Friday 3 November 2017

Speciality Ingredients in my Food Cupboard.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

A few weeks ago, I realised that my food cupboard needed a major sort out.
To force myself to actually do it, I turned my sort out into a blogpost.
Plus I asked you guys on my Instagram Story whether you wanted a peek inside this crazy cupboard and you lovely people said yes! I love the poll feature on Instagram. Yesterday, I asked you guys whether I should make baklava or apple strudel with my filo pastry in the freezer. And of course, baklava won! So excited to finally try making it at home.
Guys, this cupboard was the worst. The door wouldn't actually shut because I had so much in it. Some of my baking ingredients (looking at you vanilla essence) had also decided to camp out there instead of on the shelf above. Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the more speciality ingredients below. I've linked where individual items are from. I usually get them from local shops and online from Amazon and Sous Chef.


Chinese Chilli Oil with Peanuts - this stuff is so good! I love adding it to dipping sauces and noodles. Sometimes I make the oil myself with toasted sesame seeds and it's even better. I must remember to share the recipe soon. You can buy it here.

Ras el Hanout - the variations of this spice blend vary from place to place. Usually used in Middle Eastern and North African cooking, it contains both hot (like black pepper and ginger) and sweet spices (like rose petals) giving anything it's put into a unique flavour. I love using it in a chicken marinade before grilling the chicken and serving with soft flatbreads, salad and yoghurt.

Saffron - This isn't really speciality item even though it's the world's most expensive spice. That's because in our house, we use it pretty often in both sweet and savoury dishes. Most recently, I used it in a Sindhi lamb chop biryani and my gulab jamun.

Smoked Chipotle Chilli Powder - I use this smoky chilli powder whenever I want my food to be spicy and smoky and the same time. Or if a recipe asks for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and I can't be bothered to crack open a tin. I'll add this chilli powder instead and get a similar heat. I use the chilli powder in this Peruvian baked chicken with herb fries and caramelised veggies. 
You can buy it here.

Sumac - this classic Middle Eastern spice made from dried sumac berries has a flavour and colour all of its own. The spice has a lemony kick to it whereas it's almost dark pink in colour. I've used it in these Turkish chicken kebabs with tomato chilli sauceYou can buy it here.

Creamed Coconut - This stuff is basically concentrated coconut in a block. You can cut off a chunk and dilute it with water to make homemade coconut milk. Great to use a substitute for the coconut milk in this South Indian chicken stew.

Balsamic Glaze - basically a reduced balsamic vinegar that's been sweetened with sugar. I love using it in salad dressings or simply drizzled over Summer tomatoes.  

Quinoa - I must admit to not having actually opened these packets yet. But I do have harissa quinoa veggie burgers and quinoa sprout quesadillas in mind for them. I got the quinoa from Aldi.

Short Grain Sushi Rice - I usually use long grain rice like Basmati for most of my rice recipes. But I do, to my Mother's horror, prefer short grain rice like jasmine or this sushi rice. Sorry, Mum. I got the rice from Aldi.

Old Bay Seasoning - This was a classic American seasoning blend that I had wanted to try forever. I got it online and immediately regretted not buying it soon. It's so savoury and salty in the best way. Can't wait to use it in more recipes! You can buy it here.

Microwave Rice, Lentils and Grains - Ok, so these aren't exactly speciality items but I love them so thought I'd share. These Thai and Indian inspired microwave pouches are great for a quick lunch or side dish to a dinner with chicken or fish. My favourite is the Mediterranean version which I'd already eaten before this picture. I got these from Aldi.

Palestinian Zataar - This iconic Middle Eastern herb blends is one of my favourites. In fact, I need to get some more in as I'm running low. I especially love using Zataar in these smoky Cheddar Zataar naan dippers. They go really well with hot soup for lunch.

Sichuan Peppercorns - These may well take the prize for my favourite new spice of this year. I used to have a small jar of them in the cupboard for years but never really knew what to do with them. This year, I've really been experimenting with proper and authentic Chinese cuisine. Dishes that come from the Sichuan province of China will most likely use the Sichuan peppercorn in abundance. And so, I threw out the jar and got myself a fresh bag. So worth it! These tiny bombs of flavour, when used correctly, give the most amazing floral heat to your food. You must try them. And, I must remember to share some of my favourite Chinese recipes on the blog soon. You can buy the Sichuan peppercorns here.

Mustard Powder - I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've only used this once in some cheese scones I made a few years back. If anyone has anymore uses for mustard powder, let me know!

Hot Smoked Paprika and Sweet Smoked Paprika - My favourites! Smoked paprika is completely different to normal paprika. I love using it in these smoky paprika lemon chicken wraps for an easy Summer dinner and during the colder months, smoked paprika is the star spice in these crispy sweet potato and chickpea fritters. You can buy the smoked paprika here.

Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce - I would usually come across these in Mexican recipes. Usually I would leave them out or replace with their powdered equivalent. Finally, I caved in and ordered myself a few tins. And wow, what a flavour! These peppers pack an almighty smoky spice that has to be tasted to be believed. I used them in the most delicious chicken tinga tacos during the Summer. You can buy the peppers here.

Kewra Water - This floral essence is most usually used to give Indian dishes a subtle lift at the end of cooking. I use it most often in biryani recipes like this chicken biryani. You can buy kewra water here.

Chicken Seasoning - This is a spice blend that I only got recently so haven't got round to using it properly. Do you use it? Let me know what you put it in. 

Orange Blossom Water - Again, I've only got this recently so not had much chance to play around with it. You can buy it here.

Pomegranate Molasses - This syrup made from pomegranates has a very distinct sweet and sour flavour. I love using it this tomato chilli sauce to eat with Turkish kebabs. You can buy it here.

Fleur de Sel - This sea salt is one of my favourites. I love it sprinkled over these sea salt chocolate chunk cookies before baking. The combination of sweet and salty is one of my favourites! You can buy it here!

That's it! The cupboard looks so much better after the sort out. On the same shelf, I also have stock cubes, a jar of cornflour, dried oregano and Worcestershire sauce.

Hope you enjoyed this little peek onto one of my food shelves!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
© copyrights This Muslim Girl Bakes, All Rights Reserved. Branding & Blog Design by Sadaf F K.