Indian Essentials: How to make Chai and Tarak Chai

The word chai originated from the Hindustani word chai which was derived from the Chinese word for tea, known as cha. Chai just means tea in India. Outside of India it is often known as masala chai to indicate the inclusion of spices. The making of Chai uses techniques that go against all of the…

Singapore Curry Spice Mix

While all-purpose Curry Powders are not a thing in India, they do exist in countries with strong Indian populations – for example, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Malaysia and Singapore. This spice mix is representative of the Singapore Indians – Singaporean influences on traditional Indian flavours. Use Singapore Curry Spice Mix in stir fry dishes, with noodles…

Kerala Spice Mix

I am not a great fan of pre-mixed curry powder, preferring to mix and grind them as needed. However, sometimes you want to elicit the flavours of a region without  following a traditional recipe. In such cases, it is a perfect time to roast and grind spices into a powder and mix with ingredients. For…

Indian Essentials: What is Kosumalli aka Koshambari?

Kosumalli (aka Koshambari) is a simple spiced yet cooling salad. There are many varieties, but the most common is made by mixing soaked mung dal or channa dal with cucumber and/or carrot, with coconut, and tempering the salad with spices.  It is a South Indian specialty, eaten as a snack or made to accompany a…

Indian Essentials: What is Kachumber?

Kachumber, or cachumber, is the Indian version of a chopped  salad, originally using tomato and cucumber. Although there are many variations now, it usually consists of freshly chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and onions with a pepper and lemon or lime dressing. It often includes fresh chilli peppers, or chilli powder can be added to the dressing….

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…

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…