Fenugreek
May25

Fenugreek

Uses Fenugreek is used both as a herb (the leaves) and as a spice (the seed, also known as methi).  It is a common ingredient in hot curries like bhuna, jalfrezi, dopiaza, madras and vindaloo.  It is used in curry powders like the Indian five-spice mixture panch phoron, and in pastes. The plant is cultivated worldwide with a large presence in the Mediterranean region however India is the largest producer.  The leaves have a bitter,...

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Mustard seed
Mar16

Mustard seed

Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.  There are many different varieties of mustard plants but only three primary types used for its seeds: black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Brassica alba) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea). Types Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, white mustard seeds (which are actually...

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Turmeric
Mar08

Turmeric

Turmeric is part of the ginger family and like ginger, it is a rhizome; a horizontal stem of a plant that grows underground. Generally speaking, it is valued more for its colour than its flavour (turmeric is the oldest natural food dye in the world) but it is used extensively in South Asian and Middle Eastern cooking. Turmeric grows wild in South Asia and has an earthy, slightly bitter taste, not too dissimilar from saffron and for...

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Cumin
Mar01

Cumin

Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) Said to be the second most popular spice globally, here we delve into the description of cumin; where it is found and how it is used.  A common ingredient in cuisines all over the world, we look at cooking with cumin and the uses of cumin in curries, as well as its herbal remedies. Cumin is the seed of a small umbelliferous plant that is part of the parsley family.  The plant has a slim stem that grows to 20cm...

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Garlic
Feb22

Garlic

Garlic (Allium sativum) Here we discuss the different ways garlic can be prepared and used in curries and the popular Indian dishes it is used in.  We also look at a few of its health benefits. Garlic is probably the most popular spice not only in Indian cooking, but in cuisines all over the world.  It is estimated that 90% of the world’s food contains garlic in some shape or form. A close relative of chives, onions, leeks and...

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