The warm, sweet, floral star anise pod has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years
Taste: Sweet, anise and licorice like flavor
Look: A striking star shaped woody fruit of a tree in the magnolia family
Smell: Licorice and fennel like aroma
Star anise works well in savory or sweet dishes and is commonly used in Kashmiri cooking. It is a sweet spice addition to masala chai or for sweet chutneys and a necessary component of garam masala. It enhances ‘meatiness’ to meat curries and fragrance to biryanis. It is a strong spice so use it sparingly.
- Store in air-tight containers and they can be good for over a year.
- If boiling, use the whole star or just a few points. Otherwise grind the whole stars and sprinkle very lightly. A little goes a long way.
- The official flu fighter, star anise has been used to treat all kinds of respiratory illnesses. It is also used as a digestive to aid gas or bloating and to spark an appetite.
- Make a tea with star anise, black pepper and jaggery to aid in a sore throat or cough.
- Treats stomach aches.
- Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough.
Disclaimer: The sole purpose of the Health Benefits section of our spice pantry is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.