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HINTS AND TIPS

  • A curry does not have to be hot. Simply leave out the chillies for a milder curry with plenty of flavour.
  • If the curry is too dry, add a little more stock, water or coconut milk.
  • To thicken a sauce – dry roast one tbs of raw Rice with one tbs of desiccated coconut until golden.  Grind to a paste and add to your curry, stirring well.
  • Fresh herbs added at the end of the cooking time can transform your curry with colour and fragrance.
  • For added piquancy, try a spoonful of Tamarind paste or extra Lemon or Lime juice.
  • Maldive fish flakes added to Vegetable curries give a greater depth of flavour. Try ½  to 1 tsp.
  • The addition of a spoonful of Tomato paste will give you a richer sauce.
  • A pinch of Brown sugar will round out the flavour of your curry.

 

USING HERBS & SPICES

  1. Herbs and spices contain volatile oils which are responsible for the aroma and key flavour attributes. It is always better to buy whole spices, dry roast and crush or grind them as needed. A small electric coffee grinder is ideal for this.  You will be amazed at the intensity of the fragrance compared to shop bought ground spices.
  2. Herbs and spices are not meant to dominate but rather enhance a dish and the true flavour of the food should always be the highlight.
  3. It is always wise to use strong pungent spices in small amounts.  The more delicate spices can be used in larger amounts without affecting the overall dish. Experiment till you find the right balance.
  4. Store your spices in a cool dark place in airtight containers.Glass jars with screw on lids are preferable. Keep your spices away from heat , light and air as this will cause the aromatic oils to evaporate and the spices will lose their flavour.
  5. Your sense of smell is your best judge in determining the quality of your herbs and spices.  If they smell musty or have no fragrance, throw them out!

SHELF LIFE

Whole spices 2 to 5 years
Ground spices 6 months to 2 years
Leafy herbs 3 months to 2 years