A classic Italian dish but with a Spice Sister spicy twist! Gnocchi is a dumpling like pasta made from potatoes, flour and egg. Polenta, semolina, stale bread and pumpkin can be used to make gnocchi.
Made right these fluffy pillows just melt in the mouth. Sometimes shop bought gnocchi can be a tad chewy, dense and little bland!
A humble pudding traditionally found on school menus made from stale bread, butter, milk and eggs. India’s version; shahi tukra is the complete opposite to the frugality of the British pud: shahi turka is a deeply indulgent and decadent bread pudding made with full fat milk, ghee fried bread, saffron, cardamom, topped off with slivered almonds, pistachio and a sprinkling of rose petals!
Masala chai is flavoured tea and Indians love their tea – milky,spicy and sweet! It is warming and comforting; a hug in a mug! I remember as a five year old visiting India; sitting with my cousins outside on the veranda early in the morning nursing little glasses of warm, thick, milky tea the colour of rich caramel with the smell wafting around us. Spices used vary from household to household, in terms of tea some will only use loose leaf while others prefer tea bags but
both work well, as long as the tea is boiled for long enough to impart the taste.
There’s nothing like lip- puckering chutney to complete a meal or snack. Chutney and pickles are an integral part of Indian meals, served with everything from yogurt, rice, flatbreads to curry dishes. Chutney originates from India, from the word chatni to lick! This aromatic chutney laced with Indian spices is so versatile; serve with curry, hot or cold meats, as a dip, it’s great teamed up with cheese.
Spices are the heart and soul of proper Indian cooking. They can lend exoticism to an otherwise mediocre dish, the smells and tastes can evoke images of far off flung places. Spices in Indian cuisine are versatile they are used to flavour, cook, preserve and heal. For cooking they can be used in their original form: whole, ground, roasted, dry fried, cooked in oil to release their pungent flavours.