ajwain = ajwain seed = carom seed = bishop's weed = ajowan = ajowan seed = ajwon = ajwan Pronunciation: AHJ-a-wahn Notes: These look like small caraway seeds, but they taste like a pungent version of thyme. Indian cooks like to sprinkle them on breads. Look for them in Indian markets. Substitutes: dried thyme (use more) OR cumin OR caraway
ajowan (seed) See ajwain.
amchoor = amchur = umchoor = green mango powder = aamchur = amchor = dried green mango = dried mango powder Notes: This is made from sun-dried mangoes, and it's used as a souring agent or to tenderize meats. Indian or Middle Eastern grocery stores carry it. Substitutes: lemon juice OR lime juice OR tamarind OR chopped fresh mango (use more) OR chopped fresh papaya (use more)
amchur See amchoor.
asafetida [ah-sah-FEH-teh-dah] = asafoetida powder = asafoetida = hing = devil's dung = ferula = foetida = food of the gods = heeng = imguva This powdered gum resin imparts a very strong onion-garlic flavor to Indian dishes. Use it sparingly—a little goes a long way. Look for it in Indian or health food stores or in the spice section of larger supermarkets. Substitutes: omit it from the recipe OR garlic powder OR onion powder
asfetida See asafetida (powder).
bishop's weed See ajwain.
black cardamom See brown cardamom.
black cumin seeds = royal cumin seeds = kala jeera = shahi jeera = saah jeera Pronunciation: KUH-min Notes: Indian cooks use this spice in many of their curries and tandoori dishes. It's darker and sweeter than ordinary cumin. To bring out its nutty flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them. Substitutes: cumin (Not as sweet as black cumin.) OR nigella
black mustard seeds Notes: Indian cooks prefer these over the larger yellow mustard seeds that are more common in the west. Look for this in Indian markets or health food stores. Substitutes: brown mustard seeds (very close) OR yellow mustard seeds
black onion seeds See nigella.
brown cardamom = black cardamom Notes: Pods of this spice are sold in Indian markets. Some recipes call for the entire pod to be used, others call for the ground seeds. Don't confuse this with the more common (green) cardamom, which comes in round green or tan pods. Substitutes: cardamom
brown mustard seeds Notes: These are smaller and hotter than the yellow mustard seeds that most western cooks are familiar with. Look for this in Indian markets. Substitutes: black mustard seeds (very close) OR yellow mustard seeds
carom seed See ajwain.
curcuma = Indian saffron Substitutes: saffron
devil's dung See asafetida (powder).
fenugreek = fenugreek seeds = methi = halba Pronunciation: FEN-you-greek Notes: This adds an earthy flavor to curries, chutneys, and sauces. It's available as seeds or powder, and you can usually find it in Indian and Middle Eastern markets. If it's not available, just leave it out of the recipe.
ferula See asafetida (powder).
foetida See asafetida (powder).
food of the gods See asafetida (powder).
habasoda See nigella.
halba See fenugreek.
heeng See asafetida (powder).
hing (powder) See asafetida (powder).
imguva See asafetida (powder).
Indian saffron See curcuma.
kala jeera See black cumin seeds.
kalonji See nigella.
ketza See nigella.
methi See fenugreek.
nigella = black onion seeds = kalonji = calonji = habasoda = ketza = black caraway Pronunciation: ni-JELL-uh Notes: This has a subtle flavor that's often used to enhance vegetable dishes. To bring out the flavor, it helps to toast the seeds briefly before using them. Substitutes: cumin seeds OR sesame seeds OR oregano
pomegranate seeds = anardana Notes: Bits of pomegranate pulp remain on the seeds as they dry, so they're a bit sticky and serve as a souring agent in Indian cuisine. The seeds also come ground.
royal cumin seeds See black cumin seeds.
shahi jeera See black cumin seeds.
white poppy seeds = kas-kas Notes: Indian cooks use these as a thickener in their curries and as a filling in baked goods. Substitutes: poppy seeds (black)
Copyright © 1996-2005 Lori Alden