Author Topic: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)  (Read 11791 times)

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Offline Malc.

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2011, 02:16 AM »
Phil, in my experince of Cassia Bark it's quite a different animal to Cinnamon. I have used the Cassia Bark to make base in the main and you really have to be careful on the amount you add. It may be classed as a poor mans Cinnamon but I don't think it should underestimated as to the effect it can have in a dish.
 
The difference between the two is a little like that of Fennel seeds to Aniseed, the Fennel is a broader aniseed flavour not as refined or distinct in comparison. The Cassia Bark offers a different broader flavour but delivers more to a dish in comparison to Cinnamon.
 
This though, brings me back to my initial question, what is a portion of Cassia Bark. Cinnamon is easy as it is provide in fairly regular amounts, Cassia is not.

Offline rhodriharris

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2011, 12:18 PM »
The cassia bark i buy is generally in straight finger like peices, if i'm lucky there are one inch square peices approx but i generally add a fingers length to two portions of curry.  The trick for me is to taste when cooking as if the curry starts to taste too cinnamony i simply remove the cassia bark.  Although this is not practical for most i have seen people grind their cassia bark down to a powder (must have been hard work as it very tough) and add it that way, could this be a way of portioning it?


Offline Malc.

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2011, 01:11 PM »
It's not so much portioning the Cassia Bark, as you say, grinding it or using a 1" squared piece is a suitable method to do so. The problem is identifying what actually is considered to be a 1" piece of Cassia Bark specific to the recipe calling for it.

Online livo

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2018, 11:06 PM »
I recently needed some Cassia Bark and my Indian Grocer was out of stock. There is a Chinese / Asian grocer not too far away and they do carry a selection of Indian grocery and spice items.  After searching for myself, I had to ask the assistant if they actually had any and he selected a small packet from the Euro Spices branded stand, labelled Cinnamon Bark 20g on the front. I questioned it but he turned the packet over and on the back it says. Ingredients: Cassia Bark Origin: Indonesia. 

The product inside the packet was indeed Cassia Bark, but a much finer or thinner bark than the chunky heavy stuff obtained in the bulk bags from the Indian grocer.  After doing a bit of research I found that Cassia Bark and Cinnamon are another set of terms that are loosely related, confused and in some cases interchanged.  Once again, there is a lot of conflicting and contradictory "information". Substitutions can be made sometimes and I even found information stating that there is a use of blended 50 /50.

Cassia Bark has also been called quite a few things including Indonesian, Bastard, Poor-man's and Chinese Cinnamon. This would explain why the Powdered Cinnamon I bought from the Asian store a while back did not smell or taste of "Cinnamon". It was powdered Cassia used in the Chinese market.  When my wife tried to use it to make Cinnamon Donuts and Cinnamon Toast for the kids it tasted disgusting.  I put the packet away in the unused spice box. I now realise what it actually is so I may have a use for it after all.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2018, 11:32 PM by livo »


Online livo

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2018, 12:53 AM »
My understanding now is that Cassia is a cinnamon but Cinnamon isn't cassia.  ???

I found this site, http://www.trueceylonspices.com/ceylon-cinnamon/, to be a pretty good and clear explanation of the differences between Cassia cinnamon and True Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum).  It is also, probably, a pretty clear explanation as to the difference in the 2 different Cassia Barks pictured in my post above. 

Looking at the webpage pictures, compared to my own, would indicate that the Euro Spices brand is as it says, Indonesian Cassia (C. burmannii), while the bark obtained from the Indian Grocer is, surprisingly, most likely to be Chinese Cassia (C. cassia).  The former being quite thin and fine, while the latter is very thick and chunky.

So it would appear that I actually have 3 different types of cinnamon in my spice cupboard presently, those being True Ceylon Cinnamon, Chinese and Indonesian Cassia cinnamon.  I can't say I've ever seen the Vietnamese variety, probably due to Agent Orange.

Also worth note is the fact that contrary to much misinformation, the Tejpat (Indian Bay Leaf) is not from any of these species of the Cinnamomum genus, but from the species C. tamala, which, unlike the others, is actually from India.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 01:15 AM by livo »

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2018, 11:03 AM »
I recently asked my wife (Chinese/Vietnamese) if we had any cassia bark at the hotel, as I had run out.  She said "no, but we have some cinnamon".  I was surprised, but said "OK, can I have some of that then ?".  Needless to say, when it arrived home it was cassia bark (the coarsest kind) as predicted.  When I explained the difference to her, she said "we have only the one word in Vietnamese, which refers to both.  We [the Vietnamese] believe that cinnamon is thin young growth while cassia bark is older, tougher and more mature [but both from the same tree]".

Incidentally, Dr J S Pruthi, in his authoritative Spices and Condiments, devotes many pages to cassia and cinnamon, differentiating between Cassia (Jangli dalchini), Cassia China, Cassia Vera, Cinnamon (Darchini)Cinnamomum aromaticum, C. burmannii, C. cassia, C. inners, C. laurerii, C. obtusifolium, C. tamala and C. zeylaminum.  The topic is clearly more complex than some would have us believe.

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 10:45 PM by Peripatetic Phil »

Online livo

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2018, 09:22 PM »
Interesting to know the understanding of someone native to the region of these plants. Scientific naming, meant to be definitive, is not without localised variation and still today new sub-species are being determined. Synonyms occur for the same species and no doubt visa versa where a single name is used for 2 or more very similar species.  All of the cinnamomum plants are very much alike and the difference in the spice may be down to collection and processing methods, age of the tree and the use of inner and outer bark.

It is obvious though, that they are not all the same and while some substitution may be possible in a curry, probably not so in sweet pastry and deserts. Cassia toast or donuts doesn't taste the same as Cinnamon.


Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2018, 10:55 PM »
I think that the good Dr Pruthi will not mind my quoting verbatim the most important part of his text for our purposes :

Quote
ISO Classification of Important Cassia Species
(A) CASSIA
   (i)   Cassia China, or Cassia -- Cinnamomum aromaticum  (C. G. Nees), also C. Cassia (syn.)
  (ii)   Batavia Cassia or Java Cassia or Cassia Vera or Padang Cinnamon -- C. burmanii  (Blume)
 (iii)   Saigon Cassia -- C. Laureirii  (Nees)
(B) CINNAMON -- Cinnamomum zeylanicum (Blume)

So far as India is concerned, the most important aromatic barks which are in commercial use are (i) the genuine or 'true cinnamon' (C. zeylanicum); (ii) Karuva, or Jangli-Dalchini (C. inners); (iii) Tejpat or Tamal Patra or Indian Cassia Lignea (C. tamala); (iv) Tezpat or Ram Tazpat (C. obtusofoliu).

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Online livo

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2018, 11:14 PM »
That is pretty clear and concise. Well done.

It now appears that I may have to buy a new book.  ;) Spices and Condiments looks an interesting read.
Thanks Phil.

Online Peripatetic Phil

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Re: Cassia Bark (Jangli Dalchini)
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2018, 11:33 PM »
Recommended by Ajoy Joshi, no less (although that is not how I came by my copy).  The good Dr Pruthi will be 100 years old in three years, if he is still alive.

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