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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.