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Spice up your life!
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:38 pm    Post subject: Spice up your life! Reply with quote

What is your favorite spice or herb ?

I have several friends from various parts of India, Sri Lanka and South East Asia, and at a young age I began to learn about the culinary lifestyle in those parts of the world. As a result I have a passion for blending, roasting, grinding, pounding spices and the culture and tools behind it. My favorite spice or herb changes frequently, but today I think thyme and coriander will top the list!
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monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

without a doubt, garlic! it can go from subtle and sweet to pungent and piquant. unless you count garlic as a vegetable. in which case, i'd be hard pressed to name an all time favorite, but, at the moment, i am enamored with fresh dill and tulsi. dill and i have a long term solid relationship, but, tulsi and i are still getting to know each other and i believe our relationship has promise.
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nothing brings primates together like a good snack!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey,

With a spice selection of almost 80 different types, I thought I had it covered pretty well. What is tulsi? How do you use it?
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brighidsdaughter



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 233
Location: Canton, TX USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question! How lucky to learn about Indian ways of preparing and combining spices and herbs. Considering that I place garlic more in the vegetable category Smile my all-time favorite herb is rosemary -- fresh, of course. As for spice, it's Peppercorns -- So mundane, scarecely ever mentioned without its spouse Salt, its transformative powers are truly alchemical! It can be used in so many ways & in so many different foods. Even the varieties of humble peppercorn put my head in a whirl.
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monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tulsi is called indian basil or holy basil, but, i believe it is a member of the mint family. it has a mild basil-ish flavor. i was giving a perky little plant and told that it makes a tasty tea and sampled some burfi and nan adorned with its subtle flavor. i have tossed fresh leaves into pasta and over poached salmon, and i am always keeping an eye out for an opportunity to use its, but, i don't have a grasp on it's full potential. i am eager to learn more if there are any tulsi experts willing to share their knowledge.
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monkey

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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey,

It is pretty good with daal or added to a saute of veggies in rice wrappers. My friends mom used to make him drink tulsi infused H2O if he had a cold.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't Holy Basil the one that is frequently used in Thai cooking? With a slightly aniseedy flavour?
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes it is used in Thai a lot, in the northwest U.S. it is labled as Thai basil.

I have some amchoor powder that I got to use in my homemade chai recipe, I have so much of it and I want to use it before it starts to get old. Does anyone have any suggestions?

For any that don't know amchoor is mango powder.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attention all New Yorkers or visitors!!! (or online shoppers)

As I was watching the Food Network today I learned about one of the best places to purchase spices, sauces, chutneys and syrups in the city. The name is Kalustyans at 123 Lexington Ave. in Manhattan, they also have a website, kalustyans.com. I'm telling you all when they showed this place the angels started to sing, I can't wait to hop a train and check it out!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 11:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Spice up your life! Reply with quote

If it's a SPICE, than it has to be CARDAMOM. I have been in love with that fragrance and taste ALL of my life! It's used extensively in Scandinavian cooking, from sweet to savory (probably other cultures, too), and I adore it's pungent, earthy, peppery, ethereal nature. When a recipe calls for "cinnamon"...the ONLY recognized 'spice' in AmericaLand cookery, I substitute cardamom for a more subtle "What is this?!" flavour.

If it's an HERB, than it has to be LAVENDER. I literally used to save up my Baby-sitting quarters (yes! it was that long ago!) to buy Lavender during the Minnesota State Fair, once a year. I'd treasure it's scent for the next 365 days, until I could refresh my supply again, the following year. As an adult, when I found out that you could actually flavour food with LAVENDER, I freaked out! Lavender shortbread, lavender tea, lavender whipping cream, and now...a lavender-lemon muffin recipe that I found yesterday.

If I just had those two flavourings, if stranded on a desert (dessert Very Happy ) island, I'd be a Happy Camper.

If given another choice, I'd pick Cinnamon Basil. I grow 5 pots of it alone to flavour my foods.

Speaking of Herbs: I lucked out today. I was at an itsybitsy Farmer's Market today, they of the Hardy Constitution, trying to lure people in to buy plants and goods in 44 degree temperatures. I ran into a woman who grows 4 pages of exotic herbs.....for ONE DOLLAR A PIECE!!!!!!!!!!!! She's a farmer's wife who 'dabbles' in growing things, for the sure pleasure of it, and is selling Cinnamon, Lemon, Purple, Lime, Large-leafed, Mini-leafed, and Holy Basil. In mints, she's offering: Orange, Chocolate, Lime, Coconut, Spearmint, Kentucky, Peppermint, and Pineapple Mint. Plus, she's growing scented geraniums so that I can make my famous Rose Geranium Rice Pudding...a flavour to die for.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
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Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a TOUGH question! But, fortunately, there's no need to be restricted to just one. I love turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg like I love life. Basil, of course!

Other things are just as essential to me with particular foods: carrots & fresh tarragon, split pea soup with marjoramand cucumber slices & dill come to mind.

Great topic!
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 3:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had to chose just one spice it would be nutmeg and my one herb would be Italian (flat leaf) parsley.
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find it so interesting to see which spice and herb people have chosen; I must say, I'm surprised by the variety. Now, if we all bring our chosen one to a dinner party, we'll have a full pantry! Laughing
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simona



Joined: 11 Mar 2005
Posts: 696
Location: israel

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cilantro. I can't explain why, but smelling and tasting this herb, "sends" me somewhere far away. I love it especially added to a simple tomato/ onion/olive oil salad. And I love it in meat balls, or Thai food. But my husband is really allergic to it , he loathes this herb, so I don't buy it, he can smell it even when it's wrapped up in the fridge. Fortunately, he used to travel a lot ( he's more home-bound these days) and I used to have splurges of cilantro an garlic when he was away.

No more war, more herbs and spices in our lives!
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BASIL!!
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