Clove - Raw
Cloves are the unopened pink flower buds of the evergreen clove tree. The buds are picked by hand when they are pink and dried until they turn brown in color. Cloves are widely recognized all over the world for their medicinal and culinary qualities.
In order to keep the fragrance and flavor intact, clove is generally grounded just before preparing dishes and added at the last moment in the kitchen, since prolonged cooking results in evaporation of its essential oils. This popular spice has been used in the preparation of many regular dishes in Asian and Chinese cuisine since ancient times. Along with other spices like pepper, turmeric, ginger, etc. is being used in marinating chicken, fish, and meat. The spicy buds also feature in the preparation of soups, barbecue sauces, pickling and as one of the ingredients in curry powders
Health benefits of Clove-
Clove is a good source of vitamin-K, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), vitamin-C and riboflavin. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen-free radicals.The essential oil, eugenol in this spice has been in therapeutic use in dentistry as a local anesthetic and antiseptic for teeth and gum.
Whole cloves should be stored in a cool dark place in close containers for many months and can be milled using "hand mill" as and when required. Ground/powder clove should be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers and should be used as early as possible since it loses its flavor quickly.