New ingredients for your kitchen – from Amchoor to Zhoug
If you’re looking for a new taste sensation for the new year, here’s a list from A to Z of things to experiment with.
Do you know your Cà Ri Gà from your Tangzhong? Your Jollof from your ‘Nduja? Orange wine from your Mezcal?
Don’t worry – because Waitrose has compiled a list of A-Z inspo of dishes and cuisines that are currently whetting appetites.
Here’s an A-Z from the January 2021 issue of Waitrose Food magazine, which shows that never before have home cooks had access to such a wide range of inspiration.
Made from dried and powdered green mangoes, this seasoning is widely used in north Indian cooking to lend fruity tartness to recipes without upping the moisture content. Add a pinch of Cooks’ Ingredients Amchoor to vegetable curries and chutneys, or use in marinades for grilled seafood and fish skewers.
Sweet and sticky with an almost figgy texture, these matured cloves are more mellow than fresh garlic. Use Cooks’ Ingredients Black Garlic to add depth to a mushroom risotto, squidge it onto a pizza or enjoy it with a strong hard cheese after dinner.
Cà Ri Gà
Vietnamese curried chicken, or cà ri gà, is slowly simmered with potatoes and carrots in a fragrant, coconut-based lemongrass and garlic broth.
As one of the building blocks of Japanese cooking, dashi stock appears often.
Injera (fermented flatbreads) and a diverse coffee culture are just two of Ethiopia’s specialities, as described in Ethiopia: Recipes and Traditions from the Horn of Africa by Yohanis Gebreyesus and Jeff Koehler. The indispensable guide to the nation’s cuisine covers the art of layering injera batter in a spiral, as well as delicious spiced stews and salads.
With the help of Oli’s Thai in Oxford, Siam Smiles in Manchester and Ting Thai Caravan in Edinburgh, cafés and restaurants showcasing the huge diversity of Thai cooking are starting to get the widespread attention they deserve. Something they share is a deep respect for rice as a centrepiece – Waitrose Thai Hom Mali Rice is an aromatic, long-grained variety specially selected for its subtle sweetness.
Naturally gluten-free and used extensively in Indian cooking (the best bhajis require it), Cooks’ Ingredient Gram Flour is incredibly versatile.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Sourced from Pakistan’s Khewra mines, Himalayan pink salt gets its rosy hue from certain minerals. It’s an attractive condiment, and also works beautifully with chocolate: try it in organic Raw Halo Dark and Pink Himalayan Salt Chocolate, made with ethically sourced cacao.
High in protein, this cultured dairy product – think Greek yogurt, but with a less tangy flavour – is a breakfast game-changer. Fat-free Arla Skyr Simply natural is as good whizzed into a smoothie with frozen fruit as it is dolloped on top of porridge. Or use it in a no-bake cheesecake topped with seasonal berries.
Several high-profile London openings – such as Nigerian tapas restaurant Chuku’s in Tottenham, Chishuru in Brixton and Akoko in Fitzrovia – have celebrated West African dishes including jollof, a savoury tomato rice.
This South East Asian citrus fruit is a cross between a kumquat and a madarin. It’s common in Filipino kitchens, mixed with soy sauce, vinegar and chilli to make a versatile dipping sauce, or in zingy marinades. Try Cooks’ Ingredients Kalamansi Juice.
One of Australia’s most beloved snacks, these little coconut-covered squares of tender sponge cake are gaining fans over here.
Tequila’s smokier relative, mezcal is made from agave plants- their cores are cooked in fire pits before being distilled. QuiQuiRiQui Mezcal is hand-blended: put it to use in a margarita, or over ice as a replacement for a peaty whisky.
You might have had this spicy Calabrian sausage paste on a pizza, but that’s just the start of its uses. Try Cooks’ Ingredients ‘Nduja Paste on toasted bread, dot it over a potato hash, or add it to a tomato sauce for pasta or a fiery twist on baked eggs.
Also known as ‘skin contact’ wine, orange wine is made just like white, except the grapes stay in the fermentation vessel. Because of this, the wine is deeper in colour than ordinary whites, with a complex flavour profile that can range from fresh and flinty to almost cider-like. Not sure where to start? Litmus Orange Bacchus is a delicious introduction to the style. Made at Denbies winery in Surrey, it’s gently tannic with stone fruit notes.
Judging by Instagram, one of the most popular recipes from Sabrina Ghayour’s book of everyday Persian and Middle Eastern-inspired dishes Simply, is her tepsi kebap: an oven-baked lamb ‘tray’ kebab. It gets its gentle heat from Turkish pepper flakes such a Cooks’ Ingredients Peppery Pul Biber.
Recent circumstances have compelled us to embrace the at-home cocktail hour – and whether yours is a martini or a negroni, olives on the side are essential. No.1 Extra Large Spanish Queen Olives are jumbo-sized and deliciously firm and succulent. Decant into a ceramic dish and serve next to anything shaken or stirred.
Look beyond blinis and borscht with food writer and supper club host Alissa Timoshkina, who grew up in Siberia. Her book Salt & Time is packed with beautifully photographed modern interpretations of traditional recipes: think Soviet-Korean ceviche (a nod to the migrant population in the far east of the country), stuffed savoury buns and a deliciously moreish carrot and caraway cake.
A fiery and aromatic sauce, sambal is a cornerstone condiment in many places including Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Try Cooks’ Ingredients Sambal Oelek Paste which hums with chilli heat.
If you’ve watched a video on Instagram of sweet, pillowy-soft ‘milk bread’, or shokupan, being pulled apart, you’ll have witnessed the results of this East Asian baking technique. Tangzhong involves pre-cooking a percentage of the flour and water in a recipe to make a water roux, which is then allowed to cool before being mixed with the rest of the ingredients and baked.
Smooth, thick and satisfyingly chewy, wheat-four udon noodles are served in a multitude of ways in Japan, from hot in soup and stir-fries to chilled with garnishes and dipping sauces.
Most of us don’t think twice about the peppercorns in our grinder but as with coffee and chocolate, spending a little more on a single-estate product makes a huge difference to the taste. Harvested by hand in Kerala, where they’re left to ripen on the vine (not all the peppercorns will reach maturity at the same time, so it’s a painstaking process), wayanad peppercorns are held to be the world’s finest. Cooks’ Ingredients Wayanad Peppercorns have hints of spice and citrus in their flavour profile.
Virgin Coconut Oil
It’s been a hip ingredient for a while now, but not all coconut oils are created equal: look out for one from certified organic plantations that’s been extracted without using chemicals, such as Groovy Food Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Next time you’re baking brownies, try it in place of butter for extra delicious results.
Baking for a coeliac, or someone who’s avoiding gluten? Reach for a packet of Doves Farm Xantham Gum. It mimics the function of gluten, creating a better crumb and reducing annoying crumbling of the finished results. Some gluten-free flours already contain it, but if yours doesn’t, just follow pack instructions for quantities and add it along with the dry ingredients.
This versatile East Asian citrus fruit (it’s native to China but is grown widely in Japan) looks like a miniature grapefruit, and has a flavour between that and a fragrant orange. Its juice and rind lend themselves to everything from preserves to cocktails, and add zing to ponzu sauce. Try Cooks’ Ingredients Yuzu Juice or S&B Yuzu Spicy Citrus Paste in salad dressings or brushed over fish.
A chilli-spiced blend of herbs and spices, zhoug will lend freshness and warmth to anything you add it to. It’s originally from Yemen but is hugely popular in Levantine street food culture thanks to Yemeni migration. Stir Cooks’ Ingredients Zhoug Paste through yoghurt for a dip, drizzle it over a pilaf, or dollop onto grilled meat and vegetables.