Cassia Bark: Aromatic Bark

I fell in love with cassia bark as well as many other spices and botanicals during my working experience in London cocktail bars; Graphic and Zetter Townhouse, where I learnt all about gin. One of these very interesting ingredients is the cassia bark. Cinnamomum cassia or Chinese cinnamon tree originates from Southern China where it…

Read More

Shiso – the Asian nettle

Have you ever been to a sushi bar or any other Japanese restaurant? Then you definitely would have seen Shiso leaves aka Perilla, the big green leaves used mainly for plating to add contrast to the food being presented to you. While there is only one species in the genus, there are three varieties. There are…

Read More

Masala aka Curry leaf

I believe one of the most popular dishes that everyone associates with Thai & Indian food is curry. The seasoning we think of as curry is actually a combination of several spices blended together. This spice blend is publicly known as masala across India and countries around. The curry tree is native to India, Sri Lanka…

Read More

Pandan

Have you ever visited Asia and experienced a very pleasant, bready and nutty aroma during a taxi ride? I know I have! When I asked the taxi uncle, “What is that smell?”, he replied with it’s “Pandan, it keeps away the cockroaches” with smile on his face.   Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant/ bush grass which…

Read More

Palm Sugar

While I was wandering around food markets in Singapore, I found brown sweet cakes of different colours and shades. When I asked the uncle in the store what it is, he looked at me like I was martian and said that they were “one of the most essential ingredients for cooking young man, it is…

Read More

Cocoa aka Cacao

I do not know about you, but I love dark chocolate. On recent trip to Bali with my family, we visited a chocolate farm and learned how chocolate is made. The kids loved the activity and as a bonus they got to take home their own made chocolate bar. So what is Cacao? Cacao, cocoa,…

Read More