Indian spice blends, collectively known as ‘Masalas’, can be dry powders or ‘wet’ pastes. Typically, pastes are made by combining dry powdered spices with a liquid (vinegar especially) and then either using as is, or else storing after cooking the paste in oil until the blending liquid evaporates out.
About two years ago, I posed my recipe for a Madras Curry Powder and, today, I used the basic recipe, with some additions, to make a paste… Continue reading “Spice Blend: Madras Curry Paste”
These little drumstick shaped things are the berries of a plant in the pepper family grown chiefly in Java and Sumatra. They are most commonly called Cubeb Berries (or just plain Cubeb), but are also known as Cubeb Pepper, Java Pepper, and (by reason of their stemmed appearance) Tail Pepper. They were a common culinary spice in medieval Europe but have largely disappeared from kitchens today. You won’t likely find them in your local supermarket, but you can find them on-line. They are worth giving a try, however, as even though a member of the Pepper family, they taste nothing like the variety in common use… Continue reading “Spice: Cubeb”
At one time, a ‘Madras Curry’ was a standard on Indian restaurant menus in the west, and was also a fairly common recipe entry in Indian cookery books. It seems, however, to be a little less frequently encountered these days and this is perhaps because the Indian City of Madras (whence the name) is now known as Chennai, and the eponymous curry was probably more of an Anglo-Indian, rather than a purely Indian creation. Whatever the case, the Madras Curry is still something of a classic and well worth adding to one’s culinary repertoire.
In my research of a wide variety of spice blends, I have found that the Madras Curry blend is the closest to what most westerners would call the ‘curry flavor’ and the typical ingredients are much the same as found in the generic ‘Curry Powder’ you can find in almost any supermarket. The one major difference between the two, as far as I have seen, is that the generic type tends to be high in Turmeric and low in Chili, while, in a Madras blend, the reverse is usually true. In this post, we will have a quick look at the general composition and then I’ll provide a fairly straightforward version that you can use as a starting point for your own culinary creations… Continue reading “Spice: Homemade Madras Curry Powder”
I have regularly had a jar of freeze-dried Chives from Litehouse™ in my cupboard for some time now and, at present, I also have jars of their Sage and Parsley as well. Those products are pretty decent, if not especially remarkable, and, when I came across a jar of their freeze-dried Lemon Grass I wanted to see if this might be a useful substitute to have on hand when the fresh article is unavailable… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Freeze-dried Lemon Grass”
My wife confessed to a hankering for ribs and I was happy to oblige her. I was feeling a little adventurous though and so, instead of one of my standard preparations I decided to play around with a vaguely Indian blend involving of Cumin, Coriander, and the maple-warmth of Fenugreek Seed . I am calling the result ‘Indian Rubs’ and, though it needs a little work, perhaps some of you might like to play with the basic theme… Continue reading “Oven Baked Indian Rub Ribs”
I have had a number of ongoing spice blend projects underway for quite some time now. This summer, I continued on with a steak spice recipe I have been working on but I am still not quite satisfied with as yet. I took as a starting point two previous blends I have featured in previous posts; the first being one I used for an Oven-baked Beef Ribs recipe (which I liked very much), and the second a rather exotic blend for Barbecue Beef Ribs (which I didn’t care for nearly as much). The work in progress thus far takes a little for each but it needs something else so I thought I would share my progress thus far and invite some input from my readers… Continue reading “The Ongoing Steak Spice Project”
Hardcore fans of Asian food will likely recognize this brand and product, but if you haven’t come across it yet it really (really) bears trying. I have made, and regularly make my own Sambal Oelek, but this beats mine hands down and I can unstintingly recommend it as the best, and most versatile, commercial chili paste on the market… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Sambal Oelek – Huy Fong™ Brand”
Most everyone with even a passing acquaintance with Indian cuisine will be familiar with the very popular Vindaloo style curry, and regular readers will recall the loose interpretation of the basic dish I made with my Gomanchala Pork Curry some time ago.
The commercial Vindaloo spice powder you see pictured above was a gift from a visitor this past summer. I have not come across the Dunya brand before (they are an Indian company) but I note that their packaging is very similar to that of Sharwood’s, whose Tandoori Masala I reviewed last year. In any event, I thought that the best way to test this product would be to try out the recipe the manufacturers thoughtfully provide on the label of the container… Continue reading “Dunya™ Vindaloo Masala”
Not long ago, a visitor from down south brought my wife a ‘care package’ of various Indian food products which included the commercial Tandoori spice blend you see pictured above. I have not come across this particular brand before and I thought I might test it with a very simple Tandoori Chicken preparation on my barbecue… Continue reading “Tandoori Masala – Kissan™ Brand”
Ajowan Seed, also spelled ‘Ajwain’ sometimes called ‘Carom Seed’ in English, is used occasionally in the cuisines of Iran, Afghanistan and East Africa, but is most widely used in Indian cookery, particularly in the Northeastern states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It is not a spice that you will come across in many western spice cabinets, nor on the shelves of mainstream supermarkets, but you can find it fairly easily in Indian or Middle-Eastern groceries or online, if you don’t mind shopping for spices that way. I certainly wouldn’t say that this is an essential spice in my collection, but it does have its uses and is worth looking for… Continue reading “Spice: Ajowan Seed”