Ginger (zingiber officinale) A rhizome that appears in curries, curry powders, and pastes all over the world.
Gram Certain plants of the pea family, especially chickpea. Gram flour is known in India as besan. Gram most commonly appears in Indian curries. Greengram, known as moong dal, can be found in Asian markets.
Jackfruit (artocarpus heterophyllus) A tropical fruit, its seeds and flesh are cooked, pickled, and roasted. In southern India, jackfruit curries are popular in the summer months when the fruit is abundant.
The jackfruit flesh is also ground with rice and turned into fritters.
Kaffir lime (citrus hystrix) The leaf of a Southeast Asian citrus tree; used in curries and curry pastes of the region.
Lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) The bulbs and lower stalk of this perennial plant have a strong citrus flavor. It is used in malaysian, Indonesian, and other Southeast Asian curries and curry pastes. If fresh lemongrass is used, removethe upper two thirds of the stalks and cut the rest, including the bulb, into small bits. Dried lemongrass should be soaked in warm water for 90 minutes before use, then drained and chopped. Lemongrass is available fresh in some gourmet supermarkets and fresh or dried in Asian markets.
Mace (myristica fragrans) The outer, fibrous covering of the nutmeg seed; occasionally appears in curry powders.
Malagueta peppers (afromomum malagueta) Also called grains of paradise and false cardamon, these seeds of a ginger relative appear in African curry powders.
Mango (mangifera indica) A tropical fruit that is used both as a dessert and key ingredient in the curries of southern Indian and the West Indies.
Mint (mentha arvensis) A common perennail herb and an ingredinet in some Singaporean curries and such North African spice blends as harissa.
Nigella (nigella sativa) Also called black cumin, this plant is native to North Africa. Its black seeds have a lemon-carrot aroma, and they are used in some North African curry powders.
Nutmeg (myristica fragrans) The seed of an evergreen tree native to the Moluccas; a common ingredient in curry powders and pastes all over the world.
Okra (hibiscus esculentus) The pods of an annual vegetable; an occasional ingredient in Malaysian curries, often used as a thickening agent. it is widely used in curries and soups (sambhar) in southern India.
Onion (allium cepa) A common ingredient in curry pastes and dishes around the world. It appears in some ommercial curry pastes.
Orange leaf (citrus aurantium) From the common orange tree; an ingredient in South African curries.
Orrisroot (iris germanica) The dried root of the German iris, which has a violetlike aroma. An ingredient in some North African spice mixtures.
Papaya (carica papaya) A widely used tropical fruit. Green papayas are common in curries in India; the ripe papayas are used as desserts.
Poppy seed (papaver somniferum) The seed in the opium poppy; an ingredient in North Africna curry pastes and some Nepalese curries.
Prawn paste Called blacan in Malaysia, this strong-smelling paste is made with fermented prawns and salt. The fishy odor dissipates during cooking. It is sold in blocks and cakes in Asian markets. Substitute shrimp paste or fish sauce as a last resort.
Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 01-19-95