What spice is employed universally in world cuisines? Nutmeg

The spice trade dates back again 4,000 years and it laid the basis for globalization and the human exchange of ideas, languages, religions, and cuisines. The entice and benefit of spice in Europe was specially pronounced in the 15th and 16th centuries when explorers laid early colonial paths in lookup of spice. 

With its range of tasting notes, nutmeg is applied universally amid world 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 components of garam masala, a warming spice utilised in compact portions on the Indian subcontinent, and is normally included by the teaspoon toward the stop of the cooking process to lift the flavors.

Eleanor Ford researches the common traits of spice blends with various flavor profiles from about the world in her e-book, “The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Stories Alongside the Historic Spice Routes.”

Keralan black pepper rooster
Kozhi kurumulagu — India
Serves 4

Way too often a little bit section participant, peppercorns below shine as the star performer. Applied in quantity, they carry a daring piquancy that hints at an early Asian warmth ahead of chilies were being introduced 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 specifically grassy and shiny.

Pepper is indigenous to the steamy, knotted jungles of the Indian Ghats, flourishing in the cycles of hefty monsoon rain and sultry heat. Stroll via rural locations throughout harvest and you will have to weave all over patches of peppercorns left out to dry in the warm solar.

Black peppercorns from southern India keep a huge sway in Asian food items, where there has been a taste for warmth long before chile arrived. The peppercorns in a Keralan black pepper chicken recipe are layered to generate heat and depth of taste. Photo by Ola O. Smit.


  • 8 skinless, bone-in hen thighs
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or neutral oil
  • 3 significant onions, finely sliced lengthways
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6cm (2½ inches) ginger, peeled and minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1–2 inexperienced 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 provide (optional)


  1. Turn the hen thighs in the lemon juice, turmeric, salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper (we are layering the pepper taste the whole hit comes afterwards). Set aside to marinate when you commence.
  2. Suggestion the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a dry pan and heat till they are toasty and fragrant. Use a pestle and mortar to crush them coarsely.
  3. Heat a significant frying pan around a medium warmth, incorporate the oil and fry the onion slices with a pinch of salt till they soften, then change golden. Increase the garlic, ginger and eco-friendly chilies and stir-fry for a different pair of minutes. Stir in the garam masala.
  4. Incorporate the rooster to the pan alongside with any marinade and the vinegar. Deal with, convert down the heat and depart to simmer for 15 minutes. The rooster will release liquid as it cooks.
  5. Clear away the lid and convert up the warmth. Insert the crushed peppercorns and fennel seeds. Stir-fry right until the hen is cooked by means of and the sauce is dry and caramelized. Flavor for seasoning. Set apart to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.
  6. Serve with buttered basmati rice, wilted greens and a tangy-sweet Indian chutney, if you like.

Take in WITH

Carrot thoran, a coconutty stir-fry somewhere amongst a salad and relish. Combine jointly 3 grated carrots, a significant handful of shredded cabbage, a handful of grated coconut, a finely sliced onion, 1–2 slit inexperienced chilies, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric and a excellent pinch of salt. Warmth a minimal oil, include ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds and permit them splutter, then add 6 clean curry leaves. Stir as a result of the carrot combination, switch the warmth down and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring when or two times, until eventually tender. Remove the lid and stir-fry for a different pair of minutes.

“Whoever controlled spice had terrific energy in the globe,” states food and vacation writer Eleanor Ford. Picture by Ola O. Smit.

Foods and journey author Eleanor Ford explores how the winding path of the spice trade formed the world’s cuisine in her newest reserve, “The Nutmeg Path.” Photo courtesy of Apollo Publishers.

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