My kitchen spices are some of my most prized possessions. I’m delighted when I open an Indian cookbook, notorious for long lists of unusual spices, and can prepare any meal within. We enjoy frequent relocations overseas. My primary concern is whether the movers will ship my spices, and if not, where can I hide them in our belongings? After that, I start to worry about getting our cat, Skeletor, to his new home. Priorities.
As a spice collector, I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never had Chinese 5-spice until I made it this week. So obviously, I am now an expert. It’s delicious! I’m generally not a fan of store-bought spice blends; I feel like it stifles my creativity. This seemed like a mystery blend, and I wasn’t sure how it would taste. What is a Sichuan peppercorn anyway?
- 1 heaping tbsp Sichuan peppercorns (amazon.com folks)
- 8 star anise
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tbsp clove
- 1 heaping tbsp fennel
Pick out the peppercorn seeds from the husk and discard. The husk has all the flavor and the seed is gritty. Begin by dry roasting the peppercorn husks to bring out their flavor. After a minute add the rest of the spices and roast over medium heat until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the spices. Quickly remove from the pan and put on a plate to cool. Add all the roasted spices to a high-powered blender or spice grinder to powder the spices. Recycle an old spice jar for storage.
Ayurvedic bonus – The spice mix contains all six tastes! This is significantly important for each meal.
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