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Star Anise

Also Known As : Star phul , Chakra phul, Anas flower, Badyan, Badian
Technical Name : Lllicium verum

Vegetarian

Taste Profile

  Star anise has a strong smell with a sweet licorice flavour.

Usage Tips

  1. Star anise is ground and added to Chinese five-spice powder and Indian garam masala powder.
  2. Whole pods are added to flavour stews, sauces, marinades, braised dishes, and soups.
  3. Star anise is used to infuse its licorice flavour in alcohols like absinthe, sambuca, and pastis.
  4. It is added to Chinese tea and in Indian masala chai. It is a great addition to desserts, such as muffins, sweetbreads, pies.
  5. Star anise should be stored away from heat, moisture, and sunlight, specifically in an airtight container.
  6. Whole pods will stay fresher than ground ones. To find out the freshness of whole star anise, break off a point and press until the seed comes out.
  7. If it has a strong aroma, then it's fresh. If the ground spice is toasted it sometimes heightens the flavor.

Common names and forms

  1. Anas Flower
  2. Anistar
  3. Baadya
  4. Badiyan
  5. Organic Star Anise Whole
  6. Star anise powder
  7. Star Phool
  8. Whole Star Anise

Description

Star anise is a popular spice obtained from the fruit of an evergreen tree which is native to Southeast Asia and China. Its shape is unique as it has star-shaped pods. As a whole, it is an eight pointed star that contain little spice seeds. It is named star anise because of its shape and it's similarity in flavor to the spice aniseed. This star-shaped spice is highly valued due to its health-boosting compounds like Linalool, Quercetin, Anethole, Shikimic acid, Gallic acid, and Limonene. Hence it is not only used in culinary preparation but in medications too. Star anise is one of the core ingredients in Chinese cuisine. It is one of the main spices in Chinese five-spice powder. It is popularly used to season roast duck in Chinese cuisine while in Vietnamese cuisine, it's added in the popular soup, pho. The usage of star anise dates back to 100 B.C and was used mainly in China and few Southeast Asian regions, then an English sailor introduced the spice to Europe in the 16th century. At present it is cultivated in China, Vietnam, Spain, France, Italy,  Philippines, Morroco and India.There is a Japanese variety of star anise but it is considered highly poisonous.

Health benefits

  • Star anise is valued for one of its compounds called Shikimic acid is a compound that has strong antiviral properties for which it is used in the medication Tamiflu, for the treatment of influenza.(1)
  • It has curative properties in conditions like a cough or sore throat, as it can bring down the inflammation and neutralize the underlying infection.(2)
  • Due to the presence of magnesium and antioxidants, it releases neurotransmitters that bring relaxation and sleep, thus helpful for people suffering from insomnia or disturbed sleep.(2)
  • It has strong anti-fungal properties that can treat fungal conditions like candida, ringworm and athlete's foot infection.(2)
  • It is considered good for digestion and also prevents bloating, gas and cramping.(2)

 

Selection Guide

Always check the source of the star anise while purchasing to make sure it’s purely the Chinese variety. Star anise can be bought whole or ground-based on the requirement. Check that it is free from moisture, insects and moulds.  

Note

Star anise may cause allergic reactions in some people. The biggest risk is of consuming Japanese star anise which is similar to Chinese star anise but contains neurotoxins that may result in nausea, seizures, and hallucinations. Also, it may cause death in infants. Thus, it’s best not to give star anise to infants and children due to the risk of contamination with Japanese star anise.(3)

- Disclaimer
"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”