Have you ever heard of dry roasting your spices?
Common in Indian cooking, roasting whole spices in a dry frying pan is a process that intensifies the flavours as well as makes the spices easier to grind. You may have come across a recipe that calls for certain spices to be fried before adding other ingredients into your dishes.
Frying whole spices bring out the big flavours and aromas that permeates a dish more so than raw spices, but as soon as liquid is added the amount of pungency is reduced. Also, when roasting seed spices, more so Mustard Seed, they tend to jump around a bit so you may want to have a lid close by.
To roast your whole spices, follow these simple directions. Hint: A tablespoon of spices only takes 2 to 3 minutes to roast and just seconds to cool down when removed from the hot pan. For frying larger quantities, it can take anywhere up to 8 to 10 minutes to fry and brown evenly.
Instructions for Roasting your Spices
- Heat a heavy frying pan, such as cast iron, until it feels hot when you hold your hand above it.
- Once heated, reduce to medium heat and toss in the spices. Stir them constantly or shake the pan to keep the seeds moving.
- Let the spices darken and smoke a little, until they give off a heady aroma. If they turn too dark or turn color too quickly, reduce your heat to make sure they don't burn.
- Once you have browned your spices, pour into a bowl, letting cool until you grind them. Enjoy!