Star anise is similar to aniseed, but with a sweeter flavour that works very well in spicy dishes. It is used in Indian and Chinese cooking, as well as mulled wine.
Star anise can be ground or added whole. It imparts the same flavour whichever option you choose.
It is generally best to add whole cloves of star anise to your cooking, rather than to crush them up. One or two whole cloves will flavour any dish. Add star anise to rice for a wonderful aroma, or to Chinese stir-fries and curries. You can also add one or two cloves to desserts or mulled wine… it compliments sweet spices such as cinnamon.
Star anise can also be added to herbal teas. It has a soothing effect, and is good for digestion.