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Star anise(chakriphool) is the fruit of the tree, Illicium verum. It is rust-colored, star-shaped and has six to eight pointed tips containing small seeds. It has been used as a medicinal and culinary agent around the world for ages. Its licorice like taste and aroma and pleasing aftertaste is what makes it special. It is widely used in Chinese, Vietnamese, and Indonesian and Indian cuisines. Star Anise is an ingredient in the Chinese Five Spice Powder and also in the Indian spice blend (garam masala). In India its distinctive flavor and aroma is relished in biryani and masala chai. It is used as a condiment in the preparation of curries, confectionaries and pickles. It has high medicinal value and is rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and C. It also possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties. It helps to relieve abdominal pain, digestive issues and nausea. Star anise is quite effective in easing sore throats and colds. Star anise is also an ingredient in many skincare and dental products. Due to its distinctive aroma it is also used in perfumery.
Star Anise is an essential component of Chinese Five Spice powder. Mix star anise ground with cinnamon, fennel seeds, cloves, and Sichuan pepper to obtain Chinese Five Spice powder.
Sprinkle into stir-fry vegetables, use it to add flavor in bread, curries, soups, pastries, and desserts like pudding, and custards
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