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Star anise info Free Tips and Information

Star anise info Free and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


star anise info
anasphal

One of the most beautiful spices available star anise is not as commonly used in India as it is in China. As well as adding a decorative touch it lends its delicate fragrance to north indian dishes although it is not grown in India at all. It is imported from China where it is an essential spice used whole as well as crushed into the blend of Chinese 5 spice powder. It is likely that star anise found its way to India along the silk route from China.

How it grows
Star anise is the fruit of a tree of the magnolia family which grows up to a height of 8 15m. Star anise is native to tropical and subtropical east Asia and grows mainly in Kwangsi in southern China and Vietnam.

Appearance and taste
Dried star anise is mahogany in colour hard and has eight hollow boatshaped petals which form a perfect star Each point of the star contains a shiny beadlike oval seed. Though star anis is not related ot aniseed the spice is similar in flovaour but the aromatic sweet taste is more pronounced.

Buying and storing
In India star anise is almost always sold whole though n other countries it is available ground or broken into pieces. It is sometime adulterated with the fruit of a Japansese tree also called poison bay or bastard star anises which is poisonous so make sure to buy pre packed bags of the spice. Being dried and whole it keeps well for up to a year.

Medicinal and other uses
In some places star anise is chewed to freshen breath and to help digestion. it is soothing to the stomach and carminative and is an essential flavouring in cough mixtures Its oil relieves rheumatism and is used as an antiseptic. The oil from star anise contains anethole which flavours confectionery chewing gum liqueurs and pharmaceutical preparations like syrups.

Culinary uses
The Chinese claim that the addition of 1 or 2 carpels of star anise greatly improves the flavour of roast chicken. They also use it in tea. In India it is used mainly in rich dishes like biryani and in succulent meat curries.
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