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Whole VS Ground Spices: When To Use Which One

Spices are an essential component of any dish. They provide flavourful essential oils to the food, making it irresistibly aromatic and delectable. Purchasing spice is easier. You can procure them from a retail store or an Indian spices exporter. However, things get tougher when you have to decide which one to choose for your dish.

Let’s explain more. If you are a regular chef, you may have experienced the problem of choosing between whole vs ground spices. While the best way to choose the right one is by considering the requirements.

There is no difference between ground spices and whole spices, as the former only comes from the latter. However, there is a vast distinction between potency, processing, and cooking method. In this article, we have tried to eliminate this confusion. Keep reading to learn when to use whole spice and ground spice.

When to use whole spices

Whole spices permeate the dish with a mild, gentle flavour. Consider how a stick of cinnamon or a few star anise pods emit warmth and aroma to a meaty braise. Just make sure you remove them before you serve the dish. Moreover, whole spices are your choice when you want the discreet flavour of an actual spice to pop in a dish or when you want a brighter flavour from the spice.

Some recipes specifically require whole spices, like white rice pulao. Sure, you will add some ground spice powders to the dish. But, the subtle hint of the whole spices imparts that subtle flavour without changing the beautiful pristine rice colour.

One thing you want to consider when using whole spices is whether the spices are edible or not. For example, peppercorns and coriander are not pleasant to eat and are often ground. So, if you use these spices whole, remove as much as possible before serving the dish.

When to use ground spices

Ground spices are the perfect choice when you want a flavour to blend into the dish’s foundation. They pack more flavour than their whole counterpart. Most Indian dishes contain delicious curry. And it should be smoother and even be able to give your food the required texture.

When using ground spices, add ground spices to the pot and roast them in oil before adding veggies or liquid. This will allow them to release their essential oil. But make sure you don’t burn them.

If the recipe calls for a whole spice and you only have a ground version, add them without hesitation. But be mindful of the ratio. When dealing with ground spices, you want to reduce the amount by 25% to be precise on the flavour.

Because ground spices have more concentrated essential oils than whole, add them ¾ when the recipe requires a full spoon. You also have to be mindful that powdered spices will change the final colour of the recipe.

Tips for sourcing spices

Spices permeate flavourful aroma into our dishes. But this only happens when they are of the best quality. You don’t want to purchase stale spices that do not give their characteristic flavour strong enough. Therefore, make sure to procure your spices from the right source.

It is better to purchase spices from specialty spice stores rather than general grocery shops. Spices come from faraway regions. By reaching the shelves, they may have spent significant time in the warehouse and lost much of their potency.

So, we recommend purchasing spices from stores that regularly restock their shelves. Buy whole spices in small amounts and ground them as you require. If you need a bulk amount, choose the right Indian spices exporter to purchase bulk spices.

You can go for a local wholesaler or Google overseas suppliers to buy wholesale spices online. Whatever way you go, make sure the supplier you are choosing is reliable for their quality and services.

How to store spices

Storing spices the right way takes effort. Spices are a little volatile and can go stale when not stored properly. Spoiled spices do not harm us like other food items do, though. But they can definitely become less effective, and you would have to use more quantity to achieve the exact flavour in the dish.

That is, knowing how to store spices properly is important. Make sure you choose an airtight container to store your spices. Glass is a better option than plastic as it does not absorb the flavour. Place your container in a dark and cool place with minimal dampness.

So, now you know when and how to use whole and ground spices and source and store them, now is the time to create delicious dishes and delight your taste buds.

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