Spice blooming is the practice of releasing the essential colors, flavors, and aromas from spices prior to adding them to your food. This practice can significantly improve the flavors you will be able to achieve with your spice blends. An easy way to bloom your spice is by adding a bit of hot water or even warm oil to your spice blend and letting the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes prior combining them to the food. Some recipes, such as the Masala Chai Tea recipe below, will begin with toasting your spices. Toasting you spices in this way is akin to “blooming” your spices, and is an essential step in many recipes, needed to release the potential flavors within the spice so they will be translated to and present in the final dish.
Masala Chai Tea
4 Cup Water
1 Cup Cream Milk
2 Inches Fresh Ginger (Sliced Thin)
7 Cloves (Whole)
4 Cardamom Pods (Crushed)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
2 Star Anise (Whole)
3 Tbsp. Loose Leaf Black Tea
2 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup or Honey
2 tsp. Ground Turmeric
2 tsp. Fennel (Whole)
In a medium sized pot, warm the star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, turmeric, and fennel, and stir frequently until fragrant.
Add water, bring to a rolling boil, and simmer covered for 20-40 minutes, or until water has turned dark and the spices have permeated throughout the liquid.
Add black tea and boil for 15 minutes.
Carefully strain hot tea to remove the spices.
Add milk and maple syrup or honey and stir to combine.
Serve hot in the morning with breakfast or as an afternoon pick me up.