Ingredients: Which Potatoes to Use in Australia

Broadly speaking, potatoes fall into two main categories, with flesh that is either floury or waxy in texture when cooked. In his encyclopaedia of kitchen science, McGee on Food and Cooking, US writer Harold McGee explains that floury potatoes are denser and have more dry starch in their cells. During cooking, they separate and become…

Common Rices of India

There are hundreds varieties of rice grown around the world. Rice is a staple in India, Asia, Middle East and parts of the Mediterranean. Yet, for all this, few know of the different types of rice. Rice originated in India, and it is first mentioned in the Yajur Veda (c. 1500-800 BC) and then is…

What is Bitter Melon? Bitter Gourd?

Bitter is an important flavour in the Indian Ayurvedic tradition, and also in other Asian medical regimes. Bitter Gourd (also called Bitter Melon)  is only one of a range of bitter ingredients in those parts of the world, but in the western world it may be one of the most bitter tastes one is likely…

Potatoes in Australia

Potatoes in Australia are confusing. Firstly there is not a lot of difference between waxy, floury and all rounder varieties. Popular potato varieties grown in Australia are neither particularly waxy nor floury, not even the ones that we label as such. All rounders tend to sell better in the Australian market as a whole than…

Ingredients: Cucumbers

You might not know this, but cucumbers originated in India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, and were first cultivated around 3,000 years ago. From there, they spread east through traders, particularly Phoenician merchants who took the seeds to Egypt and Greece. They began to be grown in Sicily, mainland Italy and North Africa. The…

Making Tamarind Paste from Tamarind Pods

Don’t you L O V E tamarind? I am not sure what I would do without this ingredient in the kitchen. While others rave about black garlic, it is the commonly available tamarind that gives that umami taste to my dishes. As a added bonus, it is at once sweet and sour. Oh, the delights…

How to Make Nut Milk and Oat Milk

Nut milk and Oat Milk are healthy and delicious. Right now, there is some controversy regarding calling the liquid produced by grinding nuts, oats or other ingredients as milk, – the producers and sellers of milk from animals are asking that the name be changed and that nut and other non-dairy milks are not shelved…

Blending Fruits and Vegetables in Your High Speed Blender

The Vitamix might be one of the best purchases I have made for the Kitchen. It has been a surprise to find that it is used several times a day. And one of the best parts is its self-clean function – cleaning the blending jugs is a no-fuss activity. One of its key features is…

Collection: Our Favourite 19 Rasam Recipes

Rasam is the broth of South India – water flavoured with herbs and spices, and sometimes lentils. Despite its simplicity it is an intensely flavoured dish designed to be eaten poured over or mixed with rice. The intensity of the rasam flavour combined with the blandness of rice makes a powerful combination. Rasam can also…

Collection: What to do with Figs

Autumn is Fig Season! We sit on the back porch, a bowl of figs on a table between us, and wax lyrical about this fruit. Figs are one of the easiest fruits to make use of, hardly requiring any recipe. Nothing but a few minutes preparation is necessary and instructions seems superfluous. Whether serving savoury,…

Ingredients: Black Barley

Black Barley is a heirloom grain, and has remained unchanged, farmed for generations in small batches and prized for its flavour, colour and nutritional value. Originating in Ethiopia (but now also grown in several countries), black barley is the only grain that can go from field to fork without being processed. That is because the…

Indian Essentials: Tomatoes in Indian Cooking

One of the best kept secrets of Indian food is the way in which tomatoes are used. Outside of India, when using tomatoes we look for the juciest and sweetest around, often adding a pinch of sugar to dishes late in the season if the tomatoes are not as sweet as we desire them to…

Collection: Watermelon Salads to Beat the Heat

Watermelon has this household hooked in the Summer hot weather – that luscious pink colour going looking so good in the heat, and the juices running down onto one’s plate (or down one’s chin). Eaten with a sucking noise, to extract every piece of juice, it cools and supplies a sugar energy boost at the…

Ingredients: Purslane | Pigweed

Purslane is that ubiquitous weed that grows almost anywhere, but it is mostly weeded. It is persistent, with seeds being able to germinate even when 40 years old, and plants will spring from tiny pieces of leaf. What is not commonly known is that Purslane is delicious and highly edible with a pleasantly sour taste….

Indian Essentials: How to Dry Chillies and How to Make Chilli Powder

Chilli powder is ubiquitously available in Indian groceries, so little thought is given to grinding your own. But the benefit of making our own chilli powder is that we know that it is unadulterated. Chilli powder is used in many parts of the world, from South America and Mexico, to Italy, through Spain into Hungary…

What are ANZAC Biscuits?

ANZAC Biscuits are classic, traditional Australian biscuits made on ANZAC Day (and any other day of the year). They were commonly sent to the troops in the First World War and are named after the soldiers. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The ANZAC biscuit was called a variety of other names…

Recipe: How to Make Your Own Mustard Seed Paste

At one time in Britain, whole swathes of Lincolnshire & Yorkshire grew black mustard seeds, and acres of Cambridge and Essex grew yellow. But today the major producers of mustard seeds include Hungary, Great Britain, India, Canada (90%) and the United States. Thank goodness! The black and brown seeds are used mainly across India, while…