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The Secret To Preparing Flavourful And Aromatic Ingredients

Thinking of the best ways to build up flavours while cooking? Or how exactly you can get that rich, aromatic and flavourful taste in your meals through spices, herbs, petals fruits or nut that will add colour and texture in your meals?

Then you are in luck because I am about to share with you tips on how to do just that.

Let’s start with preparing nuts, spices and seeds.
Most seeds of herbs are used in preparing food either whole, crushed or grounded into powder form. But did you know that you also have them roasted or dry-fried to enhance their flavours?

Roasting Seeds
Seeds like mustard, coriander, fennel and cumin can be lightly roasted before crushing and using.
To bring out their flavours;
Heat a small heavy pan over medium heat for about 1 minute (1 minute should do the trick).
Add the seeds and dry-fry them. Make sure you shake the pan for a couple of minutes and voila!! the aroma will start to rise. However, you should pay close attention so the seeds burn.

Did you know this already? That’s fine, let’s move to the next. Surely you’ll pick up a thing or two.

Grinding Seeds and Nuts
Definitely, you can always find grounded herbs and spices at stores but absolutely nothing beats the aroma of freshly ground seeds.

Chopping and Roasting Nuts
If you have a fresh supply of nuts and you want to grind or chop them, it’s safe to do it in a food processor. And trust me, the flavour would be so much better than commercially packed ones.
If the nuts are also roasted, it will accentuate their flavour. Place them in a pan over medium heat until slightly browned.

Herb Oils
You can create some magic with flavoured herbs. Flavoured herbs such as thyme, bay leaf, basil, rosemary, oregano and sage are particularly suited as flavoured oils.
Flavoured oils change the taste of your meals to a whole new level. You can use a single herb or a mixture of two or more and add additional ingredients like garlic and chilli for a more robust flavour.

Tips
Choose oils like olive oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil that wouldn’t overpower the herb.
If the flavoured oil is a gift and not homemade, note that the paler the colour of the oil, the more the herb will show through. If it has been made for a couple of weeks, check the intensity of the flavour. If it’s too distinctive, remember it will be further diluted once used in cooking. Remove the sprigs and add fresh ones to one of your favourite jars. Your favourite herb can be used to prepare your delicious flavoured oil, used as a dressing for salad and used in cooking amazing meals.

So This Is How You Do It
Get several large sprigs of Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon or Sage (say about 600 ml/1 pint/).
21/2 cups of light olive oil or sunflower oil or a mixture of the two.
Wash the herbs and pat dry discarding any damaged part.
Push the herbs down into clean, dry bottles so the tips face upwards.
Don’t cram too many into a small space.
Fill the bottles up to the necks with the oil and cover with a dark cork.

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