Lightly toasting whole or ground spices before adding them to your recipes enhances the end flavors 10-fold. This works for both savory and sweet dishes. Best to toast small batches and use the toasted spices right away, or within a few days.
HERE'S WHAT TO DO
1. Place a dry pan on medium-high heat.
2. Add the whole or ground spices to the pan.
3. Dry-toast the spices, mixing constantly (shaking the pan) for about 30-45 seconds. It's quick! Don't walk away—or even look away!—from the pan! You'll start to smell the aroma of the spice, and the spices will start to brown just a touch... They're done! If you go too much longer they will taste burnt and bitter.
4. Now either remove the dry spices from the pan, or add oil/fat, or add your other ingredients.
5. If you're toasting whole spices, they can now be added whole to your recipes, or ground in a spice grinder or a mortar & pestle.
Pictures below is ground garam masala, cinnamon and coriander. Then I added butter and salt. I used this spice blend as a drizzle over winter squash.