Tag: spices

Preparing a Thai spice mix ready for some recipes

Preparing a Thai spice mix ready for some recipes

So I have started working on some recipes from my Asia trip and firstly realised I need to make my own spice mix. Having been to my local Thai supermarket (which is excellent) it seems that the general Thai curry paste they have has wheat…

HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR WINDFALLS (OR SOMEONE ELSE’S) PART TWO – spicy

HOW TO PRESERVE YOUR WINDFALLS (OR SOMEONE ELSE’S) PART TWO – spicy

I hope you still have some apples left as this recipe is a cracker especially if you like spicy food. It comes from my preserving bible mentioned in the previous post but with a couple of added tweaks. The recipe is a relish rather than…

How to preserve your windfalls (or someone else’s) Part one – Sweet

How to preserve your windfalls (or someone else’s) Part one – Sweet

Most of us know someone who has an apple tree if we don’t ourselves. At this time of year if you live in a particularly friendly area you might find a box of apples outside someones house that says ‘please help yourself’ so do help yourself and here is something to do with them. This recipe is pretty much from this book (with a few tweaks) which is my bible for pickling and preserving. Really worth getting hold of if its still available. Everything is set out in alphabetical order so you just look up your fruit or veg of choice and there is a number of recipes for each thing.

Sweet and spicy preserved apples

This can be made now but needs to sit and mature in flavour for at least two months so would therefor be perfect for Christmas presents. In the next couple of days I will post a savoury recipe which also needs a couple of months to mature.

 

Start with approximately 2 1/2lb’s of eating apples. Peeling is optional depending on what the skin is like. Core them and cut into pieces maybe quarters or eighths. Have a bowl of water and lemon juice to hand to put the apples in as you prepare them so they don’t go brown. When you are ready to use them drain and pat dry with a tea towel.

 

Heat together 3/4 pint of water with 3/4 pint of ginger wine add 1 lb 12 oz of sugar, a large cinnamon stick 2 inch or so piece of root ginger bruised and halved and 9 cloves. Bring this mixture to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Drain the syrup to remove the spices and place the syrup back in the pan, add the apples and the peel of a lemon.

 

Simmer everything until the apples soften stirring occasionally to make sure they cook evenly. Prepare some jars. I used two large ones and one small one, or five small ones should do the trick. Clean them and sterilise them. Using a holey spoon take the apples a spoon at a time out of the syrup and place in the jars with a few bits of the same spices that were in the syrup at the beginning (but fresh ones!). Keep the jars and apples warm.

Boil the remaining syrup until it thickens a bit and then pour over the apples to cover. Add a few more bits of spice to the top of the jar and put the lids on. Leave for at least two months for all the flavours to mature. If you are planning to give them away you could label them using a glass painting paste and add some lovely material to cover the lid.

 

 

 

 

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More Autumn comfort food

More Autumn comfort food

I know I keep repeating myself here but the weather is most definitely on the turn. I’ve got jumpers out and coats on that haven’t been around for a while. And not to depress anyone but the nights are drawing in and I’ve noticed that…

Left overs quick curry

Left overs quick curry

For the last few days I’ve been sorting through my photos, sketchbook and drawings from India. It has made me need a good curry. I was on cooking duty a couple of days ago and was also skint so needed to make something from what…

Masala Chai anyone?

Masala Chai anyone?

I am british and I love tea. Its been part of life always. My dad had a pint mug for his tea and I seem to have his tendencies. As a teenager I tried to become a cool kid and drink coffee but never liked it so gave up very quickly. When I was nine an Indian girl moved in with my family and we became firm friends straight away, we still are all these years later. She was older than me and taught me many things about Indian food. One resounding memory is making masala chai. We kids couldn’t get enough of the sweet spiced milky drink, I quickly learned how to make it for myself.

So when I finally got to India that was top of my list to sample as much as possible. It is really interesting to work out what spices are used and understand that different people have different individual preferences and add more of one thing than another. The best chai I had was in Bundi made by Krishna in the pictures below. His mix was very heavy on black pepper so it had a real spicy kick.

 

The best view while drinking chai was in Udaipur at a roof top cafe looking down on the hustle and bustle of the streets below…

…and the best accompaniment to a cup of chai was this barfi from a fantastic sweet shop in Jaipur.

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Blackberry season

Blackberry season

I have been away this week and got back to very little food in the house. I did discover however that I had a good crop of ripe blackberries in the garden. I didn’t have enough for a jam making session so decided to make…