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Nutmeg (Jaiphal)


The aroma of nutmeg is as delicious as its taste: it is best used as an addition to sweet recipes like puddings and pies. It can also be used on meat dishes for an added flavour enhancer.

In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savoury dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It may be used in small quantities in garam masala. Nutmeg can be used in preparation of vegetables, too. It works especially well with cheese dishes and is often a part of souffles. Egg dishes respond very well to the addition of nutmeg. It is also added in small quantities as a medicine for infants.

After about a thousand years of circulation on the global spice routes, nutmeg has worked its way into a significant number of Asian, European, Middle Eastern, and African cuisines. It seems to go with just about anything, and its rich, fragrant flavour and aroma are intoxicating. Like other sweet spices, it plays nicely with starchy potatoes and squash, and dark meats like lamb and pork.

Perhaps more than any other spice, nutmeg needs to be freshly ground from a nutmeg nut. There is nothing like the fantastic scent and flavour of freshly ground nutmeg. And since the whole nuts keep more or less forever, your upkeep is pretty low. It can overwhelm other flavours easily, so add it by the pinch. Nutmeg has a chameleon quality: its flavour blends several other ingredients and unites disparate elements of a dish.


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