Keep these on hand and you'll be well on your way to creating authentic Indian curry dishes.
Paniz recommends using your own blend of spices rather than the temptingly easy, but not-quite-as-good jar of curry powder.
“It may seem like, 'Oh God, I have to open six or seven jars of spice, instead of just one. But the proportions in the curry powder may not be right for a particular dish,” Paniz says. Basically, “in order to prepare really authentic Indian food, you need a lot of spices.”
Here is Paniz's list of must-have spices for the true flavor profile of India:
cumin from India (it's less pungent than Mexican cumin)
red chilies from India or cayenne
coriander seeds (the seeds get toasted)
Garam Masala in its original form from whole spices (this means cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, cardamom, black cardamom, star anise, mace and nutmeg. This combination varies from region to region)
See Paniz's recipe for traditional Punjabi chicken curry on p. 33
FM TV EXCLUSIVE: FM TV EXCLUSIVE: To see the full interview with Paniz on Indian food in an onsite setting at the 17th Chefs Culinary Conference at UMass-Amherst, go to