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Roasting spices


Roasting spices
If you like your food a little, or a lot, spicy, you'll no doubt have a jar or sachets of mixed spices in your cupboards from which to draw when preparing a dish.
I'm thinking, for example, of curries, chili and couscous, all of which fill the kitchen, and sometimes far beyond...
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Last modified on: October 30th 2020

Keywords for this post:TastesFlavorsSpicesRoasting
Roasting spices
At some point in the creation of your recipe, you will add the spices of your choice, in proportions to suit your own taste or that of your guests. The question is: when should you add them, is there a better time than another?

In most recipes, spices are added at just about any time, so it doesn't really matter, as the dish usually cooks for a long time and the aromas have plenty of time to develop.
This isn't quite true: in truth, there is an optimum moment, and it's not when the dish is practically finished - quite the contrary.

What we're all trying to achieve is that the spices reveal themselves completely with cooking, especially if they've been in their jars or sachets for (a little too) long, where they've had a chance to "pass through" a little.
The ideal way to cook spices is to roast them, i.e. cook them, almost on their own, to reveal their flavours before putting them in contact with all the other foods.

For the recipes mentioned above, you'll have a meat base that will be cooked for a long time with spices, so here's how to do it:

- To begin with, place the meat, generally cut into pieces, in your saucepan, casserole or stewpot, add a little fat, and brown it, i.e. grill just the surface, over a very high heat.
- Once it's done, it's time to add the spices all at once (the powerful smells will jump out at you, so light your hood if you haven't already), stirring well to coat the meat with them, it's very dry, a little strange, agglomerated, not to worry.

épices et viandes dans un couscous

- Cook and roast the spices and meats for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Then continue as normal, adding the vegetables or kidney beans, water, etc. etc.

épices et légumes dans un couscous

By proceeding in this way, your spices will give the best of themselves, and marry even better, first with the meats, then with the rest of the foods in your recipe.
It's quite simple, with few constraints, and you'll see that the results are just as good.

To sum up: if you're making a recipe that contains powdered spices, try roasting them and cooking them on their own or with just the meats before continuing with the recipe, as they'll taste much better.

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