When you think about Indian cuisine, the first word that comes to your mind is the word ‘spice’. Spices form the backbone of our cuisine, from the hills of Kashmir, all the way down to the tip of Kanyakumari. Bangalore cuisine is no exception.
But where in Bangalore would you go to ensure you have the best of spices, the ones with the freshest aroma? You know the ones we are talking about, right? The ones that when you take a tiny whiff, sends a pleasant shiver down your spine and conjures images of the array of dishes that the tiny piece of spice will yield. Yes, those ones. No, it’s not at the neighbourhood supermarket.
In our search for these divine spices, we found ourselves in the gullies of Bangalore’s Old Market. The streets talk of stories of old, the aromas bring memories of grandmother’s kitchen and the spices speak of flavours previously unknown. The Old Market houses items beyond imagination, things we didn’t even we needed. Be it herbs, whole spices, pre-mixed spices or even turmeric root, you can find anything and everything you need at these streets.
The one spice, we couldn’t keep our eyes of was the red chilly. And the Old Market gullies offered us a variety of these from all across India. Walk by the fiery Guntur Chilli, lightly touch the Birds Eye chilli and take in the beautiful red of the Kashmiri chilli, while you traverse the streets of Old Market. We bet you can’t pick just one.
It’s hard to think of an Indian dish to prepare without the use of a spice. But the one that comes to our mind that would be completely bland and empty without it would be the curd rice. Yes, the ubiquitous curd rice takes a special place in every South Indian’s heart. Can you imagine it without the use of mustard seeds and cumin seeds? Would it taste the same without frying the dal till its golden and adding those curry leaves for the aroma? Of course, how could you forget the ginger and chilli for that extra flavour? Yes, spices are the backbone of our cuisine and we for one, are really grateful for it. Head on to the Old Market for a culinary journey of time and flavour that you will never forget.