Recipe: How to Make Bechamel Sauce | White Sauce

Bechamel is a classic French sauce made from butter, flour, and milk, stock or wine, made to compliment the foods they are served with. Sauce Bechamel, a gorgeous creamy sauce, has a number of traditional variations. In addition (and every French person might turn in their grave over this) it is very common in parts…

Ingredients: About Miso and the Different Types of Miso

Miso has long been a favourite and we adore Miso Soup. Recently I found a sweet little Japanese bowl that just smiles sweetly and says “let’s make miso soup” to me every time I catch its eye on the kitchen bench. It is very easy to make if you have miso paste. But miso is…

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…

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 | Luni-Bhaji

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…

Ingredients: How to Make Vegetarian Dashi | Japanese Stock

Many Japanese soups and noodle dishes require dashi to make their stock, and this makes Japanese cooking difficult for vegetarians (the common dashi type contains dried bonito fish flakes). However, you may find that this simple recipe is sufficient to provide great broth and stock flavours for your Japanese cooking adventures. There are actually 5…

Recipe: How to Make Dried Mango and Mango Fruit Leather

If you can buy mangoes by the box in peak season when they are at their cheapest, it is easy to dry them in a dehydrator to make sweet chewy snacks for the rest of the year. Two different snacks can be made at the same time. Slices of the mango cheeks are dried for…

Cooking: How to Freeze Okra

Okra piles up in Late Summer and Autumn – it is abundant and if you have your own plants there is more than you can eat. In the green grocers it is consistently cheap and plentiful, with my local green grocer having a large bin of it that is constantly restocked. One way to use…

Ingredients: Harissa | Chilli and Red Pepper Sauce

You think that you love Sriracha? I am sure that you have not tried Harissa yet. Harissa is a well-known hot sauce from the North African and Middle Eastern parts of this world. It is tangy hot, but tempered by the sweet red peppers, roasted for intensity of flavour. This aromatic and spicy chilli paste can…

Recipe: Autumn Freezing and Easy Preserving for Winter Use

Now is the time to be freezing the last of Summer produce so that you can continue to use them in winter. We adore all sorts of pastes and purees suitable for freezing that we can drop into Winter stews, coat Wintery pasta dishes, bubble in Winter Soups and chop into all sorts of dishes….

Ingredients: How to Freeze Garlic

Did you know that garlic freezes rather well? I have to thank Kathryn Elliott for bringing this to my attention. Garlic is a seasonal crop, and local garlic is cheap over summer. It begins to peak in price during late Summer and early Autumn, continuing to rise in price until late Autumn or Early Winter,…

Ingredients: Long Melon | Bottle Gourd | Lauki

Long Melon, Lauki, Doodhi, or the Bottle Gourd species produces fruit in a range of sizes and shapes, from long and thin, straight or curved to bottle shaped. But always the skin is smooth, tough and most commonly light green. When buying it is good to select the younger ones as they will be more tender…

Indian Essentials : Sabudana | Sago and Tapioca

In Asia and India, taste is as much about the texture of food as it is about the flavour. That is why such flavourless ingredients such as the wide range of grains used, and tofu are often the star of the dish, while the flavoursome ingredients play a back role. Sago and Tapioca fall into…