Rempah Ratus : Spice up your cooking!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Salam and hello,
first of all i would like to wish all my fellow muslim readers "happy fasting". this time around i'm having a rather challenging fasting days...*sighh~* because i now have no maid to help me with house chores and as you might have guess thats the reason that you haven't seen me uploading my cooking/baking ever so often...well.. not that because i don't cook at all its just that i'm tired, i supposed too tired to find a nice light for the food and snap it (mm what a waste). to some people doing house chores is EASY and can be done in a blink, but to me with 2 hyper active children the chores seems to be never ending its a miracle that i could even have a 'ME' time or a nice nap in the afternoon....*long sighhhh~* between cooking and cleaning i have to crack my brain in designing headbands, sewing and crafting and then sell them...and also sewing some beads embroidery (although i only take a couple of request but i'm worried if i couldn't finish it in time for eid). this entry i'd like to simply write about spices. i know some of you are wondering about some of the spices we asian use, so this entry is dedicated to those who is in ignorance of the splendour of spices.... =p

Coriander / ketumbar
we all know coriander leaves but some of us are unfamiliar with coriander seeds. above is a picture of the herb and its seeds. coriander seed is a common spice we used in curry, spiced fried chicken, grilled fish ox tail soups and chicken soups. the aroma is rather spicy hot, it gives body to a bland dish (esp, asian dish)

Fennel / Jintan
this is one aromatic spice shaped like paddy seeds. for us, there are 2 types of fennel; sweet fennel and white fennel. the above is probably the white fennel, white fennel is larger in size and it also have a stronger aroma than sweet fennel. mainly used in curry, kurma, rendang (asian spiced stew) and i personally like to use this aromatic spice on my roasted chicken.

Fenugreek / Halba
this spice is used in cooking rice eg. nasi dagang and sometime in nasi lemak, fish curry. i rarely use this spice so thats all i know (sorry)

Green Cardamon / Buah Pelaga
Apart from using in cooking the Arabs and Indian like to spice their tea or coffee with this.
this is one of the spice used in curry making.

Star Anise / Bunga Lawang
it is shapes like a star hence the name...and has a strong aroma, it'll spice kick your curry and have that aromatic umph.

Mustard Seeds / Biji Sawi
i think there's black and white mustard seeds but the most common one in Asia is the black mustard seed. this tiny seed is used in stir fried veges, fish curry, acar (pickeled vege), asam pedas...

Cinnamon / kayu Manis
Everybody knows cinnamon. i think its one of the most versatile spice, it can be used in savory dish, desserts (Apple pie, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns) and even drinks. it has a sweet and a hint of spicy aroma.

Tumeric / Kunyit
used in curry, gulai (curry made without curry powder), fried chicken and fish, stirfried seafood and has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger. we also use its leaf for grilling fish also in gulai as it adds aroma to the dish.

Galangal / lengkuas / laos
Galangal is a root of a ginger family plant, it looks almost like ginger only it is harder and more fiberous, slicing it requires a sharp knife. the taste? oh its totaly nothing like ginger, it has a citrusy, piney, earthy aroma, with hints of cedar and soap (saponins) in the flavor; its flavor is a complement to its relative ginger, but galangal has little of the peppery heat that raw ginger has.

Kaffir Lime Leaf / Daun Limau Purut
A very aromatic citrus fragrant, distinctively shaped "double" leaves. used in Tom Yam soup, gulai, sambal, sayur asam...

Indonesian Bay leaf / Daun Salam
Used in Nusantara cookery. Especially great for meat, veges, soups, even rice.

I can't think of anymore spice for me to put here....hmmm....i hope that this is sufficient enough as reference. Also i'd like to informe that all pictures here are not mine, i've 'borrowed' it from several sites and i sincerely hope that the owners don't mind, as i'm using it as 'educational' purpose but if you are unhappy with it, i'll be happy to delete the pictures.