28 Jan Star Anise-Star of Asian Cuisine
Have you heard of it? Widely in used in preparing the 5 spice Chinese mix and for our Indian Garam masalas, people know it as Star Anise. This spice obtained from the fruit of an evergreen tree, native to North East Vietnam and Southwest China comes in a beautiful star-shape. It is usually picked before it ripens. Also, the oil extracted from the spice is highly fragrant and good for cooking. You can also use the spice to prepare perfumes, toothpaste, creams or mouthwashes and more.
Star Anise – The Flavour and Look
Sweet and Spicy palate imparts to Star Anise, its unique liquorice flavour or taste. With it’s anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, this spice is an excellent remedy for flu, digestive problems or even sleep disorders. It also helps to cut down on the cancer risk.
Dark brown in colour growing as a pod, the spice has about 6 to 8 segments. Each of these pods carry a seed, hence the name you can say. It is a part of allspice family, more often used in western cuisines is popular belief. However, star anise used as whole Indian masala. It also part of Indian garam masala, thus telling you its importance in Indian cuisine. Greek, French and Asians love to use it for their cooking.
Unique and Useful Benefits of Star Anise
Said to be a cure for rheumatism and colic, star anise also has medicinal properties. It also provides the required amount of anti-oxidants for the body. It helps to fight influenza and cough. Meanwhile, the Japanese have also used it as an alternative to incense.
Can you think of any other uses it has? For instance, star anise makes for good decorations. It is also useful for creating art and even as earrings, all because of the lovely dark colour and its beautiful shape, that it has.
Can you grow them at home?
The star anise usually flourishes in a subtropical and warm climate. You should also take care to grow it in humus and compost-rich soil. Ensure to also keep the soil moist always. Wait till the tree matures, and as soon as it grows, you will have to pick the star anise, while they are still green. When sun-dried the colour changes to a beautiful hue of reddish-brown.
Uses of Star Anise
Good for cooking, this spice also helps to boost the taste of eggs, fish, pears, poultry, leek, shrimp and so on. Adding star anise helps to enhance the flavour of soups or even as an ingredient in Green Teas. However, despite its nutritional or medicinal value, people especially the pregnant women need to check with the doctor as to the required quantity to include in their diet.
Nutrition Facts for Star Anise (Per 100gm)
The specified amount of spice contains 15 mg Sodium, 1450mg Potassium, 50gm Total Carbohydrates, 15gm Dietary Fibre and 20gm Protein. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.