| FOOD & DRINK
IF, LIKE MANY OF US YOU HAVE ACCUMULATED QUITE THE SPICE COLLECTION OVER THE YEARS BUT HAVE STRUGGLED TO STORE YOUR FLAVOURFUL BOUNTY, FEAR NOT, OUR SPICE QUEEN ANISHA IS ON HAND WITH SOME SIMPLE TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR SPICY INVESTMENT, KEEPING IT FRESHER FOR LONGER
Spice Up Your Life
or many the word “spices” means spicy heat but on the contrary they come in many different forms, such as seeds, bark, roots, fruit or stems from a variety of plants and trees. Spices are full of unique and wonderful flavours and used to enhance both sweet and savoury dishes. I prefer my spices in both forms. Whole spice is known for being vigorous but like a caterpillar comes alive into a beautiful butterfly when sizzling in hot oil creating wonderful, wholesome, earthy aromas. Whereas ground spices are bold and warming, and when used in sauces release an intense burst of flavour. It is no secret that spices lose their oomph as they sit, so those pretty and colourful jars lingering on supermarket shelves just won’t cut it. Look for stores that specialise in spices and herbs or markets that sell in bulk and have a high turnover of produce. Store spices in airtight containers and definitely away from direct heat and sunlight; preferably in a cupboard, pantry or drawer to avoid reduction in quality to the essential oils. When in doubt purchase smaller packets of spices and place them into a spice dabba (spice dabba is an airtight Indian spice container that has separate compartments keeping spices organised and fresh.)
Another easy solution is to put your most frequently used herbs, spices and seasonings at the front and centre of your cupboard or draw. There isn’t much need to fit cinnamon sugar into a spice rack if you only use it once a year.
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These are just a few well-loved and frequently used ideas that will avoid squirreled away spices in bags and over flowing spices stuffed into tiny jars, spilling loose powder either on the floor or the cupboard every time you go to use it.
MASON JARS: They are inexpensive, perfect for everyday use if you are using large quantities of spices. DRAWS: Storing spices in draws is perfect if you want to be organised and if you use less spices and don’t need large containers like, mason jars. An additional bonus is to label the tops of the mini jars or tubs so you can find something with ease.
MASALA DABBA (INDIAN SPICE BOX): This is my favourite and my kitchen must-have. They are practical, airtight and keep your frequently used spices fresh and organised. MODERN SPICE RACK INSIDE A CABINET DOOR: Whether or not you're involved in an organisational overhaul you may find some inspiration in a simple, spice rack inside a cabinet door… because they make so much sense and you aren’t digging around in a cupboard while in the middle of cooking.
MAGNETIC SPICE JARS: Ideal for small kitchen and can go anywhere, on the fridge, on a cooker splashback or a metal spice rack. These are super clever and they just stick to the fridge creating a rather lovely and colourful beehive pattern.
September/October 2016 Wedding Special - A local Leicestershire publication