Back to School for me this evening for an Indian Cookery class. Mainly to chum a pal who spotted this under adult education for Edinburgh. This evening mainly a demo and orientation session. The teacher covered a Chilli Dip, Yogurt Mango and Lime Relish,
Poppadum’s, Chicken Chaat and Vegetable Pakoras.
Throughout there was good chat on a few topics:
Spices – left in the cupboard
- If you don’t recognise them, can’t tell what they are, throw them away
- If they are past their sell by date, throw them away
- Smell them, if they don’t give off an aroma, probably have passed their best, throw them away
- Buying big bags although cheaper by weight is usually a false economy as you won’t use that amount overall. Use your judgement. Turmeric and Paprika might be an exception to this rule for me. Although I prefer using fresher ingredients so it’s a good consideration.
Apparently Garlic is easier to crush if fresher and the teacher attributed an upset stomach to using garlic that doesn’t have the green stalk removed. I looked this up further as I know Anna Del Conte recommended that you remove the stalk as it’s bitter. My view, about the sprout. It’s called the germ and when garlic is young, the germ is pale, small and tender and you don’t need to worry about it. Likewise if you are slow cooking you don’t need to worry. For an older garlic clove where the germ is green and you are using fresh, or quick frying you may wish to remove the green using your thumb or pairing knife.
Smaller varieties usually have more kick/heat. Not everyone likes a seed, can impart unwanted heat in a mouthful! You can use whole chillies and take them out later as a way of adding fragrance.