Warming spices are often known as finishing spices. They are spices that can not be cooked for very long as they lose their flavour quite quickly when cooked. They are added towards the end of cooking to finish a dish and elevate its flavours. Once you get to grips with key spices , cooking a good base (onions, tomatoes, ginger, chilli and garlic) and the addition of warming spices you really are set to make some incredible and authentic curries.
Click here to watch my video about warming spices.
I use 7 warming spices
Star anise has a bold liquorice and lemon flavour and is often used in slow cooked dishes.
This is a really floral spice. The seeds need to be lightly crushed to get the best flavour from them.
If black pepper is the king of spices black cardamom in his queen. It has a smoky flavour with peppermint undertones. You need to use the whole pod as the pod itself gives off a charcoal note also.
Cloves have a very complex flavour - rich, hot and fruity - but they should be used sparingly as they can take over if you’re not careful.
These are sweet and nutty and need to be soaked in a little warm water to rehydrate them. They actually smell of "curry," far more than curry leaves do!
A souring agent which also helps tenderise meat. It is made by drying out the skin of raw green mango and grinding into a powder. If you can’t get hold of mango powder, tamarind paste is a good alternative.
These are the best dried chillies to use if you are new to Indian cooking as they have a beautiful colour and are less pungent than other chillies.
These aren't in my own dabba as I don't use them that often. Fennel seeds add a hint of sweet aniseed and liquorice flavour to dishes.