One can say, food without spices would be like life without friends, it will exist, but there won’t be any excitement or fun! Spices play an exemplary role in crafting delicious delights in the culinary world. Like in India, we can never get done with adding spices to all our beloved dishes. It is obviously important to season the dish for aroma and flavour, but there’s a right and wrong way of doing it. Too much or too less, seasoning can either make or break a dish. But, if you get it right, your recipe will turn out nothing less than flawless.
Today, let’s discuss some tips and tricks to master the art of getting the perfect seasoning in recipes.
Namak swad anusar!
This phrase has gained so much attention because it makes more sense in the culinary world than anything else. Salt is the most important seasoning in any dish you make and if the quantity of salt is here and there, the dish falls totally out of place. In my opinion, one should always add salt gradually according to their taste buds, because you can still add it later if it’s less but removing excess salt from a dish is quite a hassle, almost impossible.
Pep it up with black pepper!
Black pepper has been used in a variety of dishes because of the extraordinary flavour it imparts. But, the texture of the pepper also has a huge role to play with the flavour. It is said that one should use the finely ground pepper for sauces. The coarsely ground pepper is best for coating dishes to just add a final touch, so that the flavour is much prominent. For most of the recipes, your best bet is the coarsely ground pepper.
Temperature of the food matters
Cold dishes need some extra seasoning. When we serve something, which is supposed to be cold, we tend to season it while it’s hot or at room temperature. You should always be mindful about things like salad, they need a little extra pinch of salt before serving. Take a bite before serving the dish and adjust the seasoning. The best thing to do is to keep the salt and pepper shakers on the dining table so that the guests can adjust it accordingly.
Why should you roast the spices?
A lot of recipes demand a finely ground spice mix, especially in our Indian cuisine. It is always better to dry roast spices for a few seconds before grinding them to intensify their flavour. Always be mindful and keep a close eye on them while roasting so that they do not burn. Stir constantly and roast them on a medium to low flame until you can smell the beautiful aroma. Let them cool down a little, switch on the grinder and spice it up!
Know when the spices are too old
Many a times it happens that you don’t get the desired flavour in the food even though you’ve followed the recipe perfectly. This might happen when your spices turn rancid as they get ‘too old.’ Yes, it is said that spices last almost forever but they tend to lose most of their compounds lacking aroma and flavour. Try and refresh your spice rack every year. If you smell the spice jar and you don’t feel it’s right, it’s probably not. The weaker it smells, the weaker the flavour!
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.