How to: Bloom Spices in Oil
While grinding whole spices is a crucial part of maximizing flavor, blooming ground spices in oil when cooking will take your dish to the next level. We'll show you how!
There are two very good reasons for frying ground spices in oil, one chemical and the other physical. First, heating up the spices in oil releases fat-soluble flavor compounds contained within spices like cumin and coriander. Second, adding spices to oil will distribute their flavor far more efficiently in the finished dish than adding them to the liquid component or stirring them in at the end.
THE 30 SECOND SIZZLE
Cooking with flavors is all about layering. If cooking with onions, add first and let soften, about 4-5 minutes. Then, add your spices, along with aromatics like minced garlic or ginger, and let them cook for 30 seconds to fully draw out their fat-soluble flavors.
Ground spices can burn fairly quickly, so keep an eye on them when they hit the oil, and be ready to add some kind of liquid to prevent scorching if necessary.