Cinnamon is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. There are many different species.The two main varieties are Cinnamomum cassia and Cinnamomum zeylanicumIt is a sweet-tasting spice, with a warm, woody aroma. The smell of Cinnamon is pleasant, stimulates the senses, yet calms the nerves. The thinnest bark is the best quality cinnamom.It is available as a powder but is much better bought in sticks. When ground, the flavor becomes stronger. Whole cinnamon is used for spacing hot drinks, ground - in cakes, sweet dishes, fruit pies (especially apples). It can also be used in curries, and combines perfectly with chicken.
Cinnamon – Names in different Indian Languages.
Hindi– Dalchini, Bengal – Dalchini, Gujrati – Tuj, Punjabi – Dalchini,
Tamil - Pattai, Urdu – Darcheen
100 gram of ground cinnamon contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA.
- Energy: 1034 kJ (247 kcal)
- Fat: 1.2 g
- Carbohydrates: 80.6 g (of which - Fibres: 53.1 g, Sugars: 2 g)
- Protein: 4.0 g
Cinnamon bark is widely used as a spice. It is principally employed in cookery as a condiment and flavoring material. It is used either in stick form( for example in Biryani and Pulao it is added along with cardamom and cloves in the oil before any other ingredient is put) or in powdered form for example as in curries.
Cassia and cinnamon have similar uses, but since it is more delicate, cinnamon is used more in dessert dishes. It is commonly used in cakes and other baked goods, milk and rice puddings, chocolate dishes and fruit desserts, particularly apples and pears. In India it is used in curries and in garam masala. It is also often used in savory dishes of chicken and lamb. In Cinnamon bark is one of the few spices that can be consumed directly.
Whole quills will keep their flavor indefinitely. Unfortunately it is difficult to grind so for many recipes the powdered variety will be preferred. Like other powdered spices cinnamon loses flavor quickly, so should be purchased in small quantities and kept away from light in airtight containers.
Since it has a strong flavor, it is used in small quantity otherwise it can subside other flavors in the dish. In powdered or paste form it is recommended to use it at the end of the recipe to retain its flavor.