Coriander is an important spice crop having a prime position in flavouring food. The plant is a thin stemmed, small, bushy herb, 25 to 50 cm in height with many branches and umbels. Leaves are alternate, compound.Coriander is a tropical crop and can be successfully cultivated as a rabi season crop in an area free from severe frost during February when the crop flowers and sets its seeds.
The young plant is used for flavouring and garnishing curries and soups. The fruits (seeds) are widely used as condiments with or without roasting in the preparation of curry powders, sausages and seasonings. It is an important ingredient in the manufacture of food flavourings, in bakery products, meat products, soda & syrups, puddings, candy preserves and liquors. In medicines it is used as a carminative, refrigerant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac. In household medicines, it is used against seasonal fever, stomach disorders, and nausea.
Cumin (Jeera) is the dried, white fruit with greyish brown colour of a small slender annual herb. Cumin seed have an aromatic odour and bitter taste. The surface of the fruit has 5 primary ridges, alternatively has 4 less distinct secondary ridges bearing numerous short hairs. The plant is 15 to 50 cm high. The aromatic seed like fruit is elongated, ovoid, 3 to 6 mm long, slightly bitter and has a warm flavour. The flowers are white or rose coloured in small umbels. It is used as a condiment, and is an ingredient in curry powders, seasonings of breads, cakes and cheese. In medicine, it is used as a stimulant, carminative, stomachic and astringent.
Although the small cumin seed looks rather unassuming, its nutty peppery flavor packs a punch when it comes to adding a nutty and peppery flavor to chili and other Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes as well playing an important role in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine where it is a key component of curry powder.
Tamarind (Imli) is originated in Madagascar and is now extensively cultivated in India.The tree is not exacting as regards to soil but thrives best in deep alluvium. The tree prefers warm climate but sensitive to frost. Tamarind is suited to semi-tropical region with low rainfall. It can come up even in saline, alkaline and gravelly soils, and soils prone to erosion.
Tamarind pulp is used in numerous culinary preparations. It is also a raw material for the preparation of wine like beverages. The tamarind kernel powder is found to be extensively used for its sizing properties, in textile, confectionary, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. The testa is used in dyeing and tanning industry. The tender leaves and flowers are used as vegetables. In medicine, it is used as appetizing, laxative, healing and anti-helmintic. It is also used against fluorosis.
Fennel Seed(Sauf) is a biennial, aromatic, stout, glabrous, 1.5 to 1.8 mtr high. The ripe fruit (seed) is small, oblong, cylindrical, 6.8mm long, straight or slightly curved, greenish yellow, deeply furrowed, 5 ridged and having agreeable aroma. It is cultivated extensively in Northern India as a cold weather crop. It comes up well in fairly mild climate. The dry and cold weather favours high seed production. Prolonged cloudy weather at the time of flowering is conducive to diseases and pests.
The leaves of fennel is used for garnishing. Leaves and stalks are used in salads. It is an essential ingredient in Italian sausages, widely used to sprinkle on pizza. Dried fruits have fragrant odour and pleasant aromatic taste and therefore used as a masticatory. They are also used for flavouring soups, meat dishes, sauces, pastries, confectionaries and liquors. The fruits are aromatic, stimulant and carminative
The clove(Loung) of commerce is the air-dried unopened flower bud obtained from evergreen medium sized tree. The tree grows to a height of 10-12 mtrs and start flowering in about 7 years. It continues to produce flower buds for 80 or more years. It is a valuable spice of the orient. Clove clusters are plucked by hand when the buds are fully developed with a pronounced pink flush and then dried over several days in the sun. Unopened flower buds, leaves and stalks yield essential oil.The tree prefers well drained rich soil with sufficient soil moisture throughout the year. High atmospheric temperature (25 to 35 degree C) with heavy sun light, good and well-distributed rainfall (above 150 cm) and high humidity (above 70%) are preferred.
The use of clove in whole or ground form is mainly for culinary purposes and as a flavouring agent in food industry. Its flavour blends well with both sweet and savory dishes. It is highly valued in medicine as carminative, aromatic and stimulant. In Indonesia, the lion share of production is consumed in production of ‘kretek’ cigarettes. The antiseptic and antibiotic properties of clove oil are used in medicine especially in dentistry, oral and pharyngeal treatments. It has wider applications in preparations of toothpaste and mouthwashes, soaps and perfumes. It is also reported to help diabetics in sugar assimilations.