What spice is applied universally in entire world cuisines? Nutmeg

The spice trade dates back again 4,000 a long time and it laid the basis for globalization and the human trade of strategies, languages, religions, and cuisines. The entice and worth of spice in Europe was specially pronounced in the 15th and 16th centuries when explorers laid early colonial paths in research of spice. 

With its array of tasting notes, nutmeg is made use of universally among world-wide cuisines in spice blends. To begin with, nutmeg only grew on 10 remote islands in Indonesia. The spice was so coveted and esteemed that in 1667, the British traded the island of Run to the Dutch for Manhattan. 

Nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom are elements of garam masala, a warming spice applied in tiny portions on the Indian subcontinent, and is normally included by the teaspoon toward the finish of the cooking procedure to elevate the flavors.

Eleanor Ford researches the typical qualities of spice blends with various flavor profiles from all over the earth in her guide, “The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Stories Together the Ancient Spice Routes.”

Keralan black pepper rooster
Kozhi kurumulagu — India
Serves 4

Far too generally a little bit section player, peppercorns below shine as the star performer. Applied in quantity, they bring a bold piquancy that hints at an early Asian warmth ahead of chilies were brought to the continent. This is balanced by their fragrance as nicely as by a tangle of sweet, caramelized onions. Use Tellicherry peppercorns if you can as they are specially grassy and dazzling.

Pepper is indigenous to the steamy, knotted jungles of the Indian Ghats, thriving in the cycles of weighty monsoon rain and sultry heat. Stroll via rural places in the course of harvest and you will have to weave around patches of peppercorns still left out to dry in the very hot sunshine.

Black peppercorns from southern India keep a big sway in Asian foodstuff, the place there has been a style for heat extended prior to chile arrived. The peppercorns in a Keralan black pepper hen recipe are layered to create warmth and depth of taste. Picture by Ola O. Smit.


  • 8 skinless, bone-in rooster thighs
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon floor turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon wonderful sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or neutral oil
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced lengthways
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6cm (2½ inches) ginger, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1–2 green chilies, slit lengthways (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar or other vinegar
  • Buttered basmati rice, wilted greens and a tangy-sweet Indian chutney, to serve (optional)


  1. Transform the hen thighs in the lemon juice, turmeric, salt and a couple grinds of black pepper (we are layering the pepper taste the whole hit arrives later). Established aside to marinate although you carry on.
  2. Tip the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a dry pan and warmth until finally they are toasty and fragrant. Use a pestle and mortar to crush them coarsely.
  3. Warmth a large frying pan in excess of a medium heat, increase the oil and fry the onion slices with a pinch of salt until finally they soften, then change golden. Include the garlic, ginger and green chilies and stir-fry for another pair of minutes. Stir in the garam masala.
  4. Incorporate the rooster to the pan alongside with any marinade and the vinegar. Deal with, switch down the heat and depart to simmer for 15 minutes. The hen will release liquid as it cooks.
  5. Take away the lid and turn up the heat. Increase the crushed peppercorns and fennel seeds. Stir-fry right up until the chicken is cooked by and the sauce is dry and caramelized. Taste for seasoning. Established aside to relaxation for 10 minutes right before serving.
  6. Provide with buttered basmati rice, wilted greens and a tangy-sweet Indian chutney, if you like.


Carrot thoran, a coconutty stir-fry somewhere in between a salad and relish. Blend jointly 3 grated carrots, a substantial handful of shredded cabbage, a handful of grated coconut, a finely sliced onion, 1–2 slit inexperienced chilies, ½ teaspoon floor turmeric and a excellent pinch of salt. Heat a very little oil, include ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds and permit them splutter, then include 6 refreshing curry leaves. Stir via the carrot combination, change the heat down and protect. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring at the time or two times, right until tender. Get rid of the lid and stir-fry for a further couple of minutes.

“Whoever managed spice experienced good ability in the environment,” says foods and travel writer Eleanor Ford. Picture by Ola O. Smit.

Meals and journey author Eleanor Ford explores how the winding path of the spice trade formed the world’s cuisine in her most current guide, “The Nutmeg Path.” Image courtesy of Apollo Publishers.