The Spice Trade

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Parsley: Health and nutrition, plus how to buy it

Parsley Flakes

Below are average values per 1 tsp (0.5g) of dried parsley leaves Proximates Water 0.03g Energy 1kcal Protein 0.13g Total lipid (fat) 0.03g Carbohydrate, by difference 0.25g Fiber, total dietary 0.1g Sugars, total 0.04g Minerals Calcium, Ca 6mg Iron, Fe 0.11mg Magnesium, Mg 2mg Phosphorus, P 2mg Potassium, K 13mg Sodium, Na 2mg Zinc, Zn 0.03mg Vitamins Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0.6mg Thiamin 0.001mg Riboflavin 0.012mg Niacin 0.050mg Vitamin B-6 0.005mg Folate, DFE 1µg Vitamin B-12 0.00µg Vitamin A, RAE 0µg Vitamin A, IU 10IU Vitamin E 0.04mg Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 0.0µg Vitamin D 0IU Vitamin K … keep reading

Why Organic food in Hong Kong doesn’t mean anything

organic food poster FEHD HK

This article has been updated on 28/7/15 with updated knowledge. Hong Kong currently does not have any piece of regulation specifically for organic food. Yes, even though food can be labelled and sold as Organic in Hong Kong, the FEHD has not made any hard and fast rule saying what actually counts as organic. We do have some general guidelines, although these too are vague, and easy to get around. Bearing in mind these guidelines are constantly prefaced by words such as “usually” and “generally”, as we do not have any rules. – Avoiding the use of chemical pesticide and … keep reading

Thepla (Special Indian Bread)

methi thepla indian cooking recipe

Sometimes rotis are simply too boring, or unappealing in an Indian house. So we tend to cook a variety of different breads. Naans, Roomali Rotis, Puris have all started to grow popular and found around the world. One less well known bread is the Indian Thepla. This bread is usually mixed with “methi” (fenugreek leaves) plus some other spices and tastes great even by itself. The spice doesn’t come through too strong, just enough for flavour and aroma, much like many western breads. The great part about Thepla is that unlike most Indian breads, this bread can be stored at … keep reading

Indian dips: Cucumber Yoghurt Raita

cucumber raita dip

We’ve enjoyed this cucumber raita since as long as our family can remember. It’s great for those hot summer meals where you want something refreshing, but don’t want to eat too much. It’s a simple, healthy, and nutritious dip which goes with most Indian meals. You can eat it with puri, roti, thepla, rice, lentils, even by itself! Unlike the middle eastern Tzatziki, this yoghurt dip is less thick, so it’s easier for mixing, but you can adjust the thickness to your taste. Just mix less! Our favourite use is for dipping hot, fried appetizers like Veggie Pakoras. Hope you … keep reading

Flaxseeds – one of the world’s healthiest foods


Flaxseeds have a long, rich history. The Flax seed plant has been known since before the stone ages, and was used for culinary purposes as far back as Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. Maybe even further back! Rome, a civilisation that was one of the pioneers of the food and spice trade, widely praised the health benefits of flax seeds. But their popularity declined with the fall of the Roman Empire, and it wasn’t until Charlemagne in France that Flax Seeds got popular again. Flax Seeds also have a history in medical use. Not that the following does not constitute … keep reading

Mom’s Delicious Dal Fry, it doesn’t get better than this

dal fry regency spices

Dal Fry is a really popular Indian Lentil dish. It’s seasoned with a blend of spices giving it great depth of flavour. This dal never gets old, and is a staple of any north indian restaurant. It’s also easy to make. You can enjoy the dal fry with rice or roti or naan, it tastes great both ways. Here’s our home recipe, passed down through the generations! Serves 4-5 Ingredients: 1 cup Toor Dal (Arhar Daal) 5 cups water 2 small onion, finely chopped 1 small tomato, finely chopped 2 green chillies, slit in halves 1inch piece Ginger, grated 1 … keep reading

Sichuan Pepper market update

sichuan pepper regency spices

Sichuan Pepper comes in a few varieties. Contrary to what the name suggests, it doesn’t all come from Sichuan Province! Much weaker, cheaper varieties of sichuan peppercorns are grown and sold all throughout China, with prices varying by over 100%! In addition to Sichuan Province, Sichuan Pepper grows in Shaanxi, Shandong, Guangdong and further to other parts of Asia outside China! These look very different, and taste even more different. There are many grades and varieties, of which above we’ve taken samples of a few. Can you spot the differences? It’s not easy even to the trained eye. We can … keep reading

Healthy reasons to eat Ceylon Cinnamon, not it’s Chinese Cousin Cassia

Ceylon Cinnamon Sticks

We’ve touted the taste benefits of Cassia Cinnamon for decades. It’s got a strong spice and sweetness to it, it’s cheap and less delicate for transport and storage. Yet, there’s one big area where Cassia Cinnamon lacks, in comparison to it’s “Ceylon True Cinnamon” counterpart. Ceylon Cinnamon is much more expensive and difficult to find, and with good reason. It only grows in Sri Lanka, with annual yield hovering near 10,000MT. In comparison, Cassia Cinnamon grows in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and small quantities in many other parts of the world too. The crop is easy to grow, even though qualities … keep reading