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Posts Tagged ‘truffles’

Arvinda's Christmas Chai Spiced Rum Balls

Arvinda’s Christmas Chai Spiced Rum Balls

Rum balls always make a nice addition to a holiday cookie plate. We made some using the sweetness from dates spiced with Arvinda’s new Christmas Chai Masala. Yum, they melt in your mouth.

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Hello and Happy 2014! I can’t believe another year is already here…

A deliciously chocolately treat...for a treat day!

A deliciously chocolately treat…for a treat day!

Recently with the cold temperatures and some crazy flu going around (H1N1), I’ve been stocking up on turmeric, adding ‘a pinch here and pinch there’ to all my cooking. Also, my Ayurvedic Turmeric Milk recipe for cold and flu is coming in handy. I’m taking this daily to ward off any scratchy throats which are just painfully annoying! When we become sick even with the wimpiest cold or flu, it takes away precious time (sometimes even weeks) from doing the things we love, from feeling vibrant with full energy and loving every single day of our lives. Now as I ‘knock on wood’ and slap back a turmeric shot I’m hoping to make it through another season without catching anything. If we’re talking about resolutions, one thing I did resolve to do is – don’t forget the turmeric!

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Today’s post is dedicated to something truly exquisite I tried last week. As always there is a thread with Indian cuisine – you’ll see!

Umami, known as the 5th taste next to sweet, salty, bitter and sour is considered to be the “savouriness” in a dish, reminiscent of parmesan cheese, tomatoes, truffles, shiitake mushrooms, soy sauce, anchovies and prosciutto, all which are naturally umami-rich foods containing glutamate.

The term umami means savoury in Japanese and “in the simplest of terms refers to the things that make us go mmmm,” according to Laura Santtini, creator behind TASTE No. 5 Umami Paste.

Last week I had a “taste” of TASTE No. 5 Umami Paste and met genius Laura herself! Putting umami in a tube is definitely genius – a little bit goes a long way and just a small squeeze into pasta sauces, spreads for fish, meat or tofu, or a dollop into risotto or a soup is like adding an exploding “flavour bomb” to your dish. “Turning it up a notch” has never been easier…now all you need is the masala! 🙂

Umami as a taste is prominent in Japanese cuisine and on the surface would not appear to be present in Indian dishes as parmesan, shiitake, truffles and even green tea are not a part of the traditional Indian flavour profile. Indian cooking gets it’s savouriness from onions, tomatoes and the spices themselves. However one researcher Yoshinobu Sei, recognized examples of umami do in fact exist in Indian cuisine–one example would be a South Indian-style fish curry. In the article, “Indian Cuisine and Umami” (Food Reviews International, 1998), Sei suggests the introduction of Chinese foods in India brought the umami taste to the Indian table.

Whenever I visit India I tend to gravitate to the Indian-Chinese fusion fare, also known as Hakka appearing on popular restaurant menus. Hakka cuisine is a marriage of umami, sweet and salty tastes with a hit of fresh green chilies for the heat factor. Can I say mmmm?

Speaking of mmmms, TASTE No. 5 Umami Paste mixed with Arvinda’s Madras Masala would make a serious combo. Try it!

A teaspoon of: Coldplay. Listening to: Lovers in Japan.

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