Annatto seeds are used as an intense, orange-yellow dye throughout the world, from tribal war paint to the ‘red’ colour in Red Leicester. Sometimes known by its Mexican name achiote, the Amazonian shrub is traditionally used in Caribbean and South American food – though Spanish and Portuguese explorers introduced annatto seeds to European and Indian countries in the 1600s, where it has been used to flavour and colour food ever since.
Annatto’s mild and nutty flavour adds a subtle depth to soups and marinades. Add the small triangular-shaped seeds to stock or soup and boil for 20 minutes until the seeds have released their orange-yellow dye. Grind the seeds in a pestle and mortar and add them to marinades and meat rubs. Or try frying annatto seeds in oil, straining and then using the oil as a flavoursome base – try drizzling over Cajun shrimp rice and use in Brazilian dishes such as vaca atolada (‘cow stuck in the mud’) and fish moquecas.
Ingredients: Annatto seeds (100%)