Zira - description
Zira, also known as cumin or roman cumin, is a herbaceous plant originally from India. As a spice, it gained immense popularity in East Asian countries, thanks to its fragrant seeds. Zira is a plant from the umbrella family, therefore its seeds are collected from umbrellas, as well as from dill. The grains dried on the stem quickly fall off, so they are harvested immature, and then dried. The appearance of the plant is very similar to cumin, so they are often confused. But in taste and aroma, these are completely different spices. Zira is cultivated in Iran, Southeast Asia, Syria, Afghanistan, Latin America. There you can meet her in the wild. There are several types of cumin - Syriac, Badakhshan, Kashmir, Nabatean, Kirman and Persian, each of which is somewhat different in taste and aroma from each other. The last two types of spirits are most in demand, because have a great aroma and bright taste.
Zira - properties
Regular consumption of spirits helps to normalize digestion, purify the blood, removes slags. This spice eliminates flatulence, normalizes kidney function, is a mild laxative and diuretic. It is recommended to use for the prevention of heart disease, calm the nervous system, with toxicosis in pregnant women, diseases of the upper respiratory tract (bronchitis, wet cough). A weak decoction of spirits gives infants to get rid of abdominal pain during colic, nursing - to increase lactation. Zira is not used for gastric ulcer, gastritis (acidity), duodenal ulcer.
Zira - use in cooking
Zira as a spice is very popular in Oriental and Asian cuisines. Both whole grains (seeds) and powder are used. The spice has a sweetish-spicy taste and a very rich aroma with nut notes, which is enhanced by rubbing and roasting. Add grain of spirits to pilaf, rice, legumes, meat, vegetable dishes, pickles, used for salting. Ground cumin is added to soups, bread, pastries, sauces, and spicy mixes. In Central Asia, zira must be added to the mince when cooking sausages made from lamb and horse meat. A pinch of jeera added to salads or fish dishes will significantly improve and enrich their taste. In Europe, zira is not as popular as in Asian countries, but, nevertheless, it is also used in cooking. The truth is put in dishes in significantly smaller quantities than in the East. Recipe examples with Zira
Recipe 1: Egyptian Salad
Salad with a stunning and refreshing taste will be the perfect complement to meat or fish. Not the last bit to give him such a delicious taste made exactly zira. I must say, if feta cheese can be replaced with soft cheese or fetaxa, then mint and cumin for this salad cannot be replaced with anything. These are required components. Mint is needed fresh, not dried leaves.
Ingredients: Feta - 300g, 1 cucumber (fresh), 1 small onion (preferably red onion), 0.5 lemon (juice), 2 tablespoons. olive oil, a small bunch of parsley and dill, 2 table. bed of minced mint, pepper, 0.5 tea. slope. zira.
Method of preparation
Crumble the cheese with a fork, squeeze out the juice from the lemon, pour in the oil, pepper and mix.
Finely chop greens and mint leaves, chop onions and cucumbers into small cubes. Mix all the ingredients for the salad, sprinkle with chopped zira (rub with hands or use a coffee grinder). Stir and serve again.
Recipe 2: Appetizing knuckle
This knuckle is not only appetizing, but also very fragrant. While cooking in the kitchen there is such a fragrance that the neighbors on the floor start ringing at the door and asking for dinner. Very tasty pork. It is recommended to take the knuckle from the front leg, it is not so fat. Although a matter of taste. And one more thing about sugar. The original was listed 4 tablespoons. Therefore, if you like sweetish taste, you can put so much.
Ingredients: 1 pork knuckle (shank), 2 medium onions, 1-2 carrots, 0.5 liters of light beer, 1.5-2 tables. lie sugar, 4 cloves of garlic, salt, spices: 5 grains of allspice and black pepper, 0.5 cu. lie basil, dried garlic, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and cumin.
Method of preparation
Water is good, salt, put all the spices, and cook the knuckle for about two hours, not forgetting to add onions and carrots.
From beer, sugar and chopped garlic to prepare the sauce - just mix. He needed later. Fans of spicy can add ground hot pepper.
Put the boiled shank in shape or on a baking sheet, pour garlic-beer sauce (pour out all) and bake for an hour and a half (180C). Every fifteen minutes, the shank must be watered with a new portion of sauce.
Recipe 3: Rice with Zira
This recipe is not pilau, but delicious spicy rice, which is served as a side dish for meat or chicken. Rice would probably have turned out to be the most ordinary, if not for the magic zira, which greatly enriched its taste.
Ingredients: 300g long grain rice (basmati, you can take steamed), 3 table. lie vegetable oil, 1 not very large onion, 0.5 liters of water (broth), 1 tea. lie salt, 1/4 teal.lozh. pepper, 1 tea. shredded fat.
Method of preparation
Chop onions and fry in oil. It is better not to fry in a pan, but in a saucepan or a saucepan with a thick bottom, because rice will be added here.
After five to seven minutes, add salt, zira and pepper to the onion. Fry for about a minute. Then add rice, mix. It is important that each rice grain is covered with oil, so it is necessary to mix thoroughly.
Pour in liquid (water or broth), bring to a boil. Then reduce the fire to the lowest and cook until soft rice. It is cooked with the lid closed. If the water boils away and the rice remains harsh, then, as necessary, add a little boiling water.
Zira - useful tips from experienced chefs
- In order to preserve the flavor of the butter, it is recommended to buy spice in the grains, and grind into powder, or fry, immediately before use.
- Do not store the spice for too long, especially in a ground form, - it starts to taste bitter.
-Save the meat for several days without a refrigerator, if you rub it with salt and ground zira.