What are Cloves & How is it Used?
Cloves are a kind of spice that is found and used in various cuisines around the world. Cloves are a type of spice that are the aromatic flower buds of an evergreen tree which is scientifically classified as “Syzygium aromaticum”. These trees are native to the Molucca islands in Indonesia. Cloves have their own unique name in many languages. It is famously known as “Grambu” in Malayalam, “Laung” in Hindi, “Lavang” in Gujarati, and “Kirambu” in Tamil.
Cloves are predominantly grown in India and Madagascar but Indonesia is the true epicenter of the production of cloves in the world. History has shown that cloves had a major part to play in trade and world politics as their value back then was astronomically high. The clove trade was so popular that in 1667, following the second Anglo-Dutch war, the British ceded the Spice islands(part of current Indonesia) to the Dutch as a part of a deal to attain a faraway settlement known as New Amsterdam which is currently known as Manhattan. Cloves have a rich history wherein it was exclusively used for trading purposes. It was even used by the Han-dynasty court of China as early as 200 BC. They were used as a sort of perfume used to freshen one’s breath when addressing the emperor in front of a general audience. History has also documented the trade of cloves by the Muslim sailors and merchants during the Middle ages in the Indian Ocean trade. It was only until the latter half of the 18th century the French smuggled cloves from the East Indies to the Indian Ocean thus breaking the Dutch monopoly and allowing free production of cloves throughout several continents. Buy laung otherwise known as cloves from trusted vendors to attain a high-quality spice that can be used for various purposes
Cloves are a favourite among many chefs and cooks around the world. It is used in several cuisines around the world. Cloves are a warm spice that has an intensely pungent aroma and a sweet and bitter flavour. The flavour profile of cloves is predominantly sweet, bitter and a slight amount of heat. Spices that are similar to cloves in flavour profiles are cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg. Cloves are slightly stronger than these tepid flavours of the other spices and are thus less used in a blend or recipe. Some people do not like the flavour of cloves as they may find it too strong or overwhelming and choose to leave this spice out entirely when cooking. Cloves are used in the preparation blends such as garam masala, curry powders, and pickling spices. Their sweet flavor is also used to enhance food items such as sweets, cakes, cookies and add depth to items such as sauces, marinades, stews, and soups. Buy cloves or Laung from reputed vendors and experiment with it in various ways to create simple and iconic dishes in your personal kitchen.
Ground cloves are often used to flavour mainly rice dishes, soups, stews, and sauces. It is also one of the key spices that are among the key components that make up garam masala, a key ingredient in Indian cuisine. Whole cloves are usually either picked out of the dish after the cooking process or removed just before serving to retain their aroma and flavour. Whole cloves even when they are cooked have a very hard and woody texture that might prove to be difficult or unpleasant to bite into. Buy laung or cloves in the desired forms out of the two whichever is more suitable and compatible with the type of dishes you plan on making.
As a rule of thumb though, know that when buying laung which are whole, you can easily powder and produce them as ground cloves when and if necessary. This is apt as ground cloves like any other ground spice tend to quickly lose their flavour and potency. You can use a mortar, a pestle, or a grinder to powder them according to your own convenience. Be sure to thoroughly clean your tool as the flavor and the smell of the cloves tend to linger around longer than other spices. If you find it hard to buy laung, you can use equal amounts of allspice or make a quick blend of nutmeg and cinnamon with equal amounts of both to produce a clove substitute.
Cloves should be carefully preserved and should ideally be stored in an airtight container, preferably in a dark and cool place. Whole cloves tend to retain their potency much longer than ground cloves. Whole cloves tend to remain fresh for around a year when compared to the three months for ground cloves. So when you buy laung or cloves make sure to take into account your needs and storing capabilities in your home
Cloves have been long used in home remedies to treat several ailments and diseases. History has documented the use of cloves in ancient Chinese medicine and traditional medicine around the world. Cloves contain a compound called eugenol which provides the flavour in cloves. This compound also acts as a pain reliever and can help relieve inflammation. Cloves can also help treat toothaches but be mindful as they can be toxic for children, so keep the clove oil out of reach from children. If you are buying clove oil commercially always consult your local doctor for any queries over its use. Cloves also contain a variety of essential nutrients such as Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, manganese, and Vitamin E. The compound eugenol present in cloves also helps in promoting liver health by improving liver function, reducing inflammation, and decreasing oxidative stress. Cloves can also assist in protecting against and controlling cancer as clove extracts stop the growth of tumors and promote cell death in cancerous cells. So when you buy cloves or laung make sure to incorporate it into your daily diet to easily attain the various health benefits that it provides.