What spice is made use of universally in globe cuisines? Nutmeg

The spice trade dates back 4,000 several years and it laid the basis for globalization and the human trade of concepts, languages, religions, and cuisines. The lure and value of spice in Europe was particularly pronounced in the 15th and 16th centuries when explorers laid early colonial paths in look for of spice. 

With its range of tasting notes, nutmeg is employed universally among the international cuisines in spice blends. Originally, 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 made use of in tiny portions on the Indian subcontinent, and is typically extra by the teaspoon toward the conclusion of the cooking system to lift the flavors.

Eleanor Ford researches the popular characteristics of spice blends with distinct taste profiles from all over the world in her e book, “The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Tales Along the Historic Spice Routes.”

Keralan black pepper chicken
Kozhi kurumulagu — India
Serves 4

Too frequently a little bit element participant, peppercorns below glow as the star performer. Utilized in amount, they carry a bold piquancy that hints at an early Asian warmth prior to chilies were being brought to the continent. This is balanced by their fragrance as well as by a tangle of sweet, caramelized onions. Use Tellicherry peppercorns if you can as they are particularly grassy and shiny.

Pepper is native to the steamy, knotted jungles of the Indian Ghats, thriving in the cycles of hefty monsoon rain and sultry heat. Wander by rural locations in the course of harvest and you will have to weave close to patches of peppercorns still left out to dry in the incredibly hot sunlight.

Black peppercorns from southern India hold a huge sway in Asian food items, where there has been a style for warmth extended ahead of chile arrived. The peppercorns in a Keralan black pepper hen recipe are layered to build warmth and depth of flavor. Photo by Ola O. Smit.


  • 8 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon good sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or neutral oil
  • 3 substantial 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 provide (optional)


  1. Turn the chicken thighs in the lemon juice, turmeric, salt and a few grinds of black pepper (we are layering the pepper flavor the entire strike will come afterwards). Established apart to marinate although you carry on.
  2. Tip the fennel seeds and peppercorns into a dry pan and warmth right until they are toasty and fragrant. Use a pestle and mortar to crush them coarsely.
  3. Heat a massive frying pan about a medium warmth, include the oil and fry the onion slices with a pinch of salt until eventually they soften, then change golden. Incorporate the garlic, ginger and eco-friendly chilies and stir-fry for an additional couple of minutes. Stir in the garam masala.
  4. Insert the chicken to the pan alongside with any marinade and the vinegar. Go over, change down the warmth and go away to simmer for 15 minutes. The hen will launch liquid as it cooks.
  5. Clear away the lid and switch up the heat. Add the crushed peppercorns and fennel seeds. Stir-fry until eventually the hen is cooked as a result of and the sauce is dry and caramelized. Style for seasoning. Set aside to relaxation for 10 minutes before 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 among a salad and relish. Blend collectively 3 grated carrots, a massive handful of shredded cabbage, a handful of grated coconut, a finely sliced onion, 1–2 slit eco-friendly chilies, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric and a good pinch of salt. Warmth a tiny oil, include ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds and enable them splutter, then add 6 refreshing curry leaves. Stir by the carrot mixture, transform the warmth down and go over. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring at the time or 2 times, until tender. Take out the lid and stir-fry for a further pair of minutes.

“Whoever controlled spice experienced wonderful ability in the environment,” suggests food items and vacation writer Eleanor Ford. Picture by Ola O. Smit.

Meals and travel writer Eleanor Ford explores how the winding route of the spice trade formed the world’s cuisine in her latest reserve, “The Nutmeg Trail.” Photo courtesy of Apollo Publishers.