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How to make your best ever spice blend
EXPERT TIPS FROM INDIAN COOKERY SCHOOL CHEF BINI LUDLOW, FROM SWEET CUMIN WWW.SWEETCUMIN.CO.UK
Blending spices doesn’t need to be overly complicated, it all comes down to what you want to achieve from the flavours.
First answer critical questions such as: Do I want a citrus note? A bitter or sweet flavour? Floral and fragrant with an intense colour? How do I want the spices to appear in the dish – coarse or finely ground? Should they be seen in the dish or dissolved? What is the main ingredient in my dish and how do I want its flavour to be enhanced by the spices?
Always use the best spices you can afford. Look at the colour and check they are fresh by crushing them in a pestle and mortar and tasting them. Do they release the flavours you intend them to and how will these flavours work together to complement your dish?
Garam masala is used as a base in many curries and you can easily make it using a base of coriander seeds and cumin 2:1 ratio. Add other spices to flavour as you wish; bay leaves add fragrance, black peppercorns turn up the heat, cassia bark has a lovely warming sweetness as do cloves.
Take the time to taste spices and make a note of their qualities. Have a play around and try different combinations, you’ll soon get an understanding of which are most suited to the dishes you are preparing.
Why not try this recipe: Masala potatoes with cumin and tomatoes
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