DHRUV’S KEY SPICES – AND HOW TO USE THEM
These are some of the spices I use most often. They’re all available from most supermarkets or Asian stores.
Cinnamon (above) Equally at home in savoury or sweet dishes, cinnamon is used in Chinese, Indian, Moroccan and Spanish cuisine. Use whole to infuse slow-cooked dishes, or ground to give a subtler flavour.
Fennel seeds (below) These have an unmistakable anise-like flavour and a hit of fresh woodiness, as well as a delicious floral quality. They’re used in everything from French to Italian cooking, as well as Chinese five-spice powder. Delicious with fish and vegetables, they also go wonderfully with pork.
Star anise (above) Although closely associated with Chinese cookery, this beautifullooking spice is also found in the cuisines of southern and southeast Asia. Each of its eight points contains a shiny seed and it has a versatile
aniseed flavour as well as a pleasant hint of liquorice. It is delicious when rubbed over duck before roasting, but I think it imparts the most fantastic flavour when used whole.
Turmeric (right) This is a key spice in the Ayurvedic system of medicine as well as in the kitchen. It is a rhizome, similar to ginger, but is bright orange inside – it turns bright yellow when dried, and has an earthy, slightly mustardy smell when ground that adds a depth of flavour as well as colour to dishes. Fresh turmeric root has the same earthiness along with a delightful floral note.