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All you need to know about grains of paradise

Grains of paradise is an aromatic spice that looks like peppercorns with origins in West Africa and notes of cardamom, coriander, citrus, ginger, nutmeg, and juniper. Packing a light, peppery heat, using grains of paradise seeds is a mouthwatering way to season myriad dishes. It can be used in place of black pepper for a much more complex flavor, added to spice rubs, braises, spice cakes, or gingerbread, or even mixed into apple pie filling.


How To Cook With Grains Of Paradise

Grains of paradise is usually sold as the intact seed. You can use it whole as an aromatic to be removed and discarded before serving, similar to using other whole spices like cardamom or cloves. Lightly crush a couple of seeds (just enough so that they crack), toss into rice as it’s cooking (particularly if you’re using the rice for any Middle Eastern, African or Indian-inspired dish), and remove before serving. Use cracked seeds to flavor oil or butter before sauteing vegetables, or use grains of paradise in place of black peppercorn when making homemade chai.

For a stronger flavor, grind the seeds either by using a pepper mill or spice grinder, or manually with a mortar and pestle until pulverized.


How To Store

Store whole in an airtight container in a dark, dry place (like a pantry), and grind as needed. This will ensure the spice's flavors last for up to six months.