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Tips for Easy-To-Use Herbs and Spices in Your Meals

Herbispices

Posted 5th May 2016.

Spices in your meals enhance the flavors as well as the taste, provided you use the right combination of spices that complement the ingredients that make up a particular dish. Too much of spice in your food can be overpowering and kill the actual flavor of the dish, so you must be careful to use just the right amount. We know this may sound too confusing to newbies trying their hand at cooking. But, let’s not be too worried – read on for some simple and easy-to-use tips for adding spices in your meals.

? Powdered spices release their flavors much easily so they can be added towards the end of the cooking time. Whole spices on the other hand release flavors slowly so they must be added at the beginning of the cooking process.
? Always store your spices in a cool, dark place so that the flavor is retained for a longer period. A cabinet in the kitchen away from the stove or the refrigerator door shelf is a good place for your dry spices.
? Ensure that dampness does not get into the spice container. Always use a dry spoon to remove the portion of spice you need.
? Dried leaf herbs like thyme, basil or oregano may be crushed by hand before adding to the dish. Add fresh herbs at the end of your cooking time so they retain the flavor.
? How much of spice is enough? That’s the question most people ask, but there is no hard and fast rule as to the right amount to be used because it is always the combined effect of the spice flavor and the food that gives it the taste. It’s a good idea to go by the time-tested recipe. Generally the strong spices like cayenne pepper, cloves, star anise and cinnamon are used sparingly.
? Generally, cooking increases the intensity of the spice flavor so it is better to add in small quantity initially and adjust according to individual preference.

Now that you have a general idea about the use and storage of Cooking Seasonings, let us take a look at the best combinations that will add that extra spice to your meals.

? Cayenne Pepper goes very well with curries and sauces. It is great with any kind of meat to use as a marinade.
? Turmeric powder is also used in curries and meat dishes, though it can also be used in stir fries and rice dishes.
? Cinnamon sticks are used to flavor rice dishes in Indian cooking. It is also one of the main ingredients in curry powder, the Indian spice mix. Cinnamon powder can also be used to flavor tea, desserts and breakfast cereal.
? Corriander Seeds are used to flavor fish and meat, the powder is also used in stir fried vegetables.
? Cloves are an important ingredient of the Indian spice mix ‘garam masala’. Cloves add an extra zing to the dish.

So there you have it – easy tips to use herbs and spices in your meals to improve taste.

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