Spices are crucial components in Indian cooking, which may explain why we protect them like treasured possessions. In most Households, spice combination recipes are passed from generation to generation, so a food tried at somebody’s home is not the same elsewhere. Many chefs take great pride in the unique spice blend they use to entice friends and relatives alike. Nowadays, people can buy Masala online whenever required.
Having said that, the wet monsoon season puts a damper on our love affair with spices. Nothing could be more upsetting than discovering your prized jar of spice mix lacking in flavour or fragrance or all mushed up with moisture. Spices are fragrant due to the essential oils they comprise; however, these oils are extremely volatile and quickly lose flavour. As a result, they must be properly stored. Because of the additional moisture in the atmosphere during the monsoon season, ground masalas and whole spices often seem to become soggy or lose their flavour if it is not properly stored. For various reasons, it is common for masala powder to stick to the bottom of the jar.
Tips to protect Masala
Store them in an airtight container : This is the most basic rule for storing spices and Masala. They must be kept in an airtight container; otherwise, the moisture in the air will destroy the Masala and make them lose their taste, aroma, and colour. You can reuse jars or small plastic containers or buy spice jars for each container. Traditional Indian spice containers with small jars are another great way to store spices. It is also useful to put all the important spices in one jar while cooking.
Keep it at a distance from heat – Although you may wish to keep all the ingredients handy while cooking, it is best not to keep the condiments next to the gas stove. Most of the time, we tend to put them on a shelf close to the cookware in order to keep a certain distance from them while cooking. This can cause moisture to accumulate in the spice jar, causing the spice to lose its flavour.
Keep it away from light : We all want a large kitchen with plenty of natural light, but it is not ideal for storing our precious spices. Light affects the taste of spices, so it is best to store the jars in a cool place. Put them in a closed cabinet. Another clever approach is to use coloured containers to reduce light penetration.
Keep it at a distance from water – Any form of moisture is disastrous for the preservation of spice mixtures. Make sure always to use a clean and dry spoon when cooking.
Do not store the cup near the sink, as a few drops of water will affect the taste and aroma.
Choose a perfect place to keep it – The place to store the Masala is also important because the main goal is to keep them longer. We don’t want them to deteriorate because they can easily waste our time and energy. It is best to store Masala in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or moisture. Make sure that the shelf where the Masala is stored is not directly above the stove because steam and moisture will affect the quality of the Masala. In this way, you can keep the best masala products at home.
Keep it in the refrigerator : Because the refrigerator is cool, it is also regarded as a perfect location to store Masala, so freezing is not an issue for them. If you buy masalas in large quantities, it is best to store them in the refrigerator. However, if you plan to use Masala every day, please avoid freezing, as they will be constantly exposed to air and moisture, causing deterioration.
Stop using a wet spoon – The slightest mistake, taking the Masala out of the box with a wet spoon or measuring them, will destroy the entire batch. When we say that it should not be exposed to moisture, we even mean the water droplets on a wet spoon. So, even if you are in a hurry, use a dry spoon, or if the spoon is being washed, wipe it with a dry cloth and use it again because just a few seconds of ignorance may cost you a lot.
Know when to dispose of – As important as knowing how to store Masala, knowing when to dispose of them is also important. You can do a quick smell test for this. If you realise that the fragrance is different from when you bought it, then you must empty the container and refill it with new masala powder, as it will not add any flavour to your dishes. Therefore, it is best to store it in small amounts and refill it when necessary.
Conclusion : Spices are best used fresh, so if you grind spices at home or buy pre-packaged items, please reduce their quantity. Remember, it is important to keep them properly because the essence of spices lies in their freshness and taste. Numerous masala products of India are exported all over the world.