PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 06: Padma Lakshmi attends the South Asian Women Get Out the Vote Canvass Event on November 06, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images for Indian American Impact)
Padma Lakshmi's Top Tip To 'Wake Up' Ground Peppercorns
By Haldan Kirsch
Author, model, and TV host Padma Lakshmi might be best known as a food media celebrity, but she is also a master of working with spices. In an Instagram reel recently posted by Lakshmi, she shared some black pepper expertise with her audience while preparing a chickpea, pepper, and spinach salad.
In her video, she says “You're going to dry roast these peppercorns, and really wake up the oils. You don't want to be using any of that old nasty black pepper that's been in the back of your cupboard for a year.” Taking about a half-teaspoon of whole black pepper from her jar, Lakshmi then toasted the spice gently over the stove.
The peppercorns only needed a couple of minutes over the flame to toast up nicely before Lakshmi ground them in a mortar and pestle, and added them to her salad. Not only does toasting spices help activate the oils inside that give them flavor, but it also releases moisture and makes them easier to grind as well.