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Home Glossary Condiments Nutmeg and Mace - Jaiphal - Javintari

Nutmeg and Mace - Jaiphal - Javintari

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Nutmeg or Myristica fragrans is an evergreen tree indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia. It is important for two spices derived from the fruit, nutmeg and mace.

Nutmeg is the actual seed of the tree, roughly egg-shaped and about 20 to 30 mm (0.8 to 1 in) long and 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in) wide, and weighing between 5 and 10 g (0.2 and 0.4 oz) dried, while mace is the dried "lacy" reddish covering or aril of the seed. This is the only tropical fruit that is the source of two different spices.

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Nutmeg and mace have similar taste qualities, nutmeg having a slightly sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is often preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts. Nutmeg is a tasty addition to cheese sauces and is best grated fresh (see nutmeg grater). Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, and eggnog.

n Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet as well as savoury dishes (predominantly in Mughlai cuisine). It is known as Jaiphal in most parts of India and as Jatipatri and Jathi seed in Kerala. It may also be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is also smoked in India.

In Middle Eastern cuisine, nutmeg grounds are often used as a spice for savoury dishes. In Arabic, nutmeg is called Jawzt at-Tiyb.

 

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