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Dry Roasting is a technique whereby whole spices used in cookery (especially, but not limited to, Indian cookery) are placed into a dry pan over a moderately high heat and roasted until they have darkened and their aroma becomes stronger.

This has the effect of intensifying or otherwise improving their flavour.
Spices treated in this way are usually ground and should be used fairly quickly (ideally immediately) in order to gain maximum benefit from the process.

Care should be taken not to burn the spices during this process, as they will almost inevitably take on a bitter taste.
This technique acts upon the aromatic oils present in the spice, intensifying them and causing permeation throughout the body of the seed.
It is especially effective in the more oily spices (Cardamom, Cloves, Cumin and Coriander etc).

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