6 Hacks To Save Your Clumped Spices This Monsoon Season
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The monsoon season brings along with it a fair share of challenges when it comes to food storage. Prolonging the shelf life of ingredients becomes crucial as the humidity in the air affects the composition and freshness, thereby affecting the flavour and quality of your food. Spice powders, dry spice blends and even salt or sugar tend to get clumpy and hard when exposed to humidity during the rains, but instead of creating wastage, finding ways to save these ingredients and reuse them in a better condition can be done. Here are a few simple ways how.

Silica Gel Packs

Place silica gel packs in your spice containers to absorb excess moisture as these small pouches are desiccants that help maintain a dry environment, preventing clumping. Before refilling your spice jar or arranging bottles in your rack, place a couple of tiny packets in each drawer to prevent any additional moisture from making your spices clump.

Keep Lids Tight

Ensure that the lids of your spice containers are tightly sealed. What this does is help minimize the entry of moisture into the containers and prevents clumping. Use clean and dry spoons to extract spices from your jar or have dedicated spoons placed in your jars of salt, sugar, spice mixes or dabbas.

Use Rice

Placing a few grains of uncooked rice in your spice jars will absorb excess moisture and help keep your spice mixes dry. Known to famously be a home solution for removing the moisture from just about all kinds of objects, you could also make small lumps of rice and tie it in a cloth before dropping it into your jar of spice, for the duration of the season.

Image Credits: Unsplash

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Avoid Direct Sunlight

Store your spices away from direct sunlight and heat sources as both, sunlight and heat can increase humidity levels in the containers, leading to clumping. Sunlight also diminishes the flavour and fragrance of dry spices, disintegrating their natural properties. It is best to store your spice jars in a designated rack or in a cool, dry place to extend their shelf life and be able to use them for longer.

Grind When Needed

Consider grinding whole spices just before using them. Whole spices tend to clump less than pre-ground ones, which also helps preserve their flavour and aroma. Besides, grinding spices fresh while cooking allows one to experience the full impact of the flavour and aroma, that most store-bought or readymade spice mixes may not be able to provide.

Food Processor

Dump the clumped spices from your jar to a food processor or blender and pulse it three or four times, until the lumps disintegrate and turn into a fine powder. Dry toasting this powdered mix also helps get ride of any residual moisture, making the spice powder aromatic and dehydrated. Ensure that you cool your spice powder completely before transferring it back to the jar.