TAKE FLAVOUR TO ANOTHER LEVEL
COOKING WITH HERBS MAKES A DISH COMPLETE. WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT BASIL, THYME AND OREGANO, FOR INSTANCE? HERE’S A RECIPE WITH AN ITALIAN INFLUENCE
I’m more of a spice girl myself, but I still have a lot of respect for herbs and there are just some dishes that you can’t make without them. I actually do use a lot of flat leaf parsley and coriander whenever I cook Moroccan, Middle Eastern or Indian food. South-East Asia is especially known for its delicious, fresh and vibrant food and this is where herbs play king because without them, the dishes wouldn’t be as exotic or taste as fresh. Think Vietnamese, Thai or Cambodian and you get the gist. Like spice, in-vogue fresh exotic herbs from lands afar are pretty easy to get hold of these days and this is partly due to cooking show influences and the fact that we are a very multicultural nation. When I moved from the UK to Australia in 2000 I was disappointed that I couldn’t get a lot of what I call ‘funky herbs and spices’ like fenugreek, nigella seed, Vietnamese mint etc but today they are more readily available, thank goodness. It’s fun recreating dishes at home from your travels – it brings back lovely holiday memories. Here’s a tip for you about herbs. They are stronger dried than they are fresh. If a recipe calls for a cup of freshly chopped parsley (or any herb for that matter) you can substitute with dried parsley and the ratio is 1:3. So a tablespoon of dried parsley would be the same as three tablespoons of fresh parsley.
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