If you have always been fascinated by the world of spices but have no idea on how to use any of them, then it might be time to learn. Using spices in cooking opens up a whole new world of possibilities worth exploring. The key is to not overload on them, and secondly to use them in a way that they complement each other, not drown each other. Plus, spices also come with a host of health benefits that are well worth getting used to. If you are getting into the culinary field or are just looking to learn more, this guide will be useful in getting you started with spices.
Know What They Look Like
Spices come in a range of colours and forms, and it is important that you know what each of them look like. For instance, roaster curry powder comes in a deeper brown and has a stronger aroma than normal curry powder which is lighter in colour. Ground fenugreek or cumin are also different in flavours and properties, although they can be harder to tell apart since the differences are not so obvious. The next time you go to the supermarket, get a small pack of each type of spice and familiarise yourself with their appearance.
Know Their Taste
It is a little difficult to know which spice is what immediately or to differentiate between them, but you will get there. Taste just a bit of everything so you can somewhat get an idea of the flavour palate. Then try using them in different dishes, for instance, chicken, beef, pork or beans, carrots and beetroot for instance. You will see how taste changes accordingly and then realise how much of what you should use, and what you should steer clear of. You can learn about important things like turmeric powder health benefits along the way.
Go to Culinary Fairs
There are different kinds of culinary fairs that crop up from time to time, so you are sure to find one close to you. These are excellent for equipping you with the necessary knowledge, so if you have any questions you can ask the experts as well. You will find new uses for spices and be introduced to cookery techniques you may not have thought of before, or were too nervous to try. There is a wealth of information to be acquired here, so if you are a true cooking enthusiast, you should definitely try to go.
Study the Grades
Not all spices you find for sale are of good quality. This is where it gets tricky, especially for beginners. One way to avoid coming home with watered down spices, is to ask your friends and family for tips on the best shops for spices. Secondly, you could put in some of the hard work yourself and figure it out. It is important that you do, because if not you will be using a much weaker version of the spice which will not do much good. Know which spices you buy are pure and fresh, so you get the best possible dish at the end.