India offers a store house of cuisines with an exciting variety of flavours, tastes and visual appeals. Indian cusine is as diverse as the country itself. Several dishes are unique to certain regions, many of them culinary masterpieces.

There are dishes that pay tribute to the hot and sour tastes, and others that flatter the sweet palate. In several instances, summer, winter and monsoon seasons have their own special dishes.

 

The tropical regions favour foods that are low in spices and oils, while the relatively temporate parts fancy the hot and spicy fare.

 

The primary function of spices in Indian food is to improve the flavour of the dish. The primary quality a consumer normally looks for in a food is its organoleptic properties, rather than its nutritive value. Even highly nutritive food is not accepted unless it is adequately spices. It is only when pleasure to the eye and plate meets, that food becomes fully acceptable. The best chefs in the world consider flavourings and seasonings absolute necessities for achieving this objective. Even the people of the West, particularly the Europeans and the Americans, who have a tradition of bland food, have begun to appreciate the added piquancy spices impart to food.

 

Spices have also a physiological action bebeficial to the human system. They help digestion in many ways by stinulating the digestive tract. Every spice used for making curries is a preservative. All of them have some sntiseptic value. Many are carminative and tend to reduce flatulence..

 

Some spices are used to add colour to food, to improve its eye appeal, like turmeric in yellow rice. Spices also serve as thickening agent in the preparation of curries.