The Spice Trade

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

Category Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Spicy Tomato Onion Chutney

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This spicy tomato chutney is a great accompaniment to many South Indian favourites, such as Idli and Dosa. It’s also a great dip for crackers, samosas and breads, as well as a lovely fresh spread for use in sandwiches. It’s simple, quick, and only relies on very commonly used ingredients in Asian cooking! This chutney can also be refrigerated for several days and still taste great. Ingredients – 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil – 1 tsp black mustard seeds (5g) – 3-6 dried Kashmiri chillies based on taste – 1/8-1/4 tsp asafoetida powder – 10g of dried garlic flakes, or 6-8 … keep reading

Recipe: Aloo Matar (spiced indian potato and pea curry)

photo: Joana Petrova

This recipe hails from the North of India, but is extremely popular all over because of the simple and fresh ingredients used. Some households prefer a dryer texture, in which case omit the tomato and don’t make into a paste. This recipe is commonly enjoyed with Indian Basmati rice, poori and chapatis (roti). Ingredients – 2 medium potatoes (aloo), peeled and diced – ¾ to 1 cup peas (matar) – 1 tbsp almond powder (grind 8-9 almonds in dry grinder) – half tsp (3g) Cumin Seeds – Pinch of Asafoetida – ½ to 1 tsp (3-5g) Red chilli powder (for … keep reading

Five Spice Powder: What’s the real recipe?

Five Spice Ingredients

Five Spice Powder is as famous a foreign ingredient can get, while remaining a complete mystery. Most people know what it is, but if you ask them the ingredients, you’ll be greeted with many blank stares, or incomplete answers. The reason is simple, there is no fixed recipe. In a way, Five Spice is a lot like what Curry Powder is for Indians. Ask any Indian household what curry powder is, and you’ll be quickly told that there are many kinds of different curry powders to suit individual curries. Recipes also vary from house to house, city to city, and … keep reading

Saffron

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Saffron is known as the emperor of spices. Why? Because it’s an extremely laborious and tedious process to harvest. It can grow in extreme hot and dry climates, as well as survive in snow. But, good grains of commercial saffron need extremely precise conditions to develop their exquisite flavour. Saffron threads are taken from the insides of orchids – perhaps the rarest and most expensive branch of flowers. A grain of good commercial Saffron contains the stigmas and styles of nine flowers, and consequently 4,320 orchids are required to yield around 30 grams of Saffron. The stigmas need to be … keep reading

Yogi Tea (Recipe)

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Not to be confused with the brand name tea, Yogi tea is also a type of tea. Very similar to Indian Masala Chai, Yogi Tea is another type of spiced tea drink. Unlike Masala Chai, Yogi tea is brewed using a slower process which allows the spices to be fully infused in the tea. Drinking Yogi tea has many health benefits. It’s loaded with numerous spices, and the flavours and health potential of each of these is conveniently transferred to the drink! No wonder it’s so popular around the world. If you have a good stock of spices, the drink … keep reading

Recipe: Chole Masala (Indian Cooking)

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Chole Masala is one of the more popular North Indian dishes, and also relies heavily on traditional Indian cooking techniques. Also known as “Garbanzo beans” or “Chickpeas”, this recipe for Chole Masala is the result of layering spice upon spice to produce a rich, flavourful curry. Garbanzo beans are also highly nutritious. As a member of the legume family, they are highly recommended for optimizing health and preventing disease by the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association and American Cancer societies. Rehydrating dried beans is always going to be more healthy and flavourful, but this recipe can be sped up … keep reading

The BIG Guide to Chillies

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The most popular chillies from around the world Chillies are a spice used in every part of the world. They provide one of the basic flavours and is an essential part of many traditional dishes. There are many different kinds of chilli peppers used across the world. Chillies from Mexico are different from the chillies in India or China, and then there is the branch of European chillies too. These varieties all complement their national cuisine in their own unique ways. Even though the primary flavour given by chillies is spice, they are more complex and have other flavour notes … keep reading

Cooking with Spices Part 2: Grinding spices and herbs

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This is the second in the series of learning how to cook with spices. In the first post, we saw how easy it was to use spices in cooking. Now we’ll learn how to use all spices. Freshly grinding spices makes them all taste better. Spices lose their taste and flavour the longer they sit powdered. To get the most out of your spices, it’s best to buy whole and powder just before using. A compromise would be to powder weekly. This is still many times better than letting a powder sit on your spice rack for months, as by … keep reading

How to Cook with Spices

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Some would say “How to cook” is a more appropriate title. I believe that cooking with spices is that important. It’s nearly impossible to make a good dish without them. Peppers, chilies, all manner of herbs, are almost guaranteed to be present in all your meals. It’s even found in ice cream: Vanilla is a spice. Yet people are still cautious about cooking with spices. By learning to cook with spices, you can improve the quality of any dish. Compared to fresh meat and vegetables, spices are cheap. They’re also painlessly easy to use in cooking, so there’s no reason … keep reading

Baklava (Recipe)

Baklava

Baklava is one of those desserts that you will never forget once you try it. It can be best described as the dessert answer to the Croissant. It’s native to the remains of the Ottoman Empire (for example Turkey or the Middle East), and is also very popular in parts of Asia. Baklava is a technical dish, but only requires a small number of ingredients. It’s also well worth the effort. A good baklava is layered with flavour and fit for a king. In fact, it is believed to have been developed in the Imperial palace kitchens in Turkey centuries … keep reading