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Roasting Spices

Discussion in 'Food & Drinks' started by Ted, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Ted

    Ted New Member

    I have heard that when using mustard seeds, Indians tend to roast them before using them in food. Are there any other Indian spices that need to be roasted before using?
     
  2. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Most spices should actually be cooked a little before use. It releases the oil locked into the spice. Specifically, for most curries, you can put in a bit of oil or ghee to start, and then the spices, like turmeric, to cook into a paste. Add that to the rest of the curry dish for an improved flavor. You will find your spices go a lot further this way.
     
  3. Geena

    Geena New Member

    One other spice they like to roast are cumin seeds. I do this too when I make Indian curry at home and the smell when sautéed with shallots are mighty heavenly. Have you tried this before?
     
  4. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I never knew this that it's the case with most spices - I guess you learn something new every day! I can understand though from your explanation why it would make for a better depth of flavour if it's releasing oils and so forth.

    Good to know for the next time I cook something using certain spices - I'll have to look online about how long to roast them for and see what kind of difference it makes to my meal preparation! :)
     
  5. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    Herbs and spices in general taste more potent when heated. Even fresh basil or parsley. If you wash them with war or even hot water before chopping them they will smell stronger. Some of the best pasta dishes require fried fresh basil with garlic before you add al dente pasta to pick up the juices and oil. After that you just slice a lot of fresh parsley and top with parmesan and voilà. I tried not to fry basil and it wasn't as good.
     
  6. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Another good thing to do is to cook whole black peppercorns in a pan. Cook them until there is just a whiff of smoke coming off the pan. It releases all the essential oils and makes the flavor so much better. Put them in a mill and enjoy as you would ground pepper.
     
  7. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Roasting spices is a great way to enhance their flavours. Aside from that it removes excess moisture from the specific spice and makes it easier to grind. The spices that are roasted are the whole spices, not the powdered ones. It's pretty simple actually since all you do is toss the spices in a pan until they're toasty and smells fragrant enough. Then you can keep them that way or grind them.

    A few spices that are roasted are:
    • Cumin
    • Dry Red Chilis
    • Coriander
    • Fennel Seeds
     
  8. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    To add to that, you can also roast whole garlic. Roast it in the skin until the consistency is soft. You can squeeze the garlic out like a paste, and it is great as a topping to breads or meats. Something else, is roasted lemon slices. The fire will turn the sourness of a lemon into sugars. You would not believe how sweet the lemon becomes. It is a delicious addition to meats or as a topping for salads.
     

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