Hello everyone, I hope you’re all enjoying the Summer so far! Yes the weather’s been a bit hit and miss (if only last week’s heatwave had lasted a bit longer…), but hey, can’t complain. It has certainly been an eventful month – beginning of course with the shocking events at Borough Market on June 3rd. It has all seemed a bit surreal, this sort of thing happening on our doorstep. But we are recovering and getting back on our feet, and the Borough traders family have all been astonished and pleased at the love and support shown to us from the public. Personally, I’d just like to say thanks again, it was very touching seeing both your messages and yourselves coming back to the shop once we reopened. Thankfully I can say normal service has been resumed, more or less.

This month’s king of spice is Matcha, the wonderful Japanese tea which has climbed the superfood ladder recently. Staying healthy our feature concentrates on salads, and how to introduce the wonder of spice into your dressings to keep those salad days a bit more interesting! Our recipes include one of our favorite takeaway dishes, Capital Spare Ribs, alongside a couple of salady ones.

As I mentioned last month, there is a very exciting development for Spice Mountain happening very soon, so until we talk again, watch this space. See you next month!

Magali

Spice of the Month

Matcha

The list of ‘superfoods’ grows all the time, and matcha is a relatively new kid on the block on this list. Matcha is a green tea which originated in China but is now better known in Japan, where it incredibly popular (in fact it has become very popular worldwide nowadays). The most obvious difference between matcha and regular green (or black) tea is that matcha is powdered. This means it keeps its vivid green colour, and also that all the nutrients it contains are both retained and consumed. It is amazingly high in antioxidants, 60 times higher than spinach for example, and it is also thought to boost the metabolism and burn calories. It has a grassy flavour, some say notes of spinach, and it can be used in cooking as well as to drink. Try adding matcha to smoothies or granola at breakfast time, or add to the mix for cakes and muffins for a lovely colour and a real health boost! Finally, matcha makes absolutely wonderful ice cream.

Recipes

Capital Spare Ribs

Another chance to make one of your takeaway favorites at home, this recipe is one of the best things that can happen to a spare rib!

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Fabada Salad

This recipe is a Spice Mountain original, inspired by the Spanish fabada stew which is a dish consisting of beans and various bits of pig.

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Hummus

A long-term favorite for picking up from the deli counter, there are as many recipes for hummus as there are chickpeas in a sack, but we make no apology for stating that this recipe is the best!

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This Month’s Feature –  Salad Days

The humble salad has come a long way since we were kids – we well remember being presented with a plate featuring lettuce, a tomato wedge, a slice of cucumber, a hard boiled egg and a scatter of grated bright orange cheese, with a jar of salad cream on the side! Nowadays salad spans the globe, and can feature so many things apart from the staple veg you could probably eat a different one every day of the year. And spice of course is part of the picture – so many dressings can be

made using different spices, to enhance and give some zing. This works both by adding a touch of spice to familiar dressings, and by using your imagination and creating your own favourites. Here we feature some of our adaptations and innovations, but bear in mind you need use these only as a guide and can switch for your own favourite spice in many of them.

Coronation chicken – one of the first fusion foods? Coronation chicken was invented when the influence of Indian spices was starting to creep intocooking, and is a delicious dressing made up of mayonnaise, mild curry powder , ground coriander and traditionally a splosh of mango chutney.Substitute the chutney for
amchur powder, and for a healthier version, the mayonnaise foryoghurt. The dressing works well on many other things than chicken of course. Spices are available from Spice Mountain instore and online.

Mille Isle – A massively popular dressing in the US, this blends mayonnaise, ketchup, Worcester sauce and Tabasco sauce. Give it the Spice Mountain touch by adding a teaspoon of our Cajun seasoning. We actually prefer to use this as a dipping sauce rather than a dressing, and it is essential alongside Dirty Chicken. It is also great with crudites and other crunchy things.

Thai – The Thais are more than familiar with the salad, one of their most famous dishes being the cold glass noodle salad beloved of TV cookery shows. The dressing is a lovely balance of hot, sour, sweet and citrus. Make the dressing with groundnut oil and rice wine vinegar before adding our kaffir lime leaf powderlemon grass powder and a little crushed dried Thai chilli or our wonderfully spicy Tom Yum soup blend is also highly recommended for this salad. A common feature of this dressing is also crushed peanuts, which give added crunch and texture.

Moroccan – To make a Moroccan style dressing, combine olive oil with white wine vinegar before adding one of our most popular spice blends, chermoula and our dried lemon peel, finely chopped. A great use for this one is to let some cooked couscous go cold, then stir in the dressing along with some diced peppers, spring onion and chopped fresh coriander. A great salad for the barbecue and always goes well with any grilled meat (equally grilled or roast veg). T he dressing also goes very well with chickpeas.

Chaat – This dressing uses our chaat masala , a sweet-sour Indian blend which is often used sprinkled on fruit in India. Its other main use is in samosa chaat, a popular street food snack where a little salad of chickpeas and pomegranate is seasoned with chaat masala and served on top of a bashed-up samosa. To make the dressing combine chaat masala with finely ground Himalayan salt, and a tablespoon of mustard oil and another of lime juice (mango juice is an interesting alternative).

Japanese – Salads in Japan tend to be more garnish than meal, and the dressings used tend to be fairly basic. This dressing is a Spice Mountain creation and it works wonderfully well on coleslaw. In your jam jar, mix 2tbs olive oil with 2bs Mirin rice vinegar, then add 2tsp Shichimi Togarashi blend, 1tsp carrot powder (this adds colour and sweetness but can be left out if needed). A less spicy version can be made by substituting our versatile gomashio seasoning for the Shichimi Togarashi.

Bravas – This is our take on a Spanish salad dressing, which is used on the fabada salad in this month’s recipe section. Basically it is a vinaigrette made with sherry vinegar and substituting the mustard with a couple of teaspoons of our smoky patatas bravas blend. Another great use for the dressing apart from our salad recipe is to use it to dress a potato salad instead of mayonnaise, and it also works really well on a simple side salad of tomatoes and onion.

Tahini – At Spice Mountain, we simply LOVE Middle Eastern dishes where the food includes salads aplenty – think of the options you’re given to put on your falafel anywhere in the area – and to get that flavour you only need to think along the lines of zatar or dukkah along with a sprinkling of toasted nigella seeds and adding them to a standard dressing. But our favourite is the one you’ll always find at your local Ockabasi restaurant – a blend of tahini paste and yoghurt, seasoned with sumac, lemon juice and thyme (zatar can of course be used too). This works amazingly on a simple salad of diced tomato, cucumber and green pepper. If you haven’t tried it yet, please buy yourself a small tub of Nigella Seed sand sprinkle some in any of your salads. I simply love it! Remember to dry roast them first!

Flowers – Strictly speaking more of a garnish than a dressing, but flowers are great in salads. They give incredible colour, texture and exotic flavour, and make for such a visually attractive plate of food. We stock blue cornflowermarigoldhibiscus and other edible flowers, any of which will  work in a basic salad. The use of flowers in this way is very popular in Alpine countries, ad also in the Eurasian region including countries such as Georgia.

Fruit – Our freeze-dried fruit powders are a gateway to some incredibly adventurous and yet totally tasty salad dressings, and not just for fruit salad. Our apple powder can be used in the dressing for a Waldorf salad, mango in the chaat dressing mentioned earlier, blackcurrant or cherry to make a luxurious dressing for a smoked duck salad. They will all do the same job as fruit vinegars, basically, without the acidity and with miles more fruit flavour and goodness. If you happen to have some champagne vinegar in the pantry, combine some with olive oil, strawberry powder and a grind of top quality black pepper – a true gem of a dressing!

Spice Mountain A-Z

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India – In many ways this country is ground zero for spice, as its cuisine is so rich in them and so many are grown there. There are few other cuisines so masterful in their use of spices, and those new to spicy food often start here.

Indonesia – This massive Southeast Asian country was known in the old days as the Spice Islands, and this is where many of the valuable spices traded came from, such as pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Italy – European country which is famed for its food, from pasta to pizza and beyond. Spice is used sparingly, although hot peperoncino chilli is very popular in the southern regions, and North African influences creep in when you get down to Sicily.

 


 

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Jamaica – Caribbean island which is famous for its national dish, jerk chicken, a spicy barbecued chicken which is usually cooked outdoors and is a streetfood favourite in the UK.

Japan – Island nation in Asia with an ancient and unique culture which has a great emphasis on food – famous for sushi among so many other delights.

Jaffna – one of the main cities in Sri Lanka and famed for its contribution to the country’s cuisine, so much so that many Sri Lankan restaurants are called ‘Jaffna House’ or similar.