Spotlight on Hidden Treasures!
This month, we're shining the spotlight on a few everyday spices that are all-time favourites in the Spicery kitchen!
These humble ingredients are often overlooked but are really easy to use, and can certainly take your meals up to the next level!
This mild, sweet Turkish chilli is often seen on the table in Turkish restaurants to use whenever you want to add just a little heat (but not tooooo much.....!) to your food. Sprinkle Aleppo chilli over pretty much anything at the table or in your cooking - it looks spectacular, has a lovely flavour and only adds a very mild level of heat so it's a good way to introduce kids to the wonderful world of chilli.
It also has a stunning rich, bright red colour so also can be used in dressings, or heated in oil or butter to use as a chilli oil, or just sprinkle into your everyday cooking as you would standard chilli flakes or powder for a much more interesting flavour and milder heat. BUY NOW!
Thanks to a certain Mr Ottolenghi, Sumac is just sooooo hot right now...... It's a sour dried berry that's coarsely ground with a pinch of salt to make a dark purple oily powder (it looks better than that sounds...!).
Sumac is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking as a souring agent, and has the added benefit of making everything it's sprinkled over look rather pretty too! You can cook with sumac, and a good pinch is useful in stews and meat dishes (particularly with mince) as the sourness mellows slightly when you heat it so it adds a really subtle savoury note - we've even made a syrup for a drink from sumac which was delicious, kind of like a fruity, mellow lemonade!
Having said that, the best use for it is as a sprinkle over your food before serving or at the table where it adds a lemony zing as well as a great colour (particularly spectacular over a yogurt dressing!). BUY NOW!
We love urfa chilli for it's unique dark, sweet, fruity flavour and very mild heat. Another of the ultra-useful Turkish chilli flakes, urfa chilli is a great one to use for colour, complexity and depth of flavour, as well as adding a delicious (but pretty mild) level of heat to your cooking.
Best used in anything slow-cooked to get the most out of the complex flavour, we've also used urfa chilli in a chocolate dessert (which was spectacular!), so feel free to experiment away yourselves! BUY NOW!
One of our original blends from way back at the market in Green Park, Insanity Salt is an essential on chips as well as a great all-round seasoning in place of table salt (as long as you like a bit of heat of course!) BUY NOW!
The ultimate multi-tasker in your kitchen - it seems ludicrously simple, but once you start using it you won't believe you were able to live without it. 3 different peppercorns (black pepper, green pepper and long pepper) are perfectly balanced with sea salt to make peppery salt. Use in your cooking in place of table salt, to season your meat and veg before cooking and at the table - it does everything you need in one blend! BUY NOW!
Chipotles are smoked jalapeno chillies and when used in cooking they give off the most amazing smoky, savoury, almost meaty flavour. Chipotle powder is pretty fiery, but if you like heat adding a good pinch of this ingredient is a great way of adding more flavour as well as heat. BUY NOW!
We tend to use a lot of chaat masala in our Indian recipe kits, as it really brings all the flavours of the food to life. It's a seasoning blend with lots of amchur (green mango powder) that makes it tangy and fruity, as well as a bit of heat from chilli, pepper and ginger.
You can use chaat masala as a general seasoning (even in cooking or rubs), but it's at it's best when sprinkled over hot food just before serving, particularly anything fried. It also really works amazingly well with tropical fruit - try sprinkling a pinch on mango or pineapple.... BUY NOW!
Long pepper has (long!) been a favourite for us for years. It's not used that often in cooking, even in India and Indonesia where it grows wild - in fact it's used for for health and medicine, but in fact it's a great ingredient in the kitchen.
Long pepper has a lovely sweet, musky scent and a rich, pungent heat that works really well with rich, creamy or buttery food in particular. Crush the whole peppers just before use to get the most from their flavour. BUY NOW!
smoked garlic powder
Substitute anywhere you would use unsmoked garlic! A great substitute in cooking for fresh garlic, or use in dry rubs for roast chicken or mushrooms (with a little lemon zest and rosemary), mix with butter to make garlic bread, or add to marinades. BUY NOW!