Friday, February 09, 2007

Toasting spices

I made a dhal last night, and I have written about the dish before, so I'll make just a couple of observations. The first is that I recommend a brand of chilli powder called Crazy Jack. The second is on toasting spices. Warming them in a dry pan until they give off a toasted aroma enhances their flavour; and it makes them brittle, enabling them to be ground easily in a mortar. But beware if you plan them to simmer them for a while in a curry: that aroma -- odour is a better term for it now -- will stick around for several days.

The only other cooking odour that has clung to the house for so long was that of deep-fried, battered fish. In every other respect, my battered fish was a success, and not as difficult to prepare as you might imagine -- to summarise, I simply coated the pieces of fish in a batter that was extra thick and clinging, and dropped them into hot oil. But I shall not try it again.

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