tips ‘n ricks

tips ‘n tricks:

Dry-Roasting Seed Mixes  –  some of our recipes contain a layer of coarse-ground mixed spices and seeds.  No problem adding these as instructed during cooking, however for EXTRA flavour, these can first be DRY-ROASTED and crushed.  Simply first dry-fry these in a pan on medium heat until they start to pop/smoke, then crush finer (in a mortar & pestle, spice mill, or even between two spoons) before adding to the meal.  The extra aroma will be amazing!!

Heat-Levels and Flavour Intensities of Meals  –  although we take great care at achieving flavour consistency with our products, once prepared the resultant heat-levels can be VERY subjective (one person’s Hot might be another’s Not…)  Where used in our blends, the natural heat levels of ground or crushed chilli pepper can vary between batches.  When relevant, as we suggest on some of our recipe products, if some of your family or guests are not fond of hot food, rather REDUCE the amount of spices used from the indicated layers.  Those who prefer hotter food can then always add fresh chopped chilli or hot sauce to their individual meal!

Vegetarian creamy Balti Curry, Bobotie or Chilli Con ‘Soja/Lentejas’  –  the meat content of these prepared meals can easily be replaced with CHICK PEAS and Cauliflower (when using our Balti Butter Chicken recipe) and/or SOY MINCE or LENTILS (when using our Bobotie or Chilli Con Carne recipes).  Simply adjust the cooking times according to your preferences, and whether using dry or pre-cooked ingredients.

Grating and storing Fresh Ginger  –  when a recipe calls for Fresh Ginger, chopping or grating this can sometimes be a mission.  Keep a large hand of Fresh Ginger in the FREEZER, and then grate off what is needed with a fine grater.  Return the rest to the freezer until next time.

Sour Cream or Creme Fraiche substitute  –  when recipes call for Sour Cream, this can be substituted with less costly NATURAL YOGHURT (full-cream or low fat) with LEMON JUICE added to taste.

Gluten content  –  The ‘wheat (gluten)’ allergen that we note on certain of our product packaging is contained in some of the outsourced proprietary spice blends (mainly the various masala blends) that we buy-in to use in the production of our various spice recipe packs.    We are informed by our suppliers that the contained allergen here is in the form of Pollard cereal (Gluten) which is a derivative of wheat, and is apparently used as a low-volume base controller where oleoresins (typically capsicum or other concentrated oil extracts) are used in the blending processes, to ensure flavour consistencies throughout varying raw material batches.

This is not added by ourselves (we do not stock or use any form of raw gluten in our facility), although rightfully labeling regulations require us to declare the allergen.

This gluten content is however very low, generally <5% of any relevant/specific blend contained in a single layer within a spice pack (often 5ml gross; thus only 0.25ml net), so this becomes almost negligible when diluted/cooked in with all the other ingredients (meat/protein, vegetables, liquids etc) used to prepare the complete bulk meal.  Literally a “drop in the ocean”…

We have in the past investigated having special customized gluten-free outsourced blends developed where possible, however the costs thereof would simply be too high to maintain our existing product pricing levels.

As a rule, with many of our recipe variants, normally (but not always) the gluten content is contained in the brownish bottom layer (Garam Masala) which is generally added near the end of the meal preparation as a final ‘flavour boost’, depending on the recipe instructions.  For gluten intolerant diners, an option would be simply to omit adding this layer when following the cooking instructions.  Please bear in mind though that this will affect the flavour of the prepared meals.