Ingredients: Pandanus | Pandan Leaf | Screwpine Leaf | Kewa

The stiff, bright green pandanus leaf is used for its colour and flavour in curries and rice dishes in India, Sri Lanka and the S.E. Asian countries.  There is no real substitute for the unusual nutty, grassy but sweet flavour of the leaf,  which is cut into pieces or tied in a knot and added to…

Ingredients: How to Preserve Grape Vine Leaves

If you are a fan of the Greek dish dolmada (dolma) – stuffed grape leaves – or of baked vine leaves with cheese, you will be glad to know that you can easily preserve the young and tender vine leaves for cooking with throughout spring and summer. They won’t be salty, like the store-bought tins…

Ingredients: How to Make a Deeply Flavoured Coconut-Curry Stock

Stocks are so important to the success of many dishes, but if you cook constantly with herbs and spices, it is easy to throw one together as needed. In the past I would always have a freezer full of vegetable stock, but these days I prefer the stocks made with the ingredients on my kitchen…

Ingredients: How to Make Malay Curry Powder

While India does not have a “curry powder”, it does have a range of masalas and podis that are used in specific ways or with specific dishes. For example, chole masala, chaat masala and garam masala. Not so in the Indian community of Malaysia. Influenced by Malaysian cuisine, curry powder is a common staple in…

Indian Essentials : What is the Difference Between Vathal, Vadagam and Vadam?

South India, especially Tamil Nadu, has a culture of drying vegetables, mixtures of lentils and spices, and pastes made from rice, sago and similar. This is sensible of course – it preserves summer produce for use throughout the year, and thus in leaner seasons they extend freshly available ingredients and provide additional taste and texture….

Ingredients: How to Use Leftover Green Coriander (Cilantro)

Have you ever bought a few bunches of coriander with thoughts of herby salads and Indian dishes topped with coriander, and then found yourself with most of it left at the end of the week? We have your back – here are some ways to deal with that fragrant bunch of greenery. We have  hints…

Cooking: How to Char Tomatoes for Salads

Charring tomatoes gives a flavour boost and adds a slight smokiness to the tomatoes without having them collapse. They can be made on the stovetop or in the oven. Simple to do, charred tomatoes are a great addition to salads, hot roasted vegetable salads, soups and on their own as a side dish. Why don’t…

Cooking: How to Char Grill Sweet Corn

The secret to pulling a meal together really quickly is to have prepared lots of bibs and bobs beforehand, so that there is always inspiration in the fridge. Toppings for soups, ingredients for salads, pastes and sauces, for stirfries, things to be mixed into batters and doughs, chopped herbs, frozen and dehydrated bits, stocks, juices,…

Ingredients: How to Make Flavoured Oils

Oils ain’t oils, so the old saying goes. It means that you should watch the quality of the oils that you buy. That saying was once often applied to oils for automobiles, but the same applys in the kitchen, right? On the kitchen bench there are 5 oils — ghee of course, and some organic…

Indian Essentials: What is Kadhi, Indian Yoghurt Curry

Kadhi is a slow cooked Indian yogurt or buttermilk dish, thickened with besan (chana flour, chickpea flour) and tempered with spices. See the difference between Indian curd, buttermilk and yoghurt which are used almost interchangeably. Use Western buttermilk for an Indian Yoghurt curry especially if you are after that little sour tang that buttermilk provides….

Ingredients: How to Make Pomarola | Italian Tomato Sauce

Pomarola is one of the corner stones of Italian cooking is tomato sauce. This is a simple recipe that can be used as it is or can be added to when needed. It is important to use fresh and ripe tomatoes. Make a lot and freeze it for Winter. This recipe was given to me…

Cooking: How to Make Italian Pizza Dough

This recipe was given to me by Ilyse, who used to have the most amazing Italian food blog, Lucullian Delights. It works every time. We have other Pizza dough recipes here. Or explore all of our Pizza recipes here. Our Italian recipes are here and here. Browse all of our Tomato recipes here and here….

Ingredients: How to Make Nut Butters

It is good to minimise the use of margarine type spreads because none of them are very healthy. Still use them, of course, but aim for moderation. It is easy to replace margarine at times with pureed avocado or hummus or other bean-based spreads (home made). Nut butters are another alternative. Cashew butter, almond butter…