This dish is a way we discovered to use our Spice of the Month, Coconut and Beetroot curry blend, and follows the same principles as a ‘normal’ Tandoori but tastes completely different. It works very well with chicken of course, but an interesting variation is to use fish – try cod, swordfish, salmon or tuna steaks, any firm, meaty fish. The method uses coconut milk instead of the more usual yoghurt, and it is not as spicy hot as a regular tandoori so if you like it hot, add a teaspoon or two of Kashmiri chilli powder. There aren’t many ingredients involved, and of course cooking just involves sticking a tray in the oven, so this is very easy to do if you don’t have much time.
Asia is a wonderland for tasty, savoury fried snacks and near the top of everyone’s list is the onion bhaji, which of course is a staple in Indian restaurants here in the UK. They do however come in other forms to the ‘tennis ball’ usually found here, and if you’re making them yourself it works better (and is much easier) to do flat ones – this means the batter won’t be so cakey, you won’t need so much oil, and they cook faster and crispier. We include curry leaves and some fresh green chilli in our batter, just because we like them, but these aren’t essential if you don’t have them handy. The best bet for spicing up the bhaji batter is our Bombay Potato curry blend, but if you don’t have that in the pantry, use a blend of turmeric, cumin and coriander.
Although originally a European dish, Schnitzel is very popular in Australia where it is very common on pub and restaurant menus. It is easy enough to make, and of course the spicing/seasoning varies from chef to chef. Our version is seasoned with our Tomato, Olive and Basil Salt (a blend which is bang full of Umami) but other ideas are Cuban Seasoned Salt, Cajun Blend or if you are a fan of hotter food, Lemon, Chilli and Fennel Salt. You can accompany your Schnitzel with your favourite kind of fried potato, with some spaghetti dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, or for a lighter meal, with some crispy green salad.
As you may remember, we at Spice Mountain are very fond of a rendang. We found this version at the Tiong Bahru food court in Singapore, and while it had the same flavours as the more common beef rendang, it was different.
Another quick one here, and another recipe we picked up in Kanchanaburi. The variety of fried rice available in Thailand is vast, from the simple Chinese favourite to an elaborate variation served wrapped in an omelette, but this recipe just seemed to pack in all our favourite Thai flavours – sour, hot and packed with umami. We use our Nasi Goreng blend, a mix of dried vegetables and spices which is an ideal base for any fried rice dish, alongside our Tom Yam blend.
Some of the fastest food we’ve ever come across, this streetfood favourite takes only five minutes or so to make. We enjoyed it from a stall in the back streets of Kanchanaburi, Thailand, and despite it being so simple and basic it was one of the tastiest things we tried on the whole holiday. Thai sweet basil is available in the larger Chinese supermarkets, but regular basil can be used if you can’t find the Thai kind. Also if you like your food hot, feel free to increase the amount of Thai birdseye chilli you use.
A real Winter Warmer, this filling, substantial soup is common allover the Caribbean. The pepper element comes from a combination of allspice and Scotch Bonnet chilli, and it is given a nice fragrance from thyme and bayleaf. In the West Indies it is often made with beef, but this is a veggie version. Traditionally it would be served with a dumpling plonked on top, and that is fine, but we suggest enjoying it with a hunk of warm, crusty bread as a warming lunch or supper.
This lovely, spicy concoction is an ever-present on any vegetable thali served in South Indian restaurants, indeed in the region it is a staple food. The flavours of South India are brought by curry leaves and plenty of black pepper, along with plenty of chilli for heat and tamarind for sourness. It can be served as part of an Indian buffet, or equally enjoyed by itself with some paratha, roti or chapati for a light meal. A note on curry leaves – they are undoubtedly best bought fresh, but can be fiendishly difficult to find; the dried ones we stock will work fine for this soup however and the unique flavour and aroma is essential in this soup.
An American classic, there are quite a few variations on the chowder theme and this one adds spicy, piquant Chorizo sausage to the mix to give it Mexican notes. The paprika in the sausage combines really well with the creamy flavour of the soup, and we also add a sprinkle of our Cajun blend along with some Smoked Paprika to emphasise this. Vegetarians can of course leave out the Chorizo, and in this case just increase the amount of paprika and Cajun blend.
This dish is from Mexico, and is another of their brilliant breakfast ideas when served with a fried egg on the side. But it is also great as a side dish or something from the buffet. It is simple, basically a Mexi version of sausage and chips although a lot more interesting! The best chorizo to use here is the raw kind, and we would recommend visiting our friends at Brindisa in Borough Market to buy it – they do little cooking chorizos which are perfect for this. And rather than just chucking in slices or chunks of chorizo, it’s best to peel off the skin and just crumble the sausage into the pan, as it then becomes part of the sauce, coating the potatoes wonderfully. The guajillo chilli used is not hot, but if you want to make it so just add some hot chilli powder to the dish.