Essences info Cooking Tips
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Essences info Tips and Information|
Essences info 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.
Essences have been a part of indian cookery since antiquity. The ittars of the Mughal emperors of India were famous and rare flowers would be grown in the royal greenhouses to be converted into perfume.Some of these were used in the kitchen others in toiletry. Ittars came to symbolise romance and prestige and their addition to food was considered luxurious. Even today they are used at festive functions in ritual worship and at traditional weddings.
Floral essences are the most popular. The rose reigns supreme closely followed by screwpine or kewra jasmine and khus which is a highly fragrant grass. The best blooms or herbs are selected and the essence is distilled. This is mixed with water to make rose water kewrawater etc. Rose essence is extracted from cultivated dark pink and red roses. Jasmine grows widely all over India and is converted into a strong perfume. Sandalwood perfume is also used in the kitchen.
appearance and taste
Different essences have different colours rose is colourless kewra (screwpine) is yellow or transparent and khus is deep green. They are always powerful smelling and must be used very sparingly. They have no particular taste.
buying and storing
Some essences like rose are easier to find than others. You only need tiny amounts and it is a good idea to try 1 essence at a time. Store in a dark place with the cap tightly screwed on. They last for 23 years.
Essences are also used to liven up potpourris scent homes and to make preserves. Rose petals are packed in sugar to make a jam. This is enhanced with a drop of rose essence for fuller flavour : Khus essence is spayed on curtains woven out of khus grass to perfume the surroundings. Hindu deities are anointed with perfume concentrates as part of worship. Women all over India use ittars as part of their beauty regimen.
The easiest way to use an essence is to dilute a few drops in a lime water or milk and sprinkle over the food. Rose essence is used to flavour many milk sweets like cottage cheese balls in sugar syrup. Kewra essence adds a hint of colour and fragrance to some pulaos and sweets. All essences are also made into refreshing drinks. A few drops mixed with sugar lemon juice and cold water makes an unusual fragrant summer cooler or appetiser.
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