Dish - Everyday Dish - - Contents -

Ama­ranth: the tiny, grain-like seed of the ama­ranth plant. It has a mild, nutty flavour and can be cooked, ground into flour or “popped” like pop­corn. Ar­bo­rio rice: a fat, short-grain Ital­ian rice that is high in starch, es­sen­tial for a creamy risotto. Avail­able from su­per­mar­kets and food stores.

Blachan or Balachan: a pun­gent paste made from dried and fer­mented shrimp, sar­dines and other small fish that is salted, mashed and formed into cakes. It is used to flavour many dishes in South East Asia. Avail­able at Asian su­per­mar­kets.

Black sesame seeds: un­hulled sesame seeds are avail­able at In­dian and Asian food stores.

Black rice vine­gar: an aged Chi­nese vine­gar, usu­ally made from gluti­nous black rice as well as other grains like wheat, mil­let and sorghum.

Boc­concini: small balls of fresh moz­zarella that come stored in whey. Drain be­fore serv­ing. Avail­able in good su­per­mar­kets and spe­cialty food stores.

Bou­quet garni: a small bunch of fresh thyme, bay leaf and pars­ley stalks tied with string (for easy re­moval later), and used to flavour soups and stews. Or you can wrap dried herbs in a square of muslin. Dried ver­sions are avail­able at su­per­mar­kets.

Brioche: yeasted bread en­riched with eggs and but­ter. It is most com­monly avail­able from spe­cial­ist French–style bak­eries.

Buck­wheat flour: flour made from buck­wheat, an an­cient grain. Used com­monly in soba noo­dles, Rus­sian blini and French galettes.

Burghul (also known as bul­gur or bul­ghur): a whole­wheat grain that is cooked, dried and then cracked. Avail­able from some su­per­mar­kets, spe­cialty and health food stores.

But­ter­milk: tra­di­tion­ally, the slightly sour by-prod­uct of but­ter mak­ing. Now made com­mer­cially, it is read­ily avail­able in the dairy sec­tion of good su­per­mar­kets.

Calas­parra rice: a short grain Span­ish rice used tra­di­tion­ally for the fa­mous Va­len­cian dish of paella. Although sim­i­lar to Ital­ian Ar­bo­rio rice, the Span­ish do not stir the rice while it is cook­ing, in­stead al­low­ing it to de­velop a de­li­cious crust on the base. It is avail­able in dif­fer­ent grades, the best be­ing Bomba.

Cal­va­dos: an ap­ple brandy from the French re­gion of Lower Nor­mandy. Avail­able from good liquor re­tail­ers.

Cazuela: a tra­di­tional Span­ish cook­ing ves­sel made from ter­ra­cotta. Avail­able from spe­cialty food and home­ware stores.

Char Siu sauce: also known as Chi­nese bar­be­cue sauce. Read­ily avail­able at Asian gro­cery stores.

Chick­pea flour (also called be­san, gram, ceci, chana or gar­banzo bean flour):

avail­able from good su­per­mar­kets, food stores and health food shops.

Chi­nese five-spice: a tra­di­tional blend of five or more spices in­clud­ing star anise, cin­na­mon, cloves, Szechuan pep­per and fen­nel. Other ad­di­tions may be ginger or liquorice root.

Con­sommé: meat or fish stock clar­i­fied with egg whites and finely chopped veg­eta­bles to give a crys­tal-clear liq­uid.

Court bouil­lon: an aro­matic stock used for poach­ing fish, shell­fish, veg­eta­bles and sweet­breads. Wine, le­mon juice, vine­gar, herbs etc are used to add flavour.

Crème de cas­sis: a liqueur made from black­cur­rants. Sub­sti­tute with black­cur­rant con­cen­trate.

Crème fraîche: a ma­tured, thick­ened cream that is slightly soured. It can be added to hot sauces or soups with­out the risk of cur­dling, but is also de­li­cious served with pud­dings.

Dashi: a soup stock made from dried bonito tuna flakes, dried kelp and wa­ter, used of­ten in Ja­panese cook­ery. Most com­monly avail­able in pow­dered form. Avail­able in the in­ter­na­tional sec­tion of su­per­mar­kets and at Asian food stores.

De­mer­ara sugar: un­re­fined golden, raw sugar. Avail­able from su­per­mar­kets.

Dukkah: a Mid­dle Eastern mix of coarsely ground sesame seeds, nuts, salt and spices such as co­rian­der and cumin.

Dutch co­coa: this richer, darker co­coa has an al­kali added, which neu­tralises the co­coa’s acid­ity. The process is known as ‘dutch­ing’. Avail­able from spe­cialty stores.

Edamame beans: Ja­panese soy beans. These beans are avail­able frozen ei­ther in the pod or out, from Asian stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

Farro: an an­cient grain, a pre­cur­sor to wheat as we know it to­day. Slightly chewy with a nutty flavour. Avail­able from health food stores, some su­per­mar­kets and spe­cialty food stores.

Freekeh: (pro­nounced 'FREE-KUH') made from young du­rum wheat (the wheat most widely used in Ital­ian pasta), which is smoked or roasted then pol­ished to re­move the tough outer, be­fore the ker­nel is cracked.

Filo pas­try (also spelt phyllo): a type of pa­per thin pas­try from the Eastern Mediter­ranean. It is used for sweet and savoury dishes and is read­ily avail­able fresh from the su­per­mar­ket. It is im­por­tant to keep it cov­ered while in use as it dries out quickly when ex­posed to the air.

Fish roe: the egg mass of a fish, avail­able raw or smoked. Gai larn (Chi­nese broc­coli): has dark green leaves, stout stems and small white flow­ers. It is avail­able at Asian green gro­cers and most su­per­mar­kets.

Galan­gal: a rhi­zome re­sem­bling ginger, galan­gal is an es­sen­tial in­gre­di­ent in South East Asian dishes. It can be found fresh at some Asian mar­kets and is avail­able frozen, dried or bot­tled from Asian food stores.

Garam Masala: a hot spice mix com­mon in North In­dian cui­sine. It typ­i­cally in­cludes turmeric, black and white pep­per­corns, cloves, cin­na­mon, cumin and car­damom. Avail­able in the spice sec­tion of su­per­mar­kets or at Asian food stores.

Ghee: a type of clar­i­fied but­ter used in In­dian and other South Asian cook­ing. Clar­i­fied but­ter is un­salted but­ter with the milk solids and wa­ter re­moved. This leaves pure but­ter­fat, which has a high smoke point. Ghee is avail­able from In­dian food stores and spe­cialty food stores.

Gluti­nous rice: a short grain rice that sticks to­gether when cooked.

Haloumi: a white, salty cheese orig­i­nat­ing from Cyprus and tra­di­tion­ally made us­ing sheep and goat’s milk. It has a unique high melt­ing point, mak­ing it per­fect for grilling or fry­ing. It is best eaten straight away as if it is left to get cold it tough­ens and be­comes rub­bery.

Harissa: a fiery hot sauce from North Africa which is made from chilli, gar­lic, cumin, co­rian­der and car­away. Avail­able from food stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

Herbes de Provence: a tra­di­tional blend of aro­matic herbs from south­ern France. There are many vari­a­tions and some in­clude or­ange zest and laven­der. Use when roast­ing chicken, lamb, pota­toes, toma­toes, or a tray of mixed veg­eta­bles. Sprin­kle over fish or salmon be­fore sautéing. Buy from good food stores or make your own with 3 ta­ble­spoons each of dried mar­jo­ram, thyme and rose­mary, 1 tea­spoon of dried tar­ragon and oregano and 1 tea­spoon of ground fen­nel seeds. Com­bine and store in an air­tight jar.

Hoisin: a Chi­nese sauce made from soy beans, plums and flavoured with salt, gar­lic and 5-spice. Avail­able from su­per­mar­kets.

Jalapeño chillies: Mex­i­can chilli with a rounded end; dark green or bright red (when ripe). It ranges from hot to very hot so re­move the seeds and veins to re­duce the heat when us­ing. When dried they are called ‘chipo­tles’.

Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes: this au­tumn/win­ter veg­etable is nei­ther an ar­ti­choke nor is it from Jerusalem, in­stead it is na­tive to North Amer­ica. When buy­ing Jerusalem ar­ti­chokes look for firm tu­bers with as few bumps and lumps as pos­si­ble, which makes peel­ing them eas­ier. Store some­where cool and dark, as you would pota­toes.

Ju­niper berries: an as­trin­gent blue-black berry from the ju­niper tree, they are sold dried and used as a flavour­ing for meat and game dishes. Also an in­te­gral in­gre­di­ent in gin. Avail­able from spe­cialty food stores but may also be found in health food stores.

Jus: the nat­u­ral meat juices that oc­cur dur­ing the cook­ing process, usu­ally roast­ing. These are served un­thick­ened, with any ex­cess fat skimmed off, to ac­com­pany the meat.

Ke­cap/ket­jap Manis: (pro­nounced ‘Ketchup Mah-niss’) a sweet­ish, thick soy sauce made with palm sugar and sea­soned with star anise and gar­lic. A pop­u­lar in­gre­di­ent for In­done­sian cook­ing, it is used as a condi­ment or sub­sti­tute for dark soy sauce. Avail­able from su­per­mar­kets.

Labne: a thick, strained yo­ghurt. It can be formed into small balls and rolled in herbs, spices or nuts or driz­zled with honey and served with fruit as a dessert.

Lap Cheong: a dried, smoked highly sea­soned sausage made from pork.

Leaf gela­tine: sets a much clearer gel than its pow­dered equiv­a­lent. It comes in vary­ing grades. Sil­ver grade will give a firmer set than gold, so it is best to check the grade upon pur­chase. Avail­able from spe­cialty stores. See Kitchen Notes on page 141 for more on how to use it.

Lo­tus leaves: the large leaf of a wa­ter lily used to wrap sweet and savoury mix­tures.

Marsala: a for­ti­fied wine from Si­cily. Dry Marsala can be drunk as an aper­i­tif or added to savoury dishes. The sweet ver­sion is used in cook­ing, such as in the clas­sic dessert, Zabaglione.

Mas­car­pone: a fresh cheese from Italy made from dou­ble cream. Mas­car­pone is read­ily avail­able in su­per­mar­kets.

Ma­sur Dhal (also known as ma­soor dal): a split red len­til, avail­able at good su­per­mar­kets and Asian food stores.

Med­jool dates: chewy, fleshy sweet dates. Avail­able in the fresh pro­duce sec­tion of su­per­mar­kets.

Mirin: a Ja­panese rice wine used to add mild sweet­ness to dishes. Gen­er­ally avail­able in the in­ter­na­tional sec­tion of su­per­mar­kets.

Miso: a thick paste made most com­monly from fer­ment­ing soy beans, salt and a fun­gus called ‘koji-kin’. The dif­fer­ent shades de­note ag­ing and salti­ness, (the darker ones have been aged longer and are there­fore saltier). Miso is avail­able from Ja­panese food stores, health food stores and good su­per­mar­kets. Keep leftover miso paste in a sealed con­tainer in the freezer. It doesn’t freeze into a solid block, which makes it easy to take out the re­quired amount.

Moghra­biah or Le­banese cous­cous: con­sists of small balls that have been toasted. It cooks slowly (tak­ing about 25–30 min­utes) and is best for soups or stews where it turns into pea-sized dumplings. Is­raeli cous­cous is sim­i­lar but smaller in size. Avail­able from good food stores.

Mus­co­v­ado sugar: An un­re­fined or par­tially-re­fined brown sugar with a high mo­lasses con­tent. It is dark brown, moist and has a strong mo­lasses flavour. It comes in both light and dark va­ri­eties.

Nanami tog­a­rashi: a Ja­panese chilli pep­per sea­son­ing com­pris­ing seven spices, usu­ally two hot and five aro­matic, such as black and white sesame seeds, Ja­panese pep­per, ginger, sea­weed, or­ange peel and chilli. Avail­able from Asian food stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

Orec­chi­ette: a type of pasta from Puglia, shaped like a small ear (in Ital­ian “ear” is “orec­chio”). Each one is about 2cm and looks like a small white dome with a thin­ner cen­tre than edge and a rough sur­face.

Orzo pasta: orig­i­nat­ing from Greece, orzo is a small rice-shaped pasta com­monly used in soups, sal­ads, or as an al­ter­na­tive to rice. Avail­able from spe­cialty food stores and good su­per­mar­kets.

Palm sugar (also known as Gur, Jag­gery, Gula Melaka): is de­rived from sev­eral dif­fer­ent palm trees, in­clud­ing the palm­rya and co­conut palms. The sap of the palm is boiled down and the re­sult can be ei­ther sim­i­lar to a thick honey, a soft paste or a hard cake, which is then grated or shaved.

These cakes come in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes and the colour can vary from pale to dark. The flavour is quite caramelly and can be sub­sti­tuted with equal parts of brown sugar and maple syrup. Avail­able from Asian food stores and some su­per­mar­kets.

Pancetta: Ital­ian ba­con made only from the belly, which is cured with salt, pep­per, and other spices, but is not smoked.

Pa­neer: the In­dian ver­sion of cot­tage cheese. It is made in large blocks and is very dif­fer­ent from the soft curd cot­tage cheese avail­able at the su­per­mar­ket. Pa­neer is cut into cubes or slices for cook­ing and read­ily ab­sorbs flavours from other in­gre­di­ents used in the dish. It is avail­able from In­dian and Asian food stores, good su­per­mar­kets and spe­cialty food stores.

Panko crumbs: these flakey Ja­panese dried bread crumbs cre­ate a de­li­ciously crunchy crust. They are read­ily avail­able from Asian food stores and good su­per­mar­kets.

Pap­pardelle: a wide rib­bon pasta usu­ally made with eggs and hard du­rum wheat flour. Avail­able from spe­cialty food stores and good su­per­mar­kets.

Pe­dro Ximenez: (also known as PX) is a rich, sweet dessert wine from Spain. Avail­able from liquor stores and some spe­cialty food stores.

Pome­gran­ate mo­lasses: a thick syrup pro­duced by cook­ing down pome­gran­ate juice. It is a slightly as­trin­gent, sweet-sour condi­ment used widely through­out the Eastern Mediter­ranean.

Poussin: a small, im­ma­ture chicken, four to six weeks old, some­times called a spring chicken, and weigh­ing 400–500 grams. Avail­able from good butch­ers.

Pre­served le­mons: le­mons pre­served in salt and le­mon juice, some­times with spices such as cin­na­mon, and bay leaf. Only the rind is used, the flesh is scraped away and dis­carded.

Puy lentils: these small slate-green lentils have a del­i­cate blue mar­bling. They are con­sid­ered by many to be the best len­til be­cause of their unique pep­pery flavour and the fact they hold their shape dur­ing cook­ing. They’re the only len­til to be iden­ti­fied by area of cul­ti­va­tion, grown in the Le Puy re­gion of France.

Quinoa: (pro­nounced ‘KEEN-WAH’), this an­cient grain na­tive to the Amer­i­cas is dubbed a su­per grain as it’s con­sid­ered a com­plete pro­tein. When cooked it ex­pands to four times its vol­ume. With a del­i­cate flavour it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and eaten hot or cold. White quinoa is most com­mon, but red and black are also avail­able. Avail­able from good su­per­mar­kets, health food and spe­cialty food stores.

Quince paste: quince cooked for a long time with sugar un­til it forms a thick paste, which sets firm on cool­ing. Slice and serve with cheese or use to flavour sauces for rich meat dishes. Quince paste that is a deep, dark red will have the best flavour.

Ras al Hanout: a Moroccan spice mix, which loosely trans­lates as ‘house blend’. Made up of nu­mer­ous spices and aro­mat­ics such as cin­na­mon, car­damom, fen­nel, co­rian­der, cumin, chilli. The chilli con­tent varies be­tween mixes, so quan­ti­ties will de­pend on how spicy you want the fin­ished dish to taste. Avail­able from good su­per­mar­kets and food stores.

Rose­wa­ter: an in­tense, con­cen­trated dis­til­la­tion of rose petals used as a flavour­ing in cakes, pas­tries and desserts.

Saké: a Ja­panese liquor brewed from fer­mented rice. Like whiskey, saké varies in qual­ity, taste and style. Avail­able from Ja­panese gro­cery and some liquor stores.

Sam­bal Oelek: a sim­ple chilli paste made from chilli, vine­gar and salt. It is read­ily avail­able at su­per­mar­kets and Asian food stores.

Shaox­ing cook­ing wine: (pro­nounced Shau-sing), this Chi­nese wine for cook­ing is de­rived from gluti­nous rice. The flavour en­riches braised dishes and mari­nades. Avail­able from Asian food stores.

Shi­itake mush­rooms: avail­able fresh or dried. Dried shi­itake, which have a more pro­nounced flavour­ing, need to be re­con­sti­tuted in warm wa­ter for 20 min­utes be­fore us­ing.

Si­cil­ian oregano: in Si­cily oregano is left to flower and then to dry nat­u­rally on the hill­sides un­der the heat of the sun. It has an in­ten­sity of flavour rarely found in other types of dried oregano. Avail­able in its whole form from spe­cialty food stores.

Silken tofu (also soft tofu): undrained tofu, made from press­ing the curds of fer­mented soy milk, and with the high­est mois­ture con­tent of all fresh to­fus. Avail­able from Asian food stores and good su­per­mar­kets.

Sweet smoked pa­prika: made from sweet pimien­tos smoked slowly over fire then ground to pro­duce an in­tense pa­prika.

Su­mac: the dried, crushed red berry of the su­mac bush, this ‘spice’ has a sour, lemony flavour. Used widely in Mid­dle Eastern cui­sine.

Szechuan pep­per (also known as Sichuan or Szech­wan pep­per): the dried berry of a prickly ash tree, Szechuan pep­per is a mildly hot spice with a dis­tinc­tive flavour and a slightly numb­ing ef­fect in the mouth if used in large quan­ti­ties. Avail­able from Asian food stores.

Tamarind con­cen­trate: made by soak­ing dried tamarind pods in wa­ter then pass­ing through a sieve to ob­tain a pulp. You can make it your­self easily from block tamarind or buy the con­cen­trate ready-made in a jar. The flavour is sour-sweet. Used in Asian and Mid­dle Eastern dishes in the same way le­mon juice is used in Western cook­ing. Pods and con­cen­trate are read­ily avail­able from Asian gro­cery stores and good su­per­mar­kets.

Tofu: a high pro­tein low fat food made from soy beans, tofu is sold ei­ther in a soft or firm state, pick­led, dried or fresh-pressed be­ing the firmest. The skin that forms when the soy beans are heated are called tofu skins, which are lifted off, dried and sold sep­a­rately. Of­ten sold as pack­ets which can be filled with a va­ri­ety of salad in­gre­di­ents.

Tomato pas­sata (pas­sata di po­modoro): toma­toes that have been puréed and sieved to re­move the seeds. Read­ily avail­able in su­per­mar­kets and spe­cialty stores.


a pale green root from the bras­si­caceae fam­ily, with a fierce flavour sim­i­lar to horseradish. Usu­ally sold as a pow­der or as a ready-to-use paste.

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