TENGKU ASRA JE­HAN Founder and CEO of The Spice Penin­sula Co. and con­nois­seur of Malaysian in­gre­di­ents, Tengku Asra Je­han talks to BAZAAR about her yen for zesty flavours, and the fam­ily’s kitchen mantra. By Sharmita Summugam.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - THE CULTURE -

Chilli, Lime & Co­rian­der Gourmet Salt, from The

Spice Penin­sula Co. Tell us about The Spice Penin­sula Co. We’re an all-nat­u­ral gourmet snack and condi­ment line, in­spired by the colour­ful food and fruit of our beloved na­tion. And the story be­hind the name? There is a ro­man­ti­cism to it. Penin­su­lar Malaya was an in­te­gral port of call for the Spice Route since the 13th Cen­tury. The his­tory of the trade be­tween Europe and Asia re­sulted in a line of prod­ucts rooted in the ‘East meets West’ ethos. This pas­sion for gourmet food be­gan ... Thanks to my stud­ies I was al­ways abroad – Sin­ga­pore, London, Hawaii, and New York City – so food has been in­te­gral to my life’s jour­ney. Sig­na­ture dessert for tough days Sweet mochi dumplings with gula me­laka, vanilla bean, co­conut, and a caramel filling with a dash of sea salt to bal­ance the sweet­ness. A whizz in the kitchen I’m not great with savoury meals – desserts are my thing. I live with two ‘masterchefs’, my hus­band and my son. The for­mer is a tra­di­tion­al­ist and likes to keep his recipes as au­then­tic as pos­si­ble, while the lat­ter ex­per­i­ments with ev­ery­thing. He once made a roast chicken stuffed with his own herb-an­dle­mon blend. They both in­spire me with their ideas and cre­ativ­ity. Go-to din­ner-party menu My hus­band’s beef wellington wrapped in beef ba­con with dux­elles, Cipri­ani-style baked onions, and sig­na­ture home­made ap­ple crum­ble with cus­tard. Typ­i­cal break­fast Or­ganic oat­meal and fruit with fresh juice. Now and then I spoil my­self with French pas­tries. Cook­ing playlist Marvin Gaye; Mo­town clas­sics. Kitchen mantra A kitchen should al­ways be filled with laugh­ter and joy. How­ever, the most im­por­tant rule is that it must al­ways be clean, tidy, and well or­gan­ised. The Spice Penin­sula Co. best­sellers Chilli Caramel Cashews and Spiced Co­coa And Cin­na­mon Al­monds, which are a de­li­cious ac­com­pa­ni­ment to your daily latte or espresso. Flavours of East and West Com­bi­na­tions such as pineap­ple, ba­nana, and co­conut as well as pineap­ple, pomegranate, and mint are in­ter­est­ing. The use of pomegranate in our pre­serves is borne of our love of Mid­dle East­ern del­i­ca­cies. Pomegranate gives a de­light­ful burst of flavour and I would love to fuse it with per­haps a dark choco­late recipe. Right now, I’m work­ing on choco­late-dipped man­goes, and a range of East meets West-style gourmet sauces and con­fec­tionery. Avail­able at Ja­son’s Food Hall, Bangsar Shop­ping Cen­tre; Vil­lage Gro­cer, Bangsar Vil­lage; Mer­cato, Pavil­ion KL and Har­ta­mas Shop­ping Cen­tre; Cold Stor­age, Suria KLCC and Great East­ern Mall; Hock Choon; and Jaya Gro­cer, In­ter­mark Mall.

A unique con­coc­tion of ba­nana, pineap­ple, and co­conut

Corn- on-the- cob spiced to per­fec­tion

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