Indian Pantry 101: Aarti's Spice Essentials

Not sure where to start when it comes to cooking Indian food? We asked Aarti to share her top five spice-rack staples — plus how and when to use them.

Category:
Indian
Page 2 of 6

Paprika
"In India, most cooks use ground red chiles (various varieties) both for their color and their heat," says Aarti. "Since some of those chiles are hard to come by here, I use paprika, primarily for the color it gives our food; then, if I want to add heat, I use cayenne pepper or serrano chiles."

Aarti uses paprika in her Sloppy Bombay Joes (pictured), a recipe she recommends as a great introduction to cooking with Indian spices.

Read on for more of Aarti's favorite spices.