Knowledge Categories Archives: Travel is the spice of life

Dining under the stars on safari

Giraffe
Bobotie – Karen’s favourite safari dish!

I was first introduced to Bobotie whilst travelling around Zimbabwe in a converted truck in the early 1990s.

Led by a South African guide called Louisa, we jolted along bumpy and dusty roads, stealthily hiked through the bush hoping to spot wildlife, then set up camp outdoors each night. Always as darkness fell, we excitedly but apprehensively listened to mysterious sounds whilst viewing an inconceivably dense display of stars.

One such evening Louisa promised to showcase her national dish of Bobotie, which for me ended up being the most memorable meal of the entire trip. This was not only due to the delicious warmly spiced and fruity flavours of the dish, but also because of the unconventional way it was prepared.

To my astonishment Louisa prepared this meal for all twelve of us on a roaring campfire in the middle of the bush with an armed guard standing by to ward off any inquisitive wildlife. In a huge cast iron pot she slowly simmered the mixture of meat, spices and dried fruits.

Aromatic hunger-inducing smells wafted through the camp as we waited in anticipation whilst enjoying the local Zambezi beer. Once the meat mixture was cooked Louisa placed the iron lid of the pot directly onto the fire and when it was piping hot she poured an egg mixture over the meat and covered the pot with the hot lid. The heat from the lid cooked the savoury egg custard from above giving the dish its characteristic and traditional topping.

As is often the case with a national dish, there are innumerable variations of the recipe. However, we hope you will be tempted to try ours, where we have used our sultry South African curry powder to infuse the flavours that I remember! Bobotie - Crop

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Rick Stein’s India

Rick Steins IndiaWe have been honoured with a mention in Rick Stein’s new book ‘India’ as one of his recommended spice suppliers. Accompanying his book is the current television series of the same name, which has had us mesmerised with the delectable food that he has discovered and the beauty of the people and the places that he has encountered.
The book itself is exquisite, brimming with wonderful recipes with an explanation of how Rick discovered each particular dish. Throughout the book, which is ablaze with colour, stunning photography transports you into the heart of India and it’s culture.

In conjunction with Rick, we have designed a gift pack to complement his book and tv series, containing five of the spices you will need to create the perfect curry.

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Spices for travel

It’s summer holiday time and there is a great sense of excitement and anticipation in the air!

Where have you chosen to spend your precious time away?

Maybe you’ll stay on a narrow-boat cruising the serene canals and rivers, chugging along at a leisurely pace whilst watching kingfishers flash along the bank.

Possibly you’ll be opening your caravan door in the morning and gazing across the beach at the rolling surf, with the sound of seagulls wheeling overhead?

You may have booked a comfortably furnished self-catering stone cottage with rural views from every window and a pair of deckchairs in the garden.

Others will be glamping or camping next to a sparkling freshwater lake surrounded by forest, listening to the nocturnal sounds of wildlife!

However you are planning to relax, one of the most important components of a wonderful holiday is wonderful food. Being well planned and well prepared in advance of your trip will enable a speedier attainment of relaxation once you’ve reached your destination. Not having to seek out the shops as soon as you’ve arrived means you can take it easy and instantly enjoy your surroundings.

With this in mind, we have put together a new collection of herbs, spices, seasonings and spice blends, aptly named the Travel Spice Kitchen. We hope that by popping this convenient, easy to carry pack into your luggage, you will have the ability to create fabulous meals with the minimum of effort and time!

The Travel Spice Kitchen contains the following carefully selected items, as always they are presented in our unique resealable foil pouches, ensuring maximum freshness and flavour:

This collection opens up a profusion of culinary options when on holiday. Use to conjure up tasty stir-fries, curries, chilli con carne, barbecue rubs, stews, goulashes, rice dishes, omelettes, pasta sauces and much more. All of those dishes can be created whether you are cooking on a camp-fire, a two ring hob or a full range cooker!

The ideas don’t stop there – when you don’t want a hot meal, you can use the Indian Garam Masala to make a delicious Coronation chicken, sprinkle oregano over a salad of sliced tomatoes and olive oil, stir chilli powder through crème fraiche for a dip with crudités or mix prawns with mayonnaise flavoured with paprika……the limit is your imagination!

 Travel_Spice_Kitchen

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Middle Eastern Street Food-Dukkah (DOO-kah)

Dukkah is a delicious combination of Middle Eastern spices and flavours: Hazelnuts or chickpeas as a base, along with pepper, coriander, cumin and sesame seeds.

Dukkah has a long tradition in the Middle East and has been enjoyed by many of it’s cultures. After a tiring day travelling with camels, Arabs would gather around a small fire roasting spices, nuts and seeds, and finally crushing them into a coarse powder. They would then take hunks of bread, dipping them first into olive oil, and then into the Dukkah to satisfy their hunger.

Today Dukkah may be enjoyed from Egyptian street vendors. A smallpaper cone is filled with Dukkah and given to the customer along with strips of pita bread, which are dipped into the vendors bowl of olive oil and then into the Dukkah in the traditional way. Each vendor has a unique Dukkah recipe and is fiercely proud of his combination of traditional and regional flavours.

Of course Dukkah need not only be enjoyed in the traditional way. It is a very versatile seasoning and works equally as well sprinkled on salads or vegetables, mixed with honey as a sweet sandwich spread, as a crust for roasted chicken, lamb, or fish, or even mixed into bread dough before baking.

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