Spices play a very important role in the lives of people worldwide. Each spice bears its own distinct flavor and quality. Since it can make or break the taste of every dish, the spices and seasonings market in the US may reach $7.3 billion by 2025. The report linked the growth of the spice market to the consumer’s evolving food preferences. This is due to introducing cuisines from different parts of the world.

Spices are also necessary to provide the extra zest for exotic dishes like saffron shrimp with tamarind chutney and other savory viands. But if you want to cook your own flavourful meals at home, you need to know the different techniques in using different spices. Some of these include dry roasting the spices. or frying the spices using oils. Here are the steps on how to fry spices and master the flavor.

Using A Small Amount Of Oil

This method of frying spices requires the use of a specific type of frying pan to provide an even heat distribution. For this reason, a sturdy cast iron pan can do the trick. You need to put a small amount of a good quality olive oil or vegetable oil in the pan and wait for it to get hot. Then drop in the spices in the hot oil gradually. You may start with the larger spices then slowly drop the smaller ones. Once the spices become fragrant, immediately remove it from the pan.

If the oil begins to smoke, this means that it may be too hot and may burn the spices right away. You need to remove it from the stove or lower down the heat to stop the oil from burning. You need proper timing to fry the spices using this method.

Slow Frying With Onions

Some people call this spice frying method as boohoo or bhunooing. Most of the time, people use it as the base for immediate cooking of various recipes instead of frying the spices for later use. It can help in building flavors gradually rather than adding all the seasonings in one go. However, you need to use more oil for this method.

To do this, you must put the stove on high and heat the oil. As soon as it starts to bubble, you need to lower the heat to medium. Start adding the spices, then turn the heat to the lowest level to allow it to release all the flavors gradually. Once it becomes aromatic, add the onion and continue cooking until the onion becomes golden brown. Then add all the necessary ingredients for your recipe. You can choose this method if you want to cook different sauces, curries, and stews.

Tempering Spices

You can do this spice frying method if you want to use spices as a garnish or condiment to your meal. Also known as “tadka,” you need to use high heat and two tablespoons of oil or ghee to tone down the flavor of the spices. You must heat the frying pan until it starts to smoke.

Drop small amounts of whole spices into the pan and wait to hear the popping sounds. It will let you know if the spices start to release their flavors in the oil. Once it happens, you can remove the spices using a slotted spoon or strain it to remove the oil. You can use it the fried spices as a sprinkle to jazz up a dish and enhance its flavors.

If you plan to do any of these methods, you must always make it a point to watch the spices closely to avoid burning. If you scorch a single piece of spice, it will affect the flavor of the entire batch. So make sure to stir the spices regularly for even cooking. Remember, frying spices might take some time before you can make a perfect batch. So never feel discouraged if you cannot make an evenly fried batch during your first try. But when you finally master these techniques, you can always use it to make yummier dishes using your spices.

Pratiksha Mohanty