If you’ve never ground your own spices, you’re in for an aromatic surprise! Using fresh fragrant spices is one of the easiest ways to transform a dish from acceptable to exceptional.
Spices are piquant seasonings that come from the bark (cinnamon), buds (cloves), fruit (paprika), roots (ginger), or seeds (nutmeg) of plants. They contain essential oils and other flavour compounds which begin to lose their potency as soon as they are pulverised. Buying spices whole and grinding them yourself will produce a much better taste and finish than using their pre-ground counterparts.
With Thermomix®, you can grind a treasure trove of whole spices into spice mixes and pastes in a pinch by using the Turbo mode for just a couple of seconds. Cinnamon, cumin, coriander, ginger, garam masala, cardamom, chilli – the options are endless as well as exciting!
If you’re preparing a traditional Indian dish, make your own Garam Masala Powder by freshly grinding spices for a more authentic result. Adding spices to your cooking doesn’t necessarily make it hot and spicy. The best thing about making your own curry pastes or powders is that you have full control over how much heat they bring.
• Freshly ground spices are incredibly versatile. Use them to perk up a tasty prawn broth, add them to icecream, or deliver a delicious kick to a steaming mug of hot chocolate by adding a dash of chilli and a hint of cinnamon. You can even toast your spices before grinding to produce a rich taste.
• You will get the most benefit from your whole spices by grinding them when you need them. However, you can store them in an airtight tin or screw-top jar for use later. This will result in spices that are fresher than the dried version you buy at the supermarket, but not as fresh as seasonings you grind up on the spot.
• Just like perfume and other aromatic substances, spices do not like exposure to heat, light, humidity or air. A dark cupboard or cabinet, preferably one not near the stove, are perfect places to store your spices.
• Freshly ground spice mixes and pastes make wonderful personalised gifts for friends and loved ones. Using your Thermomix®, you can create your own spice mixes to match the personality or cooking style of the recipient – warm, sweet, fresh, delicate, fragrant, vibrant, or even hot and fiery!