This is a glossary of “strange” or not so popular foods. I’ve been receiving questions about some of my ingredients that my readers are not familiar with so I decided to do a glossary. It will be explaining what these items are and examples of how it may be used. This will be forever expanding, as I will add new items whenever I post a recipe and it contains such an ingredient.
GLOSSARY OF INGREDIENTS
Black rice- also know as forbidden rice is a short grain heirloom rice that is produced in Asia. It is high in fiber and have a very nutty flavor. This rice is often used in desserts. Black in color, when it’s cooked this rice turn dark purple.
Bora-also know as yardlong beans, long-podded cow pea, asparagus bean, snake bean or chinese long beans. These are best described as a long, thin bean that can grow as long as half a yard. It is a good source of vitamins A and C and can be found in the Asian markets, Carribean grocery store and International Farmers markets.
Cassava-also known as yucca is a popular root vegetable native to South America. It is starchy and can replace the potato in many dishes. The very popular tapioca is made from the cassava root. The juice of the bitter cassava is boiled to the consistence of thick syrup and flavored with spices to make cassareep. This sauce is made exclusively in Guyana by the native Indians.
Coconut milk- This is a sweet, thick, white, milky juice that is squeezed from the flesh of the coconut. It is very popular ingredient in tropical countries where the coconut is native. It can be used to flavor both sweet and savory dishes, such as pina colada, flan, curry and metemgee.
Dhal-An Indian “soup” that is made by boiling yellow split peas until it’s tender. It is then pureed and seasoned with cumin, curry powder and garlic.
Garam masala-is a mixture of spices. It can be found in the Indian grocery store in the spice section or you can make your own. Here is a recipe for garam masala Garam Masala:
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cardamom seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 (3-inch) stick cinnamon, broken up
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon saffron (optional)
Put the cumin, coriander, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, stirring occasionally, until they turn several shades darker and give off a sweet smoky aroma, about 10 minutes. Do not raise the heat to quicken the process, or the spices will brown prematurely, leaving the insides undercooked. Cool completely.
Working in batches if necessary, transfer the mixture to a spice mill or coffee grinder and grind to a powder. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Garam Masala keeps for 3 months.
Lingonberry Sauce-is a popular staple in Scandinavia. It is a sauce made of Ligonberries which is abundant in those parts of the world. It is typically served with savory dishes such as Swedish meatballs and various meat stews. Lingonberry has a tart flavor which is similar to the cranberry.
Saltfish- Bacaloa, salted codfish all names synonymous with saltfish. This is just as the name says…salted codfish. This fish is curred in salt and has to be either boiled or soaked overnight to remove some of the salt before cooking. It is a popular ingredient in Caribbean cuisine. This can be sauteed, made into fritters and added to a dish just for flavor.
Tamarind- This is a fruit that is grown in tropical climates. It is a brown pod with shiny dark seeds covered with a brown flesh. It is acidic and can be used in soups, stews or drinks. It can be found in Asian and Caribbean grocery stores. It is sold a pulp, block, nectar or dried.
West Indian Sweet Potato- Boniato or white sweet potato is not to be confused with the orange sweet potato/yam. The flesh is white and the skin is a purplish pink.