When talking about food with bold flavors the cuisines of Africa, India, and Latin America really stand out. From their curries to their salsas, and harissa, if there is one ingredient that we can really point to that really put their food on the world map it is the humble chile pepper.
A chipotle Morita chili is a dried ripe chili pepper used for seasoning. It is a chili which is used in Mexico and southwestern in many dishes. Morita chili names come from the word chipotle which means smoked chili. A chipotle Morita chili heat is similar to another chili-like, Tabasco Hungarian wax guajillo.
Consumed for their therapeutic properties, as well as their relaxing and rejuvenating aromas, tisanes are infusions of aromatic herbs and plants. Served either hot or cold, they are a delicious alternative to caffeinated beverages. Most of the infusions that are known as "herbal teas" are not teas at all.
Lentils are a part of the edible legume family. Legumes differ with other legumes like beans in that they are never consumed fresh but only after being dried after ripening. Lentils are one of the great “high yield but low cost” foods. Lentils are a great source of healthy protein, also packing in high amounts of iron and zinc and are often used as vegans and vegetarians as one of their prime protein sources.
Rice is probably the most consumed staple food in the world and the most consumed grain after corn. In large parts of Asia and Africa, rice occupies a special place on the table and nowadays it can be found in any market in every corner of the world. Easy to cook and amazingly versatile, rice comes in hundreds of varieties, from different grain sizes to different starch content and aromas. In the upcoming weeks, we will try to introduce you to a few varieties of rice. Our star for today: Basmati. Basmati is one of the better-known varieties of rice. The word "basmati" comes from the Sanskrit word "vasmati" which means "fragrant" or "aromatic". Long-grained (the longest in fact), extremely aromatic, with a light nutty flavor. It is a variety of long-grained rice that originates in the foothills of the Himalayas and is traditionally served in Indian and other South Asian cuisines.
Turmeric is a flowering plant (c urcuma longa) belonging to the ginger family, what we popularly consume as turmeric is actually the roots of this plant. It is a native of the tropical regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Turmeric, the well-known deep orange-yellow spice, is then dried, and powdered form, of the roots although they can also be used fresh for a lot of applications. It has a warm, bitter, black pepper-like flavor and earthy, mustard-like aroma. It is primarily used in various Asian cuisines, especially curries and in dyeing. It has also been used since ancient times in various traditional medicines, such as Ayurvedic, TCM, and Unani Medicine, although the USFDA does not recognize any scientific basis to it being used as the treatment for any diseases. Turmeric and especially its most active compound curcumin have many scientifically proven health benefits. Its natural composition provides immense qualities to heal the skin as well as internal diseases.
In contrast to much of Western Cuisine, the cuisine of much of South and Southeast Asia is characterized by their use of a huge number of spice and herb blends.
As immigrants from various countries continue to settle in the US they bring with them their culinary traditions as well, and with the recent popularity of the international food scene on television as well as on Social Media we are seeing more people discovering the wondrous world of spices and spicy dishes. "Indian Food" as the as the cuisine of South Asia is often mistakenly collectively labeled.
Saffron also known as “Zafran” is a spice extracted by picking and drying the stamen from the flower of Crocus sativus also known commonly as the saffron crocus. They are mainly used for seasoning and coloring the food. While the majority of the world’s saffron comes from Iran they are also found in many other regions of the world.
By weight saffron costs more than gold, making it the most expensive spice in the world. Ancient Romans and Greeks used it as a perfume, and it has also been used to dye clothing. Saffron's aroma is often described by connoisseurs as reminiscent of metallic honey with grassy or hay-like notes, while its taste has also been noted as hay-like and sweet.
Nutritionally, apricot seeds are similar to other nuts — they’re rich in healthy fats and provide some fiber and iron. Seeds or kernels of the apricot grown in central Asia and around the Mediterranean are so sweet that they’re sometimes substituted for almonds. The Italian liqueur amaretto, and amaretti biscotti, is flavored with extract of apricot seeds as well as almonds; plus, oil pressed from the seeds have also been used as cooking oil.
Sweet apricot seeds are sometimes sold as snacks or for baking, and they contain very little or no amygdalin, a controversial component in the kernel. People eat apricot seeds as a snack, very much like nutrition-rich almonds. Bitter apricot seeds, on the other hand, definitely contain higher amounts of amygdalin than those grown in the US, which can be toxic in high amounts.
Himalayan pink salt is well-known worldwide, because of its uses and benefits. It is used not only in food to impart a richer salty flavor but also used in medical and beauty treatments. Pink Himalayan salt is also known as rock/mine salt and its origin is basically Pakistan. It is also used as table salt, light pink in color, and crystal clear in appearance. Himalayan pink salt has its great mine’s in Pakistan.
Not only it is used in a variety of dishes to give a salty flavor but also used in a variety of additives, preservatives, and medical and spa treatments. Himalayan pink salt has no side effects until you cross its daily recommendation, which is 2300 mg/ day according to American dietary guidelines. People with asthma, high blood pressure, edema, fluid retention, and heartburn should limit their Himalayan salt intake, unlike common salt, as more consumption of sodium can aggravate their situation.
There are a lot of points one can gather in favor of Basmati rice. But it all starts with its origin - how it is actually grown. India has been the biggest shareholder for cultivation of the rice. Over 70% of the population gets their share of Basmati rice from India. The other places that cover up the remaining 30% are Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan.
The name 'Basmati' literally means 'full of aroma'. Bas, in Hindi, means 'aroma, and mati means 'full of' - hence, Basmati. The rice is distinctively different from other kinds of rice, especially due to its aroma and the elongation of the grains after it is cooked. No other rice comes in such appealing features, making it a special kind of rice. It is so special, that many call Basmati rice as 'The Champagne of India'.