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Having a good selection of spice is like having money in the bank. Spices are an essential part of creating flavoursome meals. Spices like cinnamon, tumeric, cumin, coriander and bay leaves have become very popular and can even be found in your local chain stores. Spicy does not mean ‘chilli hot’… It simply means SPICED! Thai, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Indian and Greek cuisines all use spices and some spices will be used in a few different types of cuisine. Cumin seeds are used in Indian, Greek and Middle Eastern foods.

Stocking your pantry will save you time and money. Unnecessary trips to the mall end up costing you far more than you intended. The idea is to keep ingredients on hand that will enable you to create meals in minutes.

Take some time out and visit your local spice stores. Ask for recommendations on which spices to buy. Remember – ground spices should be bought in smaller quantities as they do lose their flavour and aroma. Spices need to be stored in airtight jars in a cool, dark cupboard. If you have too many spices, share some with your friends. I am sure they will be delighted.
Here is what I keep in my spice cupboard…

Whole Spices:
Cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, green cardamom pods, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, whole dried red chillies, saffron and coriander seeds.

Ground Spices:
Red Chilli Powder, Cumin, Coriander, Garam Masala, and Tumeric

From the Chinese Supermarket:
Coconut milk, lime leaves, galangal, green curry paste, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce, Fish Sauce

From the green grocer:
Fresh herbs!!!!! Fresh herbs!!!!! Fresh herbs!!!!!
Basil, coriander, lemongrass, mint, thyme, rosemary.
Plant a herb garden, it will save you lots of money!
Fresh or ground ginger
Fresh or ground garlic

Where to shop:

Akhalwayas of Mayfair: 011 839 2113
Kwality Spice works: 011 834 2485
Oceanfresh Seafoods, Fourways: 011 465 0444
For the very best linefish, calamari, prawns and shellfish contact Mr Ricardo Barca and Cesar de Sousa. They are really the best people to talk to when choosing seafood. This is my favourite fishmonger and I promise you will not be disappointed with the service. They also have a butchery that stocks A-grade red meat and poultry. Deliveries can be arranged on request.

Spice Emporium: 031 332 5888

Cape Town
Atlas Trading: 021 423 4361

Make sure you have the following rice in your pantry:

Spekko Long Grain Parboiled Rice
This is Spekko Rice’s everyday rice option, and has been tested and acknowledged by the GI Foundation as low GI. This is unique for parboiled rice and Spekko is proud to have this endorsement because of the great benefit to the consumer as it slowly releases energy into the blood stream, keeping you full for longer. Remember, parboiling helps retain all the nutrients in the rice and improves nutritional value too. Make sure you always have the best with Spekko Rice.

Spekko Basmati Aromatic Indian Rice
The perfect rice for Indian or Middle Eastern dishes, this grain is pure and unlike many competitor products is never mixed with any other look-alike rice grain. Spekko Basmati is pure Basmati. A great way to identify the Basmati rice grain that upon cooking, it must double in length.

Spekko Brown Basmati Rice
With its unique nutty flavor and deliciously distinctive aroma, this variant is high in fiber – choosing a brown rice option is like choosing brown bread over white bread so this variant is not only tasty but very healthy too.

Spekko Jasmine Fragrant Rice
This variant offers a delicious, naturally fragrant flavor and cooks to a soft, slightly sticky texture. Ideal for any exotic dishes. Add something special with Spekko fragrant jasmine.

Spekko Brown Rice
This variant is less refined than white rice so it is high on nutritional value as the inner bran layers have not been removed. Brown is always the healthy option.

Spekko Pure White Rice
It is usually steamed for best results and is the perfect partner to hearty stews, curries and ideal for fried rice dishes. Spekko pure white is sticky, delicious and nutritious.

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