Tuesday, 20 October 2015

The Spice Rack: Star Anise

Stars in the sky...

Star Anise is a favourite spice of mine; one that I love for its charming intensity.

Star shaped and rust coloured, with a flavour reminiscent of anise (though the two are botanically unrelated), it is the most beautiful of all spices (or so I think!).
Obviously, the spice gets its name from its shape. The number of points in the star can vary, though usually it is seven or eight. As you can see, each point of the star contains a lustrous seed.

Do note that the spice is used as a whole normally. So even if you are making ground Star Anise, you don't need to separate the seed and pods. (Unlike in the case of cardamom pods - where it is quite common for the seeds to be separated and used alone in the making of Cardamom Powder.)

I'm slightly obsessed with the spice and like to use it wherever I can. Apart from using in masala powders, I like to have the (whole) spice in soups, stews and rice based dishes.

  1. Star Anise is the dried fruit of an evergreen tree (that is harvested just before the fruit ripens) native to South West China and is one of the ingredients of the Chinese Five Spice Powder (along with Cloves, Cinnamon, Fennel Seeds and Szechuan Peppercorns). 
  2. This is the sixth part of the Spice Series. (Only one more to go!)


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PS: There is some issue with images (not loading) in some recipes. I would be much obliged if you can notify me of blank spaces/crossed out thumbnails in any of the posts. TIA.

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