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National Herbs & Spices Day: Spice Up Your Dishes

National Herbs and Spices Day is on June 10.

Shipra Singh
Range of spices and herbs
Range of spices and herbs

In the USA, June 10 is celebrated as National Herbs and Spices Day. The day is dedicated to celebrating flavour in your dishes and, perhaps, your life too. This day is meant to spread awareness about spices and herbs, in both dried and fresh forms, in dishes.

Spices and herbs not only add flavour to dishes, but also increase their nutritional value because they contain nutrients. Many people mistakenly think that spices are only for flavour.

National Herbs and Spices Day 2021

Some of the commonest herbs used in the US are: basil (tulsi), mint, parsley, lavender, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, chives, and cilantro.

Typical spices of an Indian kitchen
Typical spices of an Indian kitchen

Spices and India

India is popularly called the land of spices. This is the country where you can find a host of herbal remedies. Here, spice is the way of life.

A typical Indian kitchen features spices like turmeric (haldi), cumin (jeera), mustard seeds, rye seeds, bay leaf (tej patta), basil, curry leaves, fennel seeds (saunf), carom seeds (ajwain), garlic, ginger, cinnamon (dal chini), cardamom (elaichi), black pepper (kali mirch), cloves (laung), coriander (dhania), and more.

Coriander is a spice and a herb. Coriander leaves are used to garnish dishes in fresh form.  Dried coriander powder is used as spice.

Many people grow herbs like basil, coriander, and curry leaves at homes because it is easy to grow them even in small containers.

Names of spices and herbs do not end here. There are more, like mint, sage, chamomile, lavender, and so many others that add unique flavour to your drinks and dishes. Their flavours are subtle enough to not “disturb” the original flavour of your dish, but are strong enough to render it uniqueness.

How to detect freshness of spices and herbs

This National Herbs and Spices Day, you must have a hard look at the stock of your spices and dried herbs in the kitchen.

Are they past their shelf life?

Open the container and bring your nose a bit closer and sniff. Can you smell the real fragrance of the spice? If yes, then the spice is still fresh. If no, it’s past its shelf life and no use adding it to the purpose because it is useless now.

This is for powdered spices. For non-powdered ones, crush some between your fingers and smell the aroma.

Do you know India has an exclusive board for spices? It is the Spice Board of India.

What’s your favourite spice?

At times, we take spices and herbs for granted, but they are the ones that bring the real flavour to a recipe.

Time to spice up your dishes!

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