Dhania Jeera powder is an excellent blend of powdered cumin and coriander seeds along with other spices. This combination is one of the essential spice blends used in Indian cuisine. Usually both spices are used in equal ratio to form this spice blend.
Generally the ground form of coriander-cumin seeds is called the Dhania jeera powder. Dhania is the coriander seeds whereas jeera the cumin seeds. When they are homemade, the seeds are dry roasted or heated on a pan to enhance the aroma before grinding it in a mixie or with a mortal and pestle. Ground coriander seeds lose their flavor quickly in storage hence it is always best to grind as needed so that it gives a nice pleasing aroma and flavor.
Dhania jeera powder is an important spice blend in West Indian cooking where it is most commonly used to flavor vegetable, bean curries and chaats. This fantastic and aromatic spice powder can also be used in sprinkling over salads, fruit chaats, buttermilk or a cup of plain yoghurt. It is also popularly added in flavoring pickles, curries and chutneys. It is an essential ingredient of many curries and gravies like fish pulusu (fish cooked in tamarind sauce), mutton kofta curry, palak rice etc as it has a mild aroma instigating the appetite. It is also best to have the fresh roasted coriander-cumin seeds in a pepper mill which you can place on the dining table and when required you or your family can use them any time.
Dhania powder acts as a thickener. Roasted coriander seeds are the main ingredient of the two south Indian dishes: sambhar and rasam. Coriander seeds are boiled with water and drunk as indigenous medicine for colds. Dhania powder forms an integral part of Indian cuisine as it has a natural taste, aroma and health benefiting features and is appreciated for its fragrant, flavor and culinary value. Processed in hygienic conditions, the dhania seeds are absolutely free from any foreign odor, taste and adulteration. Coriander, like many spices, contains antioxidants, which can delay or prevent the spoilage of food seasoned with this spice.
Apart from being an aromatic spice, coriander seeds have many healing and cooling properties beneficial for health and thus are found in Indian kitchens as well as in making medicines. Coriander-Cumin seeds powder taken in combination with pinch of asafoetida and rock salt is considered an aid to the digestive system. It also, relieves from any kind of gastric pain or flatulence. It has pain-relieving properties and is useful for headaches, muscle pain, stiffness and arthritis. It is highly reputed to enhance circulation and relieve fluid retention
Jeera or cumin seeds are another of those fantastic looking wonder seeds. Cumin seeds are good for digestive and used as a food flavoring in ceremonial feasts. Even today in southern India, instead of drinking ordinary water, at ceremonial feasts, hot jeera/cumin water is served or drunk. The cumin seeds are boiled in water and allowed to infuse. This hot water is then served at the meal. The idea being that a ceremonial meal is a very rich meal and will tax the digestive system. Therefore, this jeera water is drunk to aid in digestion. In summer, jeera/cumin water when drunk has a cooling effect. Toasted cumin seeds when boiled make a tea which is used to soothe acute stomach disorders. Cumin has a very strong flavor, quite similar to caraway seeds.
Right from the kitchen to medicinal uses, homes spices have an important role to play in different places. As India is blessed with a varied climate each of its state produces some spice or the other. No wonder why spices are used so extensively for cooking in India. Not only in India but also in some other countries spices are considered to be of great use. Indians have a variety of spices homemade like the garam masala, sambar powder, rasam powder, milagai powder, dhania jeera powder, masala chili powder etc.
This is a simple and different recipe from the ordinary dhania jeera powder and is also spiced with other spices too. To prepare this powder, firstly pick and apply oil to mustard seeds. Place in the sun for two days and on the third day, roast and powder all the spices. Mix well with mustard powder, sieve and preserve in airtight glass container. Click on the below link for the detailed recipe on the ingredients:
Apart from adding aroma, color, flavor and taste, consumption of spices provide infinite health benefits. Hence you can always try new creative ideas in use of spices if you know its uses better.