Dry roasting or
Toasting is one of the simplest ways to boost flavor and improve your
Heating a spice, whether roasting it
dry or frying it in a bit of oil, further enhances its flavor, giving
the spice a fuller character and a deeper, nuttier flavor.
comprised of two main oils. The first is a variety of volatile, or
essential, oils, which give the spice its aroma. The other is a series
of oleoresins, or non-volatile oils, which are responsible for the
flavor. By dry roasting spices, both oils are released, thus enhancing the
flavor and aroma of food.
Grinder devoted to spices makes grinding a snap, though you can also
grind spices, especially small quantities, in a mortar and pestle. An
important note : To keep your coffee grinder lid from discoloring,
stretch a piece of plastic wrap over the grinder, then put the lid and
Whole spices have
four times the shelf life of ground spices because their seed coatings
and barks protect their flavors, which aren't released until they are
ground or heated. Whole spices work best for dry roasting because ground
spices can burn easily.
How to Dry roast?
Dry roasting the
spices on the stove lets you keep an eye on them and enjoy their
fragrance. Because spices burn easily, it's important to use a
heavy-based pan over gentle medium heat.
Heat a wok or
heavy frying-pan so its medium hot. Don't add any oil or butter,
this is ‘dry-roasting’.
spice or spices. Shake the pan or stir the spices with a wooden
spoon as they heat. Remember to keep them moving.
when they become highly aromatic and turn slightly darker,
which usually takes just a couple of minutes, but can take as long
as five minutes, depending on the spice, the heat, and the
want to see any smoke coming off the spices, but when they're
getting close to done, you'll begin to hear a tiny popping sound.
immediately pour the spices out of the pan on to a plate to stop
them from cooking further. Let the toasted spices cool, and then
They can be
stored, tightly covered for a few weeks without losing much of their
flavor. With fresh spices, you will notice a big difference in flavor,
and you may discover that you don't need as much spice, making it worth
the extra cost and trouble.
More Than One Spice
You can toast
more than one kind of spice at a time. Begin with those that will take
longest and add any ground spices at the very end, just before taking
the pan off the heat. Ground spices are ready in fewer than 10 seconds;
whole spices take about 30 seconds. This is great when pre-preparing a
combination of spices or "Masala".