The Spice Trade

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

Falooda, the indian dessert-drink

falooda recipe

I love falooda. Even though it looks like the weirdest dessert concoction ever, it’s just so good when done right. Falooda relies on quality basil seeds, falooda sev, sweetened milk plus toppings. The toppings are where you can really let your creativity go wild, and the main heart of basil seed-milk is what brings it home. The peculiar thing with falooda is that it doesn’t really look like a dessert, it’s a drink after all. But then, almost all of it is eaten with a spoon because it’s hard to drink down! We’re not sure how the dessert was invented, … keep reading

Making the finest Rosewater and Rose Syrup you’ve ever tasted

making rose syrup

Culinary flowers are always so fascinating, especially rose petals. In some ways, I prefer the dried rose buds, they carry so much more flavour and of course are great for cooking! The most common way to cook using dried roses is to first make rosewater or rose syrup. Here, we’re going to show you how to cook the best Rosewater and Rose Syrup you’ve ever tasted. 100% natural, no colouring added unlike most of the brands you’ll find in a supermarket shelf. When cooking with dried culinary flowers such as rose or lavender, it’s absolutely imperative to get them from … keep reading

Cloves market update

Cloves Regency Spices

Clove season has just begun, and it’s always interesting to see how the initial negotiations between buyers and suppliers pan out during the process. There is always a shift in who will budge first: Will suppliers give up their crop at favourable prices? Or will buyers desperate to replenish stock buy at the peak? It all also depends on the amount of crop and quality. Bad rains and weather can damage crop in certain regions forcing up price and reducing supply of the good crop, meaning customers like us at Regency who need it will need to buy first while … keep reading

Rapid Alert: Recall in Hong Kong for La Chinata Brand Smoked Paprika

12th June at 10:26pm, Hong Kong’s Food and Environmental Hygiene department issued a rapid alert calling the recall for La Chinata Brand Smoked Paprika in Hong Kong. Why? It was contaminated with dangerous levels of Salmonella. Other brands and varieties of Smoked Paprika are probably also under heavy scrunity. This Smoked Paprika comes from Spain – rather surprising as we would expect EU originating food to be much safer compared to food produced in some other countries, but it appears that they too are susceptible to poor quality control and perhaps cutting corners in manufacturing. Whether to save costs or … keep reading

Ras El Hanout enhanced Kachori (Indian fried dumpling snack)

indian kachori fried snack

In our home Kachori wasn’t a very popular dish until we invented this version, with the moroccan twist using our Ras El Hanout. Ras El Hanout is a blend of spices that varies from brand to brand. Typically it consists of allspice, ginger, nutmeg, chillies, thyme and salt, plus 5-10 different spices that are the best of the best in stock for each spice trader. At Regency, this includes our Allspice, Cardamom, Cubeb Peppers, Pink Himalayan Salt, Cloves, Mace, Green Peppercorns and some others. The blend is so well balanced that it works with nearly any savoury dish, and we … keep reading

The hunt for Za’atar in Hong Kong

Za’atar is a popular middle eastern spice blend, and like all foreign spices, is known by more than one spelling… or in Za’atar’s case, 10: zaatar, za’tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or satar, زَعْتَر. I still recall the case of one of our customers back in October asking if we stocked Za’atar, she missed it from back home. We hunted profusely and found none, so we thought – why not import? And so, the tale of Regency Zaatar began. We now hold regular stocks and sell it on a same day basis too! Za’atar comes in many types. Lebanese … keep reading

What is curry powder? (Part 1)

curry-powder-gujarati-mild-spice

We get this question all the time, what is curry powder? Actually, “Curry Powder” doesn’t refer to a specific powder in Indian Cooking. Indian curries and dals all use different spices, in different proportions, to complement the ingredients inside. In a cauliflower curry for instance, the amount of turmeric is much more than in a tandoori chicken curry. But standard “Curry powder” can be used to imitate the average taste, and get a good tasting curry each time, although not completely authentic. Authentic is also much harder to pinpoint because different curries are made in different ways across India. In … keep reading

What is Fennel Pollen, why is it so expensive, and why it’s worth it

Regency Fennel Pollen

Wild Fennel Pollen is one of those elusive exotic spices that makes you feel like you entered a secret club once you’ve heard about it. One day you didn’t even know it existed, the next day it’s everywhere. Fennel Pollen Ice Cream. Fennel Pollen Risotto. Fennel Pollen Pulled Pork. This spice is so versatile, it can be used on just about anything. Why? Because of it’s unique flavour and texture. Fennel Pollen comes from the flowers of the fennel plant. Fennel is easy to grow at home, and gathering fennel pollen is also not too difficult. But the yield is … keep reading

The best Vanilla Cupcake recipe

the best vanilla cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes sound so simple, but they’re very difficult to pull off perfectly. Since it’s vanilla (pardon the pun), each ingredient needs to be chosen with care. Of course, the Vanilla must be the best of the best. Regency’s vanilla beans naturally come from the world’s best vanilla producing nation, Madagascar. We only use beans that are 16-20cm long, smaller beans have underdeveloped flavours, and larger beans are almost impossible to find at all. Even our 16-20cm beans take up less than 1% of what’s produced. These beans are such high quality that using them in place of ordinary vanilla … keep reading