South Indian Spices 101

I love the anjaraipetti (box with 5 spaces) that my mom gave me. It's a really useful item in my kitchen set up. A lot of my friends look at the recipes that I post and say they look good but seem very complicated. The key to easy cooking is having a well stocked kitchen. Cooking is no fun if you have nothing at home and you have to start by making a long trip to multiple stores. If you really want to cook South Indian food, start with an anjaraipetti! That is get these basic spices. My version of the spice box has grown to include a few other key ingredients.

Look at the picture below, and start at 12:00.1. Venthaiyam, Fenugreek
2. Urad Daal, Skinned and split black lentils
3. Channa Daal, Chickpea Lentil
4. Milagai Vetral, Dried Red Chillis
5. Milagu, Whole Black Peppercorns
6. Dhania , Coriander Seeds
7. Kadugu, Mustard Seeds
8, Jeera, Cumin Seeds (centre)

The spices in bold would be the ones you'd find in the traditional anjaraipetti. If you keep these, a jar of asafetida and some curry leaves on hand, you'll be able to whip up many South Indian dishes easily.


Priya said...

So true, a well stocked kitchen makes any recipe a breeze to make. And another thing the anjaraipetti helps me in is...Having them all together in one place makes it easy to throw them into any dish without skipping one of them.

Abhi Yogendran said...

You posts ALWAYS make me hungry after!!!!!!!!

Unknown said...

Hey i have the same anjarapetti..only difference is i have extra plate on top to hold red chillies.This is one of my treasures from India...:D.Only thing is i am lazy about refilling the compartments..:D.

Anonymous said...

My mom has one of those. I should get one the next time I'm in India! Love teh collage you have on the top of your site! Beautiful pictures, Kanchana!

Aspiring Annapoorna said...

Uh-oh! Urad daal is not Moong Lentil ...these are completely different!!, Unless you meant that you have both moong and udad daal in your anjaraipatti!! Urad daal is split black lentils. said...

Good catch Annapoorna! You are right its actually a skinned and split black lentils. I've updated the above to reflect that. If anyone wants more information on these ingredients check out the following site:

Food for BMS said...

Kanchana, I just hopped over here from Mahanandi - I also have a anjarapetti - a 5 compartment one and absolutely love it. Your site is beautiful and informative.

Anonymous said...

How different it is from a North Indian masala dabba which has mainly ground spices other than jeera! Mine, of course, is a mix of Maharashtrian and generic North Indian dabba.

I cook Southern food so often that I think I should give in and have a second dabba so I don't need to open a bunch of bottles...will definitely save time. And perhaps, a third one for Kashmiri spices too?