About star anise Edit
Star anise, star aniseed, badiane or Chinese star anise, (Chinese: 八角, pinyin: bājiǎo, lit. "eight-horn"; Malayalam: തക്കോലം) or hoa hồi (Vietnamese) is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, in Indian cuisine where it is a major component of garam masala, and in Malay–Indonesian cuisine. It is widely grown for commercial use in China, India, and most other countries in Asia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also a major ingredient in the making of phở, a Vietnamese noodle soup. In northern India, where it is used as an ingredient of Masala Chai, it is also known as badian khatai which leads to its European name badiane. Badian is the persian name of Anise. It is said that its origin is a place called "Khata" in China. It is used as a spice in preparation of Biryani all over the Indian Subcontinent.
Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano. It is also used in the production of sambuca, pastis, and many types of absinthe.