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…

Cooking: 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…

Ingredients: Bitter Greens: Radicchio

Well, Radicchio is not exactly green, rather it is a colourful member of the chicory family. It is an offspring of the weeds that used to grow around the Mediterranean. Radicchio is a specialty of the area around Venice in Italy. Radicchio is most popularly used outside of Italy in salads, but it can also…

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…

Ingredients: How to Make a Deeply Flavoured Coconut-Curry Stock

Stocks are so important to the success of many dishes, but if you cook constantly with herbs and spices, it is easy to throw one together as needed. In the past I would always have a freezer full of vegetable stock, but these days I prefer the stocks made with the ingredients on my kitchen…

Ingredients: How to Make Malay Curry Powder

While India does not have a “curry powder”, it does have a range of masalas and podis that are used in specific ways or with specific dishes. For example, chole masala, chaat masala and garam masala. Not so in the Indian community of Malaysia. Influenced by Malaysian cuisine, curry powder is a common staple in…

Ingredients: How to Make Nut Butters

It is good to minimise the use of margarine type spreads because none of them are very healthy. Still use them, of course, but aim for moderation. It is easy to replace margarine at times with pureed avocado or hummus or other bean-based spreads (home made). Nut butters are another alternative. Cashew butter, almond butter…

Ingredients: What to do with Deep Fried Tofu

Deep Fried tofu can either be store-bought in packets, or made at home. Versatile Deep Fried Tofu is available from any Asian or Chinese Grocery, where it might be called Tofu Puffs, or Fried Tofu Squares.  As the name suggests, it is a tofu that has been deep fried. It is quite firm in texture…

Ingredients: Pickled Ginger

  Pickling ginger prolongs the pleasure of good fresh young ginger which in normal circumstances is available for only 4 months of the year. Pickled ginger is coloured a beautiful pink. It is a delight on its own; savour it. Nibble it while pouring the wine after work or whilst cooking dinner. Use as a…

Cooking: Broad Bean and Butter Bean Spread

It is easy to develop an aversion to Broad Beans. Prolific bearers and easy to grow, they are an easy choice for home gardeners and country kitchen gardens. Yet the poor bean is often misunderstood. Instead of being treated tenderly, cooks mistakenly overcooked them to a green-grey mush with a strong taste only masked by…