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: How to Make Asparagus Pesto

Isn’t it great that there are lots of ways to mush things together and the results taste spectacular? Soups, for example, smoothies, combination juices. The wonderful pesto and hummus. The wonderful mushing together of pastes, oils, nuts, seeds, cheeses, yoghurts, creams, fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables make for an endless variety of goodies. Even lentils…

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…

Recipe: How to Make Crispy Fried Ginger and Ginger Chips

Crispy Fried Ginger is a great garnish for vegetables and rice. It is easy to make and adds volumes of flavour. Keep a bowl of these, along with crispy garlic, curry leaves, sage and shallots, right next to your stove. You might like to also look at Crispy Garlic, Sage and Curry Leaves. Try this…

Spices: Dried Curd/Yoghurt Chillies of Kerala

Dried Curd Chillies have been marinated in curd/yoghurt on and off for several days, to absorb the yoghurt, and then dried in the sun. The yoghurt tempers some of the spicy heat of the chillies, and they develop a tangy, yogurty flavor. They are commonly eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal, like a pickle,…

Spices: Talni Mirchi | Dried Stuffed Chillies

Talni Mirchi are dried chillies from Maharashtra. They are first stuffed with fenugreek and perhaps other spices, perhaps soaked in curd or yoghurt, and dried in the sun. To use them, they are deep fried or sauteed very briefly, then crumbled over dishes or eaten alongside the dishes that form a meal. They can also…

Ingredients: Try these Types of Pasta

Are you stuck in a pasta routine? Spaghetti, fettuccine, macoroni? And not much variation outside of these?  Then I recommend that you locate a great Italian grocer and experiment with other pasta types. Here are some smaller, shaped pastas to begin with.

Ingredients: What is Cocozella Zucchini?

Cocozelle is a type of Zucchini that is closer to a squash. It’s skin is medium-green with wide, light green or white stripes. The flesh is tender and its flavour is considered more pronounced than many other zucchini. Choose ones that are less than 35cm (14 inches), ideally around 18 to 30 cm long. Before…

Ingredients: Pandanus | Pandan Leaf | Screwpine Leaf | Rampe | Kewa

The stiff, bright green pandanus leaf is used for its colour and flavour in curries and rice dishes in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Chinese, Indonesia 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…

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…

Indian Essentials : 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….

Recipe: 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…

Recipe: 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…