Spices tend to burn easily so make sure that you have all the ingredients ready at hand. Every ingredients has different cooking property and a fraction of delay might let loose the flavour and value. In many Indian recipes the spices need to be added in quick succession and the cook will not have time to go looking for them in the middle of the cooking process.
Few tips to remember when cooking your spices:
1. Hot oil has the ability to retain the flavour, so add the spices only when the oil is hot. If you need to roast the spices on a dry skillet, again make sure the skillet is hot before you add the spices.
2. Spices cook very quickly and can burn so make sure you are constantly stirring and be ready to remove them from the heat as soon as they turn brown.
3. If crushed or pounded spice is needed for a recipe, do not do it too far in advance. The spice will lose its freshness and essential volatile oils; do it just when you need it.
4. Always add powdered spices that emit flavour at the end of cooking like garam masala powder.
5. Do not cook powdered spice for a long time; otherwise they tend to loose the essential oils that impart a dull smell to the food.
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