Glossary

Almonds

A nut that can be eaten raw, cooked or introduced to various dishes. A very versatile ingredient as it can form the basis of many sweets such as nougat and marzipan, as well as many desserts in Italian, Greek and Indian culture.

Asafoetida

A Middle Eastern spice that has a pungent smell when it is raw but delivers a flavour likened to leeks, onions and garlic when added to foods. It is also a strong digestive aid as well as having several other medical uses.

Chilli

Ranging from bird’s eye to jalapeño and cayenne peppers, these hot little peppers range in flavour and intensity across a whole board. They can be used as a vegetable in cooking (such as bell peppers) or as a spice (bird’s eye chillies in Indian cooking). Chilli peppers can be eaten raw or cooked with food to release its intense flavour, which is mostly contained within the white flesh and stem of the chillies where the highest concentration of capsaicin is.

Coriander

A herb also known as Chinese parsley or cilantro, which can be used in cooking for its fresh leaves and dried seeds. The dried seeds can also be ground into a powder which is useful in Indian cooking. The leaves on the other hand are widely used in Indian cooking and Middle Eastern dishes, imparting a taste reminiscent of citrus.

Cumin

A dried seed from a herb that is a member of the parsley family; cumin seeds are widely used in dishes from the Middle East, Asia and also parts of South America. The seeds can also be ground into a fine powder that has a strong smell, and flavours both vegetables and meat distinctively.

Desiccated coconut

Coconut is a part of the palm family, and desiccated coconut is shredded, dried coconut that has many culinary uses in both savoury and sweet dishes.

Mustard seeds

An important spice in many different cuisines. There are different types ranging from a yellowish colour to brown and black varieties.

Rose

Middle Eastern cuisine has used rose as an essential ingredient in many of its dishes dating back for centuries. The petals or the rosehip fruit itself can be used for culinary purposes and is a delicate flavourant for many desserts and sweets such as Turkish delight, jam and teas. You can use rosewater, rose syrup or edible roses in cooking.

Turmeric

A key ingredient in many Malay and Indian dishes, turmeric has long been acknowledged as an antiseptic and antibacterial agent. Deep orange-yellow in colour, it imparts its colour when used in dishes, and a slightly peppery flavour.

Urid lentils

These lentils come in a few varieties, more commonly as black urid (or urad) lentils and white urid lentils which have been stripped of the outer husk. Useful for making daal as wela s being a component of various South Indian dishes, the urid lentil is known to be very nutritious and recommended for diabetics.

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