star anise

What is star anise, chakri phool? glossary | benefits | uses | recipes | Viewed 48214 times

Also Known as
Chakri Phool

What is star anise, chakri phool?


The unusual, star-shaped fruit of a small oriental tree, star anise is picked before it ripens, dried, and sold as a spice.

Star anise, as the name suggests, is star-shaped. It is hard, about an inch high, with five to ten (usually eight) segments and a dark brown rust-like colour.

Due to the presence of a chemical compound called anethol, star anise has a liquorice like taste, similar to anise, but stronger.

Powdered star anise
To make star anise powder, place a few star anise in a mortar-pestle and grind into a fine or coarse powder as per the recipe requirement. Alternatively, you can grind it in a mixer.

How to select star anise, chakri phool


• Star anise is readily available in grocery stores and supermarkets.
• The stars are available whole, or ground to a red-brown powder.
• When purchasing star anise, look for whole pieces that aren't broken.
• If buying the powder, choose a reliable brand or buy from a known source, as it is prone to colouring and contamination by grinding together cheaper spices and even wood pieces.

Culinary Uses of star anise, chakri phool in Indian Cooking


• Star anise is often used to flavour slow-cooked dishes in Indian and Chinese cuisine too.
• Apart from being added to many Indian stews and curries, it is also added whole when cooking rice for pulaos and biryanis. However, it is removed and discarded from the cooked rice dish before serving.
• It is one of the spices in the famous five-spice powder commonly used in Chinese cooking.
• Star anise is mostly added in Chinese red cooking, where the ingredients are simmered for a lengthy period in dark soy sauce.
• Chinese stocks and soups very often contain the spice.
• Some stir-fries also call for the use of ground star anise.
• In the West, star anise is added in fruit compotes and jams, and in the manufacture of anise-flavoured liqueurs, the best known being anisette.
• It is also used in confectionery, to impart a mild sweetness and spicy flavour.

How to store star anise, chakri phool


• Store star anise in a sealed container in a cool, dark place.
• Properly stored, star anise will last for several months.
• Discard once the flavour and aroma fade.

Health benefits of star anise, chakri phool

 
Star anise is a star shaped spice used in Indian cooking. It has great immunity boosting properties to fight viral infections. The best way to have it is by boiling it in hot water for 5 minutes and then letting it steep to absorb the flavour. Drink as is as a healthy Indian drink or dip your green tea bag into it. Star anise has shikimic acid in it which is used by pharma companies to make anti viral drugs to cure infections.

See here complete health benefits of star anise.