Ghee is said to be the essence of a cow – first the cow produces milk, then cream is made from the milk. The best of the milk is extracted to make butter and then the best of the butter extracted to make ghee. How close to “essence of cow” is that!
If there is a secret to French Cooking, it is to be found in crème fraîche. It is also made in India where it is called Khatte Malai. Never be without it.
That slightly gelatinous dal, urad dal, is a favourite.
Used extensively in Sth Indian and SE Asian cooking, the brittle, dark brown pod of the tamarind tree, a tall shade tree, contains a sour fleshy pulp that adds a pungent, sour, lemony sourness to many dishes.
A tadka is a mixture of spices fried off in ghee or coconut oil.
Roti is eaten by about 30 million Indians a day!
Juice extracted from the coconut flower, palmyra palm, sugar palm or aren palm, is boiled and packed into molds to make sugar with a faint caramel taste.
Roasting spices revitalises their fragrance. The time & method for roasting varies across SE Asia.
Fenugreek was known as “Greek Hay” to the Romans. It is an unusual Asiatic herb with aromatic and bitter seeds.
A classical Bengali five spice mix of 5 spices.
General Rasam Powder recipes.
All mustard seeds have Jekyll and Hyde characteristics. When crushed, they are nose-tinglingly pungent. However, thrown into hot oil and allowed to pop, they turn quite nutty and sweet.
Raggi is also known as finger millet, and it is a popular cereal grown in Africa, India and Asia. Native to the Ethiopian Highlands, it was introduced to India 4,000 years ago and is now grown in the Himalayas.
Ghee is butter that has been so well clarified that it can even be used for deep frying.
Green Mangoes and Green Mango Powder (Amchur) are ubiquitous ingredients in India and Thailand.
There is a lot of confusion about the name of this spice. It is variously referred to as black cumin (shar, or kala jeera), black caraway because of its usage with caraway seed in Jewish rye breads, and black onion seeds due to its similarity to onion seed.
Halva,or Halwa, is a sweet with a long history. Records of halva go back to the 7th century when Arabs make it by kneading dates into milk to form a thick, sugary paste.
Garam Masala is a mixture of spices, and the combinations vary with each household. It is basically Persian in origin, but is now indispensable in North Indian cuisine.
Lentils and pulses are high in proteins and an excellent food for vegetarians. They are an integral part of the staple diet of India.
Green Coriander or Cilantro, is the “parsley” of Indian and SE Asia. And the seeds are ubiquitous in the cuisines of that region. Read some more about this delightful spice.
“Curry” as a word does not exist in any Indian culinary dictionary, nor is it used in any Indian language. It is rather, a corruption of the Tamil word “kari”.