Cinnamon is a flavorful spice that has been around for centuries and is used in many cuisines worldwide.
Cinnamon has a fascinating history and was once worth its weight in gold, mainly traded along the Silk Road.
It was a symbol of power, wealth, and prestige, and its value was even mentioned in ancient texts such as the Bible and the Qur’an.
What makes cinnamon unique is its versatility.
It can be used in various ways, from simple recipes like cinnamon toast to complex dishes like biryani. Cinnamon is used in sweet and savory dishes in many cuisines, showcasing its versatility.
In this article, we will delve into cinnamon, exploring its different types, how they can be used in cooking, and the many cuisines that incorporate cinnamon in their dishes.
What Is Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the bark of various trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum. It has a sweet and warm aroma can add a unique flavor to both sweet and savory dishes.
The spice is native to tropical regions of Asia, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and India.
Cinnamon is considered one of the oldest and most valuable spices worldwide, with a rich history that dates back to ancient times.
How To Harvest Cinnamon?
Obtaining cinnamon is complex and involves harvesting, processing, and drying the tree bark.
After harvesting the cinnamon, the outer bark is scraped away, revealing the inner bark harvested and dried to form the cinnamon sticks seen in the market.
The sticks can then be ground into powder or used as a whole in recipes.
Due to its unique flavor and health benefits, cinnamon has found its way into various cuisines worldwide.
From curry dishes in Indian cuisine to tamales in Mexican cuisine, cinnamon adds a distinctive flavor and aroma to cultural dishes.
In recent years, cinnamon has also been used in modern cuisine, with chefs incorporating it into chocolate desserts or cocktails.
What Are The Types Of Cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a popular and versatile spice used in different cuisines worldwide.
However, not all cinnamon is created equal.
Two main cinnamon types are commonly used in cooking – Cassia and Ceylon.
Cassia cinnamon, also known as Chinese cinnamon, is the more commonly used type.
It has a robust, spicy flavor and is more suitable for savory dishes like curries, stews, and marinades.
This type of cinnamon has a darker brownish-red color, thicker bark, and thicker quills compared to Ceylon cinnamon.
Cassia cinnamon contains coumarin, a natural chemical toxic to the liver when consumed in large doses.
Ceylon cinnamon, or “true cinnamon,” has a sweeter and more delicate flavor.
It is lighter in color, with thinner, fragile quills compared to Cassia cinnamon.
Ceylon cinnamon is more suitable for sweet dishes such as pies, cakes, and desserts. It is also commonly used in Middle Eastern dishes like lamb and chicken.
Apart from Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon, there is also Saigon cinnamon, a type of Cassia cinnamon. It is known for its stronger, spicier flavor and higher coumarin content.
How Do You Use The Different Types Of Cinnamon?
Now that we’ve covered the different types of cinnamon, it’s time to discuss how you can use them in your cooking.
Knowing which type of cinnamon to use can make all the difference in bringing out the best flavors in your dishes.
If you’re using Cassia cinnamon, it works well with savory dishes like curries, stews, and marinades. Its stronger and spicier flavor can hold up to the boldness of these dishes, adding a touch of warmth and earthiness.
Ground Cassia cinnamon is also commonly used in baked goods such as pies, muffins, oatmeal, and other breakfast dishes.
On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon’s sweeter and more delicate flavor is best used in sweet dishes such as cakes, cookies, and pastries. It’s also great in creamy desserts like rice pudding or added to your morning coffee.
Ceylon cinnamon can be added to smoothies or used in homemade spice blends.
With its intense flavor profile, Saigon cinnamon works well in bold and spicy dishes like chili or mole sauce.
Its potency can be overwhelming, so it’s best to use it in moderation, and it’s not ideal for baking as it can overpower other flavors.
When using cinnamon, it’s crucial to use it in the right amount. Too much can overpower other flavors and ruin your dish. As with any spice, always taste before adding more.
Cinnamon And Its Usage In Different Cuisine
Cinnamon comes in different types: Cassia, Ceylon, and Saigon.
Each type of cinnamon has its unique flavor profile and aroma, making it suitable for different dishes and cuisines.
In the Middle East and North Africa, cinnamon is used in savory dishes like tagine, stews, and biryanis, adding a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor. It is also used in sweet treats like baklava, Turkish delight, and halva.
In India, cinnamon is a crucial ingredient in many curry powders, adding warmth and flavor to dishes.
Cinnamon is a common spice in Mexican cuisine, where it is used in savory dishes, such as mole, a complex sauce made with herbs, nuts, and chiles.
It is also used in sweet dishes like churros, empanadas, and tamales. In the United States, cinnamon is usually associated with sweet dishes, such as cinnamon rolls, apple pie, and pumpkin pie.
However, it is also used in savory dishes like chili and barbecue sauces to add a touch of sweetness and warmth.
In Europe, cinnamon is used in sweet dishes, such as Christmas cookies, mulled wine, and gingerbread. In Sweden, cinnamon rolls or kanelbullar is a popular sweet treat served with coffee.
In France, cinnamon is used in a spice mixture called “quatre epices,” used in soups and meat dishes.
Cinnamon is a versatile spice widely used in different types of cuisine to add flavor and aroma.
Whether you use Cassia, Ceylon, or Saigon cinnamon, you can add warmth, depth, and a touch of sweetness to your dishes, making them more flavorful and delicious.
How Is Cinnamon Used Around The World?
Cinnamon is a spice used in different types of cuisine to add flavor and aroma to various dishes for centuries.
In Asia, cinnamon is essential in many savory dishes, including curries, biryanis, and stews.
The spice’s subtle sweetness adds a depth of flavor to dishes such as the famous Indian dessert, kheer or the Indonesian sweet mostaccioli or the Filipino sticky rice delicacy, biko.
Cinnamon is also widely used in sweets and desserts in the Middle East and North Africa.
The spice is often paired with dates and nuts in traditional treats like baklava, cookie pastries stuffed with nuts, or ma’amoul, a date-filled cookie.
In South America and Mexico, cinnamon is used in many ways, from chili powder to Mexican dishes such as mole sauce or marinades.
It is also essential in sweet treats like churros, empanadas, and tamales.
Cinnamon is commonly used in sweet European dishes such as gingerbread, Christmas cookies, mulled wine, and cinnamon rolls.
In Sweden, the famous kanelbullar or cinnamon rolls are loved by everyone. In France, the spice is used in soups and meat dishes as a component of a mixture called “quatre epices.”
Overall, there are countless ways cinnamon is used in different cuisines worldwide. Its unique and distinct flavor brings a warmth and depth of flavor to sweet and savory dishes.
|Middle East/North Africa
|Tagine, stews, biryanis
|Baklava, Turkish delight, halva
|Curry powders, masala chai
|Mole, savory dishes, chili powder
|Churros, empanadas, tamales
|Chili, barbecue sauces
|Cinnamon rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie
|Christmas cookies, mulled wine, gingerbread
|Cinnamon rolls (kanelbullar)
|Quatre epices (in soups, meat dishes)
|Curries, biryanis, stews
|Kheer, mostaccioli, biko
|Middle East/North Africa (Sweets)
|Chili powder, mole sauce, marinades
|Churros, empanadas, tamales
What Cuisine Is Cinnamon Most Used In?
Cinnamon is a spice used in various types of cuisine worldwide and is known for its warm and sweet flavor. It originated in Indonesia and has since become popular in different regions worldwide.
In Asian cuisine, cinnamon is widely used in savory dishes such as curries, biryanis, and stews.
It is also popular in sweet treats, such as the famous Indian dessert, kheer, and the Indonesian sweet pastry, mostaccioli.
Additionally, cinnamon is blended with other spices to create garam masala, a common spice blend used in Indian cooking.
In Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, cinnamon is a common spice often paired with dates and nuts in traditional treats like baklava and ma’amoul cookies.
It is also used in savory rice pilafs, tagines, and meat dishes.
In South American and Mexican cuisine, cinnamon is used in various ways. It is an essential ingredient in chili powder used in marinades and sauces.
Cinnamon is also used in traditional sweet treats like empanadas, tamales, and churros.
Cinnamon is a common spice in holiday desserts like gingerbread, Christmas cookies, and cinnamon rolls in Europe.
In France, it is used as a component of a spice mixture called “quatre epices” used in soups and meat dishes.
Cinnamon is a versatile spice that adds a warm and comforting note to sweet and savory dishes.
Its unique flavor profile can be found in various cuisines worldwide, making it a must-have ingredient in any cook’s pantry.
So whether you are a professional chef or an amateur cook, adding cinnamon can elevate the flavors and take your dishes to the next level.
15 Best Cinnamon Cuisine In The World
From curries to tamales, cinnamon can add a touch of warmth and complexity to any cuisine.
Some of the best cinnamon dishes include the classic cinnamon bun, Indian biriyani, and Churros from Spain. Cincinnati chili and hot cider with cinnamon are famous in North America.
Cinnamon adds a unique dimension to different cuisines worldwide and is worth exploring for food enthusiasts looking to expand their palate.
So, add a pinch of cinnamon next time you want to spice up your dishes!
Caldillo is a traditional Chilean seafood soup that highlights the unique flavor profile of cinnamon.
The dish features a flavorful broth made with fish, shellfish, and tangy vegetables like tomatoes and onions, all cooked perfectly with a pinch of cinnamon.
The result is an aromatic, savory soup that perfectly balances the sweetness of the cinnamon with the tanginess of the seafood and vegetables.
Caldillo has become a beloved dish in Chile and is especially popular in coastal regions, where seafood is abundant.
It is a perfect example of how cinnamon can be used in savory dishes to create nuanced and complex flavors. If you’re a cinnamon enthusiast looking to explore new and exciting ways to use this spice, Caldillo is a must-try!
Khichdi is a traditional Indian comfort food that has been enjoyed for centuries.
It is a simple dish made with rice, lentils, and spices like cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon.
The warm and comforting aroma of cinnamon is a critical element of the dish, and it provides a unique flavor that complements the savory lentils and rice.
Khichdi is a versatile dish that can be customized in many ways to suit individual preferences.
It can be made with different types of lentils, grains, and vegetables and can be spiced up or toned down depending on your taste.
Overall, khichdi is a classic dish with a timeless appeal that people of all ages and backgrounds believe.
Regarding delicious treats, few things are as comforting and satisfying as a plate of warm, crispy churros.
Originally from Spain, churros have become a beloved staple in many parts of the world, including Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil.
Churros are made from dough piped into long, thin strips and fried until golden brown. They are typically served with a dusting of cinnamon sugar and a rich chocolate dipping sauce.
The warm, spicy aroma of cinnamon is a critical element of churros, and it provides a unique flavor that complements the sweet dough and chocolate perfectly.
In recent years, churros have become increasingly popular in the United States, often sold at fairs, carnivals, and food trucks.
They make a perfect indulgent snack or dessert and satisfy even the sweetest cravings.
4. Cincinnati chili
Cincinnati chili is typically made with ground beef, tomato sauce, and warm spices, including cinnamon, cloves, and allspice.
The dish is served over spaghetti and topped with cheese, onions, and sometimes beans.
Cincinnati chili is a perfect comfort food that warms the soul and satisfies the taste buds.
If you’re ever in the Midwest region or want to try a unique dish with an unusual flavor combination, add Cincinnati chili.
5. Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Bun)
Kanelbullar, also known as Swedish cinnamon rolls, is a beloved pastry in Sweden and has gained popularity worldwide.
These sweet, buttery rolls are flavored with a generous amount of cinnamon and are often enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
The origins of Kanelbullar can be traced back to the 1920s when they were first introduced in Sweden.
Since then, these rolls have become a quintessential part of Swedish cuisine and culture. October 4th is celebrated as National Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden.
To make Kanelbullar, the dough is typically mixed with cinnamon, sugar, and butter.
After being shaped into rolls, they are left to rise before being baked to a golden brown color. They are often garnished with pearl sugar or sliced almonds.
Whether enjoyed as a breakfast treat or an afternoon snack, Kanelbullar is a delicious pastry that will satisfy any sweet tooth.
One dessert that stands out in world cuisine for its use of cinnamon is rice pudding or Kheer, a classic Indian sweet dish.
This creamy and luscious dessert is made with rice, milk, and sugar, and flavored with cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron for added richness.
Kheer has been a traditional dish in many Indian households for centuries and is served at festivals, weddings and other auspicious celebrations.
The aroma of cinnamon and other spices used in Kheer makes it even more tempting and irresistible.
The beauty of Kheer is its adaptability. Variations of this dessert are made in different parts of India, each with its touch.
Some regions use jaggery instead of sugar to sweeten the Kheer, while others add fruits like mango or pineapple to enhance its flavor.
Despite the variations, cinnamon remains an essential ingredient in any Kheer recipe.
With its rich history and versatility, Kheer is a dessert enjoyed in different parts of the world, especially as a popular Indian sweet dish.
Indian chai with cinnamon is like a cozy hug in a cup.
Imagine the smell of spicy-sweet cinnamon mixing with strong black tea – that makes it unique. It’s not just a drink; it’s a warm tradition from India.
The tea and cinnamon create a comforting blend that tastes like home.
It’s more than just a sip; it’s a way for people to share a moment, chat, and feel connected.
This simple chai with cinnamon isn’t just a drink; it’s a little celebration of togetherness and the joy of something as simple as a cup of tea.
Harira is a traditional soup famous in the Maghreb region of North Africa, particularly Morocco.
The soup is typically eaten during Ramadan to break the fast. Harira is a hearty soup made with meat, chickpeas, lentils, fragrant spices, and cinnamon.
The spice is an essential ingredient in the dish, lending a warm, sweet flavor that complements the savory and tangy notes of the soup.
Harira is more than a soup. It is a cultural symbol of togetherness, family, and community.
The recipe varies from region to region and family to family, but the dish’s essence remains the same.
It is a comforting and flavorful soup that brings people together.
Harira is a testament to how food can transcend culture and unite people with its irresistible aroma and taste.
Regarding aromatic and flavorful dishes, biriyani is undoubtedly a popular choice.
This classic dish originated in the Indian subcontinent and is made with seasoned rice and various meats, vegetables, or fish.
The dish includes a mix of warm spices, including cinnamon, which adds a sweet, woody flavor.
Each region has its unique take on this dish, which can be prepared in countless ways, making it a versatile and beloved dish worldwide.
Biriyani has transcended borders and has become a staple in many countries, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.
This popular dish can be served at any event, from family dinners to weddings and other celebrations.
Combining savory and sweet flavors and aromatic spices make biriyani an unforgettable culinary experience.
So, whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, biriyani is a dish that never fails to satisfy.
10 . Cinnamon Babka
If you’re a baked goods fan, you’ve probably heard of cinnamon babka.
This traditional Jewish pastry has gained popularity worldwide and is loved for its fluffy, buttery texture and sweet cinnamon filling.
Cinnamon is crucial in this delectable treat, providing a distinctive flavor and fragrance.
It is blended with sugar and butter to create the filling, which is then swirled into the fluffy dough.
The cinnamon babka is typically baked until golden brown, resulting in a sweet and satisfying taste with every bite.
This pastry has become a staple in many households and bakeries worldwide, making it a beloved dessert perfect for any occasion.
Its versatility has seen the cinnamon babka paired with coffees, teas, and other beverages, making it perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
This pastry epitomizes pure indulgence and will undoubtedly tantalize your taste buds.
Cinnamon is a popular spice in many cultures and is no different in the German-speaking world.
One of the most popular cinnamon treats in this region is the Zimtsterne, a cookie made with almond flour and cinnamon.
These cookies are typically cut into star shapes, hence the name “Zimtsterne,” which translates to “cinnamon stars.”
The dough is a mixture of egg whites, sugar, and ground almonds, with a generous amount of cinnamon added.
The cookies are then baked until golden brown, resulting in a deliciously fragrant and crunchy treat that’s perfect for any occasion.
Whether for Christmas or any other time of the year, Zimtsterne is one German delicacy that shouldn’t be missed!
12. Indian Curry
Indian curry is a dish that needs no introduction. It is a classic representation of the diverse and complex Indian cuisine.
With its unique blend of spices and herbs, curry is famous in households, restaurants, and street food vendors throughout India and beyond.
Curry uses cinnamon and a blend of other spices like coriander, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder.
The meat or vegetables are cooked in this spice mixture until tender and flavorful, resulting in a mouth-watering dish that is a taste sensation.
Curry is a versatile dish that can be made in various ways and with different ingredients.
It can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian, and it can be dished up with rice, naan, or other bread.
Curry has become popular worldwide, with different regions adapting the recipe to suit local tastes and ingredients.
The Indian curry is a must-try dish that will leave you with a flavor experience you won’t forget!
13. Hot Cider
In the fall and winter, warm and comforting drinks like hot cider can bring joy and warmth to any gathering.
Cinnamon is prominent in this spicy and sweet beverage, giving it a unique and enticing flavor.
You’ll need fresh apples, cinnamon sticks, and other warm spices like nutmeg and cloves to make hot cider.
After slicing the apples and simmering them with the spices in water, strain the liquid and serve hot with a cinnamon stick garnish.
Hot cider is a beloved drink in many parts of the world, especially during festive periods like Halloween and Christmas.
It is easy to make and can be customized to suit your taste. Cinnamon in hot cider is a match made in heaven, providing a warming and cozy experience with every sip.
14. Kai Palo
Cinnamon is a popular spice that has a rich history in different cuisines all over the world.
One of the exciting recipes showcasing cinnamon’s versatility is the Finnish dish Kai Palo.
This dish combines cinnamon-spiced beef stew, root vegetables, and tomato sauce, creating a flavorful and comforting meal.
The cinnamon adds a touch of warmth and sweetness to the savory stew, resulting in a unique and inviting flavor. Kai Palo is a perfect dish for the winter season, providing warmth and comfort on cold days.
Moreover, the dish is easy to make, and the ingredients are readily available in most grocery stores.
It is a perfect example of how cinnamon can be utilized in unexpected ways to create delectable dishes that are loved and cherished by people from different cultures.
Cinnamon is one of the essential spices used in tamale recipes, which adds a sweet and fragrant taste to the dish.
Tamales are usually wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and then steamed until the masa is cooked, and the filling is heated.
Though the dish is a traditional Mesoamerican cuisine, tamales are now enjoyed worldwide, with different variations and flavors to suit local tastes.
In addition to being delicious and filling, tamales are also a significant part of cultural celebrations, especially in Latin America, where they are often served during special occasions such as Christmas, weddings, and feast days.
Including cinnamon in tamale recipes is just one example of how this versatile spice can be utilized unexpectedly to add flavor and depth to a dish.
What Is Tamale?
Tamale is a traditional dish with roots in Mesoamerica, dating back centuries.
It is made of masa (dough), typically made from corn and then stuffed with meat, vegetables, or cheese.
The mixture is then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until cooked.
Tamales are a popular food item across Latin America and are served in many cultures.
Tamales are often eaten for special occasions; in some countries, like Mexico, they are a holiday season staple.
The process of making tamales can be time-consuming and requires skill and patience.
However, the result is a delicious, savory dish that is enjoyed by people all over the world.
Where Did Tamales Originally Come From?
Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish that originated in Mexico and are believed to date back to as early as 5000 BC.
However, variations of this dish have been found in other parts of Latin America, such as Central and South America.
It was a staple food of the indigenous people of Mexico and is still a crucial part of their culture today.
Tamales were initially made for travelers as an easy-to-carry and filling food.
They were also offered to the gods during religious ceremonies.
Over time, tamales became popular across different cultures and regions and evolved into different variations, such as sweet tamales.
Today, tamales are a treat people worldwide enjoy during special occasions and festive seasons.
Despite their humble beginnings, tamales are essential to Latin American cuisine and cultural heritage.
What Countries Make Tamale?
Although tamales originated in Mexico, many other countries worldwide have adopted the dish and put their twist on it.
Central and South American countries such as Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador have unique take on tamales, using different ingredients and cooking techniques. Countries like Puerto Rico and Cuba also have versions of this delicious treat in the Caribbean.
Even countries outside of Latin America have embraced tamales, with the Philippines having its version called “binaki,” which features sweet coconut filling.
In the United States, tamales are especially popular in the Southwest, where they are a staple during Christmas time.
Overall, tamales have spread far beyond their Mexican roots, becoming a beloved dish in many countries and cultures.
Whether savory or sweet, steamed or baked, tamales dazzle taste buds and unite communities.
How Do You Make Tamales?
Tamales are a beloved culinary delight that has been enjoyed in different cultures across the world.
The process can initially seem daunting if you’re curious about making tamales.
However, with some practice and patience, you can create the perfect package of flavor and texture.
The tamale base is corn dough or masa, filled with meat, beans, or vegetables. The filling is wrapped in a corn husk and then steamed.
This process imparts tamales a unique texture and flavor, making them a perfect comfort food.
Before making the tamales, the corn husks must be soaked in hot water so they are pliable and easy to work with.
Then, the masa mixture is spread onto the corn husk, and the filling is added before the husk is folded and secured.
Whether making traditional Mexican tamales or trying out different cultural variations, making tamales is an enjoyable activity that can bring people together through food.
Tamales can be filled with various ingredients, making them versatile and customizable to different tastes. Here are a few tamale recipes to start your culinary journey.
You’ll need pork shoulder, garlic, cumin, chili powder, corn masa flour, chicken broth, and corn husks for a classic steamed pork tamale.
Mix the seasoned pork with the masa dough, fill the husk, and steam to perfection.
If you’re in the mood for a Mexican tamale, try a beef and cheese filling spiced with cumin and coriander. For a spicy kick, add jalapenos or chili powder.
Were you feeling adventurous? Try an Indian-inspired tamale filled with spiced lamb or chicken and fragrant spices like cardamom and garam masala.
If you’re looking for something sweet, try a cinnamon apple tamale. Mix cinnamon and sugar with the masa dough and fill with chopped apples and raisins for a perfect dessert.
Steamed Pork Tamale Recipe
Making tamales may seem intimidating, but it’s easier than you think. A steamed pork tamale is a great way to introduce yourself to making tamales. Here’s how:
- 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder
- Two cloves garlic, minced
- One teaspoon of ground cumin
- One teaspoon of chili powder
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Maseca corn masa flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- One package of dried corn husks
Cut the pork into small pieces and season with garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cook in a skillet until browned and cooked through.
Soak the dried corn husks in warm water to soften.
Prepare the masa dough by mixing Maseca corn masa flour with chicken broth until it is smooth and the consistency resembles peanut butter.
Spread the masa dough on the soaked corn husks, leaving a border around the edges.
Add a spoonful of the seasoned pork on top of the masa dough.
Fold the corn husks over to encase the filling.
Steam the tamales in a pot for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the masa dough is cooked and firm.
Enjoy your delicious steamed pork tamales with salsa and other toppings.
Mexican Tamale Recipe
For the Corn Masa Dough:
- Corn masa flour
- Chicken broth
For the Filling (Choose One or Mix as Desired):
- Sweet fillings like cinnamon apple
- Seasoned pork
Additional Ingredients: Dried corn husks
Prepare the Corn Masa Dough: a. In a mixing bowl, combine corn masa flour with chicken broth. Mix thoroughly until a smooth, consistent dough forms.
Soak Dried Corn Husks: Submerge dried corn husks in warm water to soften them. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes or until pliable.
Prepare the Filling: Choose your desired filling (seasoned pork, beef, chicken, cheese, vegetables, or sweet fillings). Cook or prepare the filling ingredients according to your preference.
Assemble the Tamales: Take a soaked corn husk and spread a thin layer of the corn masa dough in the center. Add a portion of your chosen filling in the center of the dough.
Fold and Seal: Carefully fold the sides of the corn husk over the filling and then fold the top and bottom to create a rectangular package. Secure the tamale by tying it with a thin strip of soaked corn husk.
Steam the Tamales: Place the assembled tamales upright in a steamer—steam for 1 to 1.5 hours or until the masa is cooked and firm.
Serve and Enjoy: Allow the tamales to cool slightly before unwrapping. Serve with your favorite salsa or toppings.
Making tamales is a tradition often reserved for special occasions or holidays.
This dish symbolizes community, togetherness, and celebration, making it a meaningful part of Mexican cuisine and culture.
Enjoy the experience of creating and sharing tamales with your loved ones.
Indian Tamale Recipe
- Rice Flour
- Urad Dal
- Various Spices (such as cumin and ginger)
- Banana Leaves (for steaming)
- Savory Filling Ingredients (vegetables or meat of your choice)
Prepare the Dough:
- Combine rice flour and urad dal in a mixing bowl.
- Add water gradually, stirring continuously to achieve a smooth, lump-free consistency.
- Incorporate spices like cumin and ginger into the dough for flavor.
Create the Filling:
- Choose your preferred filling, either vegetables or meat.
- Cook the filling with desired spices and seasonings until it’s flavorful and aromatic.
Assemble the Tamales:
- Take banana leaves and cut them into suitable sizes for wrapping.
- Place a portion of the prepared dough onto a banana leaf, spreading it evenly.
- Add a generous amount of the savory filling in the center of the dough.
Wrap and Steam:
- Fold the banana leaf over the filling, creating a neat package.
- Secure the tamale by tying it with kitchen twine or using additional banana leaves.
- Arrange the tamales in a steamer and steam until the dough is cooked and the filling is tender.
Serve and Enjoy:
- Once cooked, carefully unwrap the banana leaves to reveal the aromatic Indian tamales.
- Serve these delightful tamales on a platter, showcasing the cultural diversity and rich flavors of Indian cuisine.
- Enjoy the dish representing India’s culinary heritage, perfect for special occasions like weddings and festivals.
Cinnamon Apple Tamale Recipe
For the Sweet Corn Masa Dough:
- 2 cups masa harina
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water or chicken broth (approximate)
For the Cinnamon Apple Filling:
- 3 cups diced apples (peeled and cored)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- Two teaspoons of ground cinnamon
For Assembling and Steaming:
- Dried corn husks, soaked in warm water until pliable
Prepare the Sweet Corn Masa Dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine masa harina, softened butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add water or chicken broth, mixing well until the dough has a thick but spreadable consistency. Adjust the liquid as needed.
Make the Cinnamon Apple Filling:
- Mix diced apples, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon in a separate bowl until well combined.
Assemble the Cinnamon Apple Tamales:
- Take a softened corn husk and spread a thin layer of the sweet corn masa dough in the center, leaving space around the edges.
- Spoon a generous amount of the cinnamon apple filling onto the masa dough.
Fold and Seal:
- Fold the sides of the corn husk over the filling, then fold the top and bottom to create a sealed package. Tie with a strip of soaked corn husk if necessary.
Steam the Tamales:
- Arrange the tamales upright in a steamer basket. Steam for 45-60 minutes or until the masa dough is cooked.
- Check for doneness by testing a tamale; the dough should peel away easily from the husk.
- Once cooked, remove the tamales from the steamer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Unwrap the tamale from the husk before eating. The result is a delightful combination of cinnamon and apple flavors in a unique twist on traditional tamales.
Christmas Tamale Recipe
- 2 cups masa harina (cornmeal)
- 1 cup lard or vegetable shortening
- One teaspoon of baking powder
- One teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chicken broth (warm)
- 2 pounds pork shoulder, cooked and shredded
- Two tablespoons of chili powder
- One tablespoon cumin
- One teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dried corn husks, soaked in warm water until pliable
Prepare Masa Dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine masa harina, lard or shortening, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add warm chicken broth while mixing until a soft dough forms.
- Cover the dough and let it rest while preparing the filling.
Cook and Shred Pork:
- Season the pork shoulder with salt and pepper.
- Cook the pork until tender, either by roasting, slow-cooking, or pressure cooking.
- Shred the cooked pork into small pieces.
Make Pork Filling:
- In a mixing bowl, combine shredded pork with chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper according to taste.
Prepare Corn Husks:
- Soak dried corn husks in warm water until they become pliable.
- Dry them with a clean kitchen towel.
- Take a soaked corn husk and spread a thin layer of masa dough onto the center.
- Spoon a portion of the pork filling onto the masa.
Wrap and Tie:
- Fold the sides of the corn husk over the filling and fold the bottom up.
- Tie the tamale with kitchen twine if desired.
- Arrange tamales upright in a steamer basket.
- Steam for about 1 hour or until the masa is firm and quickly pulls away from the husks.
- Allow tamales to cool slightly before serving.
- Optionally, garnish with salsa, sour cream, or chopped cilantro.
Incorporating cinnamon into different world cuisines is one-way chefs and home cooks can add a unique flavor profile to their dishes.
Cinnamon can add depth and complexity to any dish, from savory dishes like curries and stews to sweet treats like cookies and cakes.
It is fascinating to know which cultures use cinnamon the most and which countries consume the most.
Also, exploring the various types of cinnamon available in the market and their origins can help you decide where to source high-quality cinnamon.
What Cultures Use The Cinnamon Most?
Some cultures that use cinnamon the most include Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican cuisine. In Indian cuisine, cinnamon is widely used in curries, biryanis, and other rice-based dishes.
In Middle Eastern cuisine, cinnamon is used in savory dishes like stews, rice pilafs, spiced teas, and sweets like baklava.
In Mexican cuisine, cinnamon is often incorporated in chocolate-based dishes like mole and in sweet treats like churros and tamales.
Which Country Eats The Most Cinnamon?
According to a study by McCormick & Company, the United States consumes the most cinnamon per capita, followed closely by Germany and Egypt.
Cinnamon is used in everything in the US, from baked goods to savory dishes like chili.
Cinnamon is often used in sweet pastries like cinnamon rolls and apple strudel in Germany. In Egypt, it is commonly used in tea and in spice blends like baharat.
However, just because a country consumes a lot of cinnamon doesn’t mean it necessarily uses it in all of its traditional dishes.
Some countries like India and Sri Lanka, where cinnamon is grown, use it less frequently than you might expect.
Who Has The Best Cinnamon In The World?
Cinnamon’s quality and taste vary depending on the country of origin.
Some of the best cinnamon in the world comes from Sri Lanka, also known as Ceylon, which produces a fragrant and delicate variety of cinnamon known as Ceylon cinnamon.
This type of cinnamon is highly valued for its sweet taste, low levels of coumarin (a naturally occurring compound that can be harmful in large amounts), and its therapeutic qualities.
Where Can I Get Cinnamon?
You can find different types of cinnamon originating from various countries, each with its distinct flavor profile, aroma, and health benefits.
The best places to buy cinnamon are in spice shops, specialty stores, or online stores specializing in selling spices or international food products.
If you’re looking for Ceylon cinnamon, the type of cinnamon in high demand, then Sri Lanka is the best place to source it.