25 Dec, 2015
Juicy, fleshy, candied or chopped, with honey or with vinegar, in your biscuits or some cake, an aromatic curry or your favourite brew, in dressing or in wine- there are many ways to consume this hot and fragrant root, but each one is so special and so magical. Ginger- truly the emperor of all roots that has served as a kitchen spice since forever, is perhaps the most versatile root that ever existed, and continues to add fire and body to whatever form it takes.
Indian food seems to start with the holy triumvirate of onion-ginger-garlic, and it is tough to imagine a thick curry or your favourite dals without copious amounts of fresh ginger. And of course, our national drink, the evergreen and uplifting cup of ‘masala’ chai is like impossible without the magic of ginger. But look around a bit, both east and west and you will observe the delightful and innovative uses of ginger and it’s power to leave such a distinct flavour stamp.
A warming spice, ginger has long been linked to having therapeutic benefits and hence a perennial favourite specially in the winter months. In the Orient, ginger adds body and warmth to stews and traditional brews, and the Chinese also add whole or sliced ginger to savoury delights like steamed fish. The Vietnamese also use the leaves of ginger to provide a much subtler flavour to broths and shrimp soup.
On the other side, ginger adds much delight and magic to sweet treats and headier drinks! From ginger snaps to melt in mouth buttery ginger cookies, to of course ginger wine famous in the UK, the rather spice unfriendly palate of the West does manage to find ways to sneak in this root with a punch in daily celebrations!
And why not- when something is as good as it is heady, as versatile as it is invigorating, it is sure to be by your side in every culinary adventure. At Foozy, we salute this zippy and scintillating flavour, and will keep surprising you with its unexpected use across our elective menu!
01 Dec, 2015
Sometimes the simplest things can give the greatest joys. Our travails into the innards of South East Asia landed us in the land of the Khmer and famed Angkor Wat- Cambodia and thus began a new culinary journey. As a heads up, it can be safe to assume that Cambodia, which is sandwiched between two gastronomic giants- Thailand and Vietnam, does not quite match up, but it still has a few gems here and there that are not only very distinct, but create food memories that linger.
One such precious find for us green eating healthy food seeking junta was the discovery of “morning glory”. Morning glory, also known as Kankong or water spinach is a leafy green that is used in stir fries across South-east Asia, and is tossed into a number of curries and salads from the region. However, in Cambodia it was not uncommon to find this lovely green being served stand-alone, as a great vegetarian dish, or even an excellent side to a more robust meal.
Whereas in parts of Asia the root of the vegetable is eaten, in Cambodia only the leaves and the tender shoots are eaten. Though the flavour is a bit similar to spinach, there is a magical delicacy that exists in it and it is not as earthy as spinach. For this reason, a gente saute is usually enough to prepare the dish and serve it absolutely fresh to eager and hungry diners.
The morning glory we had was almost always gently tossed with some garlic, a little chilli and salt. With such few ingredients and very little work, it was amazing how we were always presented with a dish that was zesty, fresh, green and very addictive! I enjoyed my morning glory over steamed rice, and usually along with a fragrant fish curry, where it made for a stunning meal, that was redolent with flavours of both the land and the sea, and a staple no matter where we were in Cambodia.