Whole Spices 101: All You Need To Know About Whole Spices
Spices are an essential component of any dish. They are rich in flavour and aromatics that permeate our food, making it more enjoyable. The world of spices is vast and full of varieties. At Kitchenhutt, we offer a myriad of whole and ground spices, each with its distinct aroma, taste, and use. In this, whole spices are more sought-after than their ground counterpart.
If you have the time, energy, and equipment to process, we recommend choosing whole spices and grinding them as you want. With that said, if you are completely new to cooking and want to know more about whole spices, you have landed on the right page. Read here for a full guide on whole spices: from usage to processing and storing tips. So, let’s get started.
How to use whole spices?
In terms of potency, whole spices are milder than ground ones. This is because ground spices have an exposed inner part that emits flavourful volatile oils. That is why whole spices require a little process to bring out the aromatics and let them infuse in the food we consume.
Whole spices are commonly used at the beginning of the cooking process. They are tossed in hot oil or pounded in mortar and pestle.
When you fry whole spices, make sure you remove as much as you can before serving. Some spices like clove or cardamom are unpleasant to bite and can ruin your eating experience.
Unless your recipe specifically requires whole spices, it is better to ground them coarsely in a mortar and pestle before using them. Moreover, you can also dry roast the spices before grinding them into powder or using them as a whole.
How to dry-roast whole spices?
Dry roasting of whole spices is important for numerous reasons. The first reason is that it evaporates the excess moisture and makes spices crisper. Crisp spices are easy to ground. The second reason is a big one.
The roasting process changes the flavour of spices. Whole spices, when they heat, release their volatile aromatics. These aromatics break down and recombine to create dozens of other compounds, adding a complex layer of flavour to our food.
Moreover, seasonal dampness might also be another reason for dry roasting the spices. This drives off the excess moisture from your spice, eliminating the musty flavour smell and enhancing the potency. The process of dry roasting is easier. Just heat a skillet and toss dry whole spices into it.
Ensure you keep the flame low and keep turning and twisting the spices frequently so you don’t burn them. Around 30 seconds are enough for roasting. More than a minute would burn your spices.
How to store leftover spices?
One prominent reason people purchase whole spices is that they have a longer shelf life. Whole spices lose their flavour a little slower than ground spices. Moreover, they offer you the advantage of roasting them until the desired flavour is achieved. Whole spices stay longer than ground ones, but that does not mean they never go stale. They, too, need proper storage facilities and care to retain their flavour for longer.
When storing whole spices, choose an airtight container. The container should be spacious enough to accommodate the bulk wholesale spices you buy. Don’t place this container in a place where it gets exposed to light or heat. This means open kitchen shelves,,; besides, the stovetop isn’t an ideal place to store your spices. A dark and cold place with minimal moisture is great for storing whole spices.
So, here’s how you can store and cook with whole spices. Hope this blog has provided you with everything you need to know about whole spices. If you want to know more about our whole spice catalogue or want to purchase bulk spices at wholesale online rates, check out our website. You can order your spices online from anywhere in South Africa.