Easy-to-Miss Reasons Why Your Dinner Doesn't Turn Out
Never again will you put in all that work just to sit down to a so-so meal.
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Indian Food That Somehow Loses Its Wow Factor
It seems to happen every time: Your chicken biryani looks and smells amazing, but tastes impossibly bland. The reason, says chef, author and spice expert Christina Arokiasamy
, could be that your spices need refreshing (they get "tired" after anywhere from six months to three years
, so write the date you first opened a spice on the container). Another common pitfall: Tossing the spice into the dish without preheating it. Arokiasamy suggests dry-roasting ground spices (for whatever you're making, not just Indian dishes) in a frying pan just before cooking, which will help release their aromatic oils (it only takes a minute or so). If you are using spice seeds such as cumin, fennel, mustard or cardamom; dried chilies; or cinnamon stick, fry them in a little olive oil at the beginning of the cooking process for robust flavor.