Hello everyone, how are you? All good I hope! It’s been another fun month for us at Spice Mountain, and I have been spending quite a bit of time keeping an eye on the new Stratford Spice Mountain. It has been encouraging to see people discovering something new and a bit different, and it’s all going well so far!

This month our star of the show is beetroot, specifically our amazing beetroot powder. I’ve always loved beetroot and it’s great to see it becoming so popular these days, so much so that this little tub of colour is probably our best seller. One of our recipes is a gorgeous beef curry with beetroot, which is highly recommended. Our feature (in a bid to win the Summer back!) features some newer blends in the Spice Mountain range which works particularly well on the barbecue, along with a few ideas on what to do with what I like to call magic fairy dust for food.

And we have a new item this month, which will feature some of the veg and fruit in season each month, alongside the spices, herbs and blends which match best with them, which I hope you’ll enjoy and find informative. Personally, I’ve just been so inspired by the colourful displays on the greengrocers’ stands at Borough Market – gorgeous!

Well, that’s all for now, see you next time!

Magali

Spice of the Month

Beetroot Powder

Beetroot is becoming a much more popular vegetable nowadays, and our 100% beetroot powder packs all its colour and goodness into one little tub. It is such a versatile thing to have around, to use as a colourant, as a healthy sweetener and of course for that gorgeous flavour. It’s difficult to know where to start in passing on what you can do with beetroot powder, but here goes.. it is essential as a colouring agent in tandoori powder, and can be used just added to a curry, especially a veggie one. It will lift, colour and flavour salad dressings, and will transform your veggie burger when added to the mix. It is even a great way to get the kids to eat their veg; a spoon of beetroot powder will give them pink mash!

We mustn’t forget too how great beetroot powder is when used to boost juices and smoothies, making them even healthier as beetroot is packed with vitamins, and also one a good source of iron and folic acid. And finally, this wonderful powder is great for cake-making, where you can take advantage of both its colour and its sweet flavour.

Not for nothing is beetroot powder probably the most popular spice we sell!

August Recipes

 

Pork Satay Burger

This burger recipe brings Southeast Asia to the barbecue, minced pork spiced up with fragrant lemon grass, ginger and chilli then finished off with our own Satay blend.

Read Recipe

Caponata

As we have said many times before, at Spice Mountain we love aubergines! And this is one of our favourite preparations, a recipe from Sicily which (like many Sicilian recipes) is heavily influenced by North African cooking.

Read Recipe

 

Beef and Beetroot Curry (Chukander Gosht)

This unique curry features the star of this month’s newsletter, beetroot, and though the idea of beetroot in a curry at first may sound a bit left-field, it works really, really well.

Read Recipe

This Month’s Feature –
Magic Fairy Dust for Food

We have of course visited the barbecue in these pages before, but it occurred to us that since the last time we did, we have come up with so many new blends. So we thought we’d revisit the grill and share some new ideas with you. The blends featured here are all, in their way, so perfect for the barbecue – it’s really like sprinkling magic fairy dust over your food! (That goes for spices generally, of course, as far as Spice Mountain is concerned!) We have blends from all over the world here for you to enjoy, so let’s hope Summer gives us one last visit with some proper barbie weather. If it doesn’t, these blends can of course be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home.

Patatas Bravas – This blend has become an essential in the Spice Mountain pantry, simply because it gives a sprinkle of Spanish sunshine to anything it touches! We would suggest making your own burgers with pork mince, chorizo and this spicy, smoky wonder for maximum satisfaction. But as stated, it really is all-purpose. One great way to use is to add a teaspoon to spice up a potato salad, and it is perfect for seasoning a chicken fillet before popping on the grill.

Tunisian Tabil – A recent addition to the Spice Mountain collection, this coarse-ground blend works really well as a rub and gives chicken in particular a real lift when mixed with a little olive oil and rubbed in well before barbecuing. It also works really well used in the same way with lamb cutlets, and veggies will appreciate how brilliantly it matches with carrots – season the carrots with Tabil before adding honey and roasting.

Chimichurri – This Argentinean blend must have been created with the barbecue in mind! A herby, zingy and spicy blend, it works as a sauce when combined with olive oil and vinegar (this can also be used as a marinade of course), and also as a rub. It is good with any meat, but comes into its own when combined with good steak. For something more left-field, season a trout with chimichurri and cook on the barbecue ‘en papilotte’ (wrapped in foil).

Cuban Seasoned Salt – This salt is blended with herbs and spices to lend a lovely Caribbean note, and works brilliantly on the barbecue. If you like to keep your spicing simple, this is your choice with its mild flavours which will enhance rather than overpower. Cuban seasoned salt works really well with pork and chicken, and is also great to season homemade burgers. Also it matches well with veggies, and is fantastic for salad dressings.

Himalayan Salt with Roasted Spices – This gently spiced salt keeps things simple when it comes to your grill, and works particularly well with fish or king prawns, combined with a splash of lemon juice. This one seems to work so well because the salt flavour is not particularly strong, and the aromatic spices mellow it out further still. Another bonus is its wonderful colour. Like any quality salt, remember a little goes a long way.

Zanzibar Curry – This blend is a result of the Indian diaspora to Africa, and in Kenya many of those emigres came from Gujarat. The spices used here reflect that, and the Kenyan Indians like to use this blend as a rub for chicken which they will grill on the barbecue, often using it for a biryani. This is what we would suggest too, barbecue wise, although the biryani bit is optional! The blend works best for us used on chicken legs, and wings are good too.

Buffalo Hot Wings – This new blend is fiery but really flavoursome, using Habanero chilli for fruity heat which will get your tastebuds tingling! Use as a marinade or rub on chicken (especially wings or drumsticks), or just sprinkle on your burger before grilling. A good trick is just to mix some Buffalo seasoning with ketchup, producing your very own hot sauce! The blend is not silly hot, but definitely not for chilli beginners.,

Lebanese Kofte – An aromatic and exotic blend from Lebanon, this mixes all the favourite flavours of the eastern Med together to make the perfect barbecue seasoning. We recommend using the blend to make kofte kebabs but if you just make the kebab bigger, you have a kofter burger! The blend contains cumin, mint, sesame and thyme among others, and works particularly well with minced lamb. It can however be used as an all-purpose seasoning wherever you want those Levantine notes.

Lok Lak – We discovered this blend in Cambodia, where it is a basic ingredient of the national dish of the same name. Its character is derived from the country’s famous Kampot pepper, which is aromatic, fruity and earthy with a nice level of pepper heat. The pepper is mixed with lime powder and salt, and the blend works brilliantly when used to marinade minute steaks, on chicken and fish, and as a burger seasoning.

Peruvian Spice Rub – Starring Peru’s two most popular chillies, the amarillo and the penca, this blend is smoky and fragrant, with a fairly mild but still insistent heat. Our favourite thing to do with this one is to rub it into pork chops then let them sit for an hour or two before you pop them on the grill. But the blend does work well with other meats, also fish and prawns, and is great to season a baked sweet potato.

A Match Made In Heaven

In which we take a monthly look at which spices, herbs and blends match best with the fruit and vegetables in season.

Aubergine –  The rich, almost meaty flavour of aubergine matches perfectly with Parsley, Cumin,  Sichuan Pepper and Chilli. Something that’s become increasingly popular is to add a sprinkle of sumac and/or za’tar on roasted aubergine or over the top of baba ganoush. Another ideal spice from our range is our Smoky Ragu blend, particularly if tomatoes will be involved.

Beetroot –  The sweetness of beetroot matches very well with Caraway, Mint, Fennel and Coriander Seed. Among the blends we would suggest our Dukkah due to its nutty, fragrant tones.

Courgette – Due to its mild, almost neutral flavour courgette takes on stronger flavours easily. Great matches are Red Pepper flakes (such as our Aleppo flakes), Oregano, Black Pepper and Coriander. As far as blends are concerned, try roasting courgettes with our Tunisian Tabil. Another special touch is roasting thinly sliced courgettes drizzled with olive oil and adding just 1 granule of our smoked salt on top of each slice, so simple yet delicious!

Plums – English plums are unbeatable in season, and match surprisingly well with certain spices, those being Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg/Mace and Star Anise. We have a few blends to compliment this fruit, our Chai spice, coffee spice, apple pie spice and mixed spice would all work very well.