Spices

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My kitchen at my Union Square apartment is always stacked with spices.
My kitchen at my Union Square apartment is always stacked with spices.

My grandfather had once told me, "Wherever you travel in the world, you are always going to take with you the essence of India." And I wouldn't disagree. I am the first one out of my family to move to the United States and hence I become the torch bearer in some sense.
Objectifying the culture and traditions of India isn't difficult when you are a foodie and the first thing I carried with me to New York is something no Indian can do without: the spices.
Every Indian home in India or abroad has a circular steel bowl with six different compartments for six essential spices: turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin seeds, garam masala, coriander powder, dry mango powder. Not only do we use our spices for food but for different kinds of home made remedies to cure different illnesses. 
Go to any Indian woman who is at an age 50 or above and she'll tell you that turmeric milk heals cold and cough. As a kid, I used to laugh at my grandmother and tell her that she doesn't know anything about medicines but after I have moved to United States, I have always had a cup of hot turmeric milk to cure cold. And it works wonders! 
My cousin who is now ready to move to United States had called me last Saturday to ask for things she should get, "I have packed everything but I don't know what else to carry," and even before I could say something else she said, "Mom told me you had carried all the spices. So I have kept around 15 of them. Is that enough?"

Place(s): India, New York
Year: 2015

– Sushmita Roy

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