Masticha (pistacia lentiscus var. chia ), is produced in the island of Chios and comes in resins or tears as they are called. It is very aromatic and used to flavour food. Masticha has a wonderful but acquired taste, so a small quantity to start with is advisable. A few mastic resins, 5 – 6 (depending on size) or one tsp masticha sugar, is enough to start with. Increase gradually if you want a more intense taste.
Like all resins, when it is hot it is soft and hardens when the temperature is low. This is the reason why it is advisable to put it in the refrigerator or deep freezer before pounding or grinding it. Each time you want to use it add a few resins and some sugar (for desserts) or salt for savoury recipes and using a pestle and mortar pound it until powdered. If you have an electric grinder it is even better.
In the past I have ground the whole package of mastic with sugar in order to avoid pounding or grinding it each time I need to use some. However, after a while it became one body and it was difficult to take it out of the jar and of course had to pound it again.
This time I decided to try a new method. What makes it petrify, I thought? Humidity. Since we use rice in the salt shaker, in order to absorb humidity, I thought why not try it with masticha as well. I tried and tested it and it works fine.
Since I have made a lot and will be using it in my recipes, I decided to post it in order to link to this post in the future.
When using it in recipes, just sieve the amount needed and discard rice or put it back in the container.
How to make Masticha Powder, recipe by Ivy
Preparation time: 2 – 3 minutes
Makes: 7 tbsp powdered sugar or 3 powdered salt
- 1 tbsp masticha resins
- 6 tbsp sugar (or 4 tsp salt)
- 1 tbsp rice
- Put sugar and mastic resins in an electric mill and grind until powdered, or use a pestle and mortar, which of course will take much more time.
- Mix in the rice and store in an air tight container or a small jar with a lid.
Note: In countries where mastic is not available you can find it on-line but of course in all my recipes you can susbstitute it with vanilla, cardamon etc.
Recipes in which I have used masticha:
Paris on Ice: Masticha Yoghurt Dessert
Panna Cotta with Masticha
Revani with Masticha Frosting
Greek inspired Banana Bread and Cupcakes with Masticha Frosting
Garides Saganaki me Masticha
Greek Flavoured Waffles
Caramelized masicha Rice Pudding
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,