvest in about 180 – 200 days. Pepper adds a great flavour to the dishes. It is also used to cure illness such as – constipation, heart disease, joint pain, liver pain, tooth decay etc. pepper is both a seasoning and medicines.



It is broadly cultivated in Periyar, Kerala. It is famously known as – The Queen of Spices because of its delightful aroma and taste. It is used in most Indian dishes for adding flavour. India is second largest producer and exporter of cardamom. It is one of the world’s expensive spice in the market. Cardamom is used for flavouring both food and milk. The other name of cardamom is Elaichi. Cardamom is also used to treat diseases like – nausea, loss of taste, cough, cold, indigestion etc. I is the major cash crop of Kerala.



Cinnamon is the dried inner stem of the cinnamomum verum tree. This tree is extensively grown in tropical regions of Kerala. The dried bark is commonly used as spice. The spice is light brown in colour with slight aroma and sweet flavour. It is used in form of small pieces or powder. It gives a dish an ironic flavour. It is used to flavour variety of foods in Kerala. Cinnamon plays an important role in curing diseases such as cold, vomiting, nausea etc. its leafy oil is used widely in perfumes and cosmetics.



Cloves are small reddish brown flower bud of tropical evergreen trees. Cloves are strong in aroma and hot in taste. It is used to flavour many food items such as meat and bakery products. Clove oil is widely used as medication in dental problems such as tooth ache. When cloves are strongly pungent we obtain eugenol, which are used in germicides, perfumes and mouthwashes. Eugenol is extracted by distillation to yield clove oil.



Nutmeg is unique among spices which produces two distinct spices and they are nutmeg and mace. Nutmeg is the dried kernel whereas mace is the dried reticulated aril. When the fruit gets matured, it bursts and open with red mace which covers hard black seed. Nutmeg is more strong and sweetener than mace. It is mild spice which is used in sausages, meat, soup and preservers. In India it is exclusively used in sweets.



Turmeric provides colour and flavour to many dishes of Kerala. Turmeric is a good blood purifier and an antiseptic. It is also used in the manufacturing of cosmetics and as a textile dye. Turmeric is basically used in powdered form which adds bright yellow colour in the dishes.



Ginger is a very common spice of Kerala Cuisine. Almost every dish exclusively curry have ginger in it. Ginger is traditionally used to improve digestion. This herb is an tremendous remedy for cough and cold.



Tamarind is a sweet and bitter fruit of tall shade tree which trimmings in tropical region. It is also known as Indian date. The juice of dry tamarind is good to add a touch of sourness in curry. It is basically used in south Indian dishes such as curry, Sāmbhar, pulihora rice, and many types of chutneys. It is also a blood purifier. It is also good for liver disease, sore throat, urinary problems etc.



Curry leaves comes from small ornamental tree which grows in the wild foot hills. They are also cultivated in many Indian gardens. Curry leaves are useful component of South Indian cooking, featuring as an important ingredient to many Kerala dishes. Curry leaves helps in balancing cholesterol and it also helps in digestion and protect liver.

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