Kitchen Notes: Building flavour and a warm salad

Rosemary

I think of flavours in terms of tones, going from earthy and sweet to sour and light, and various grades in between. And I like my food to have a range of tones of flavours, be multidimensional. I know it may seem strange to talk of food in such terms, but somehow it makes sense. A garnish of certain fresh herbs on a meaty stew or curry.  A squeeze of lemon or lime or a drizzle of brightly-flavoured extra virgin oil on pasta or salad lift that dish to more interesting heights. I also often use fresh chillies to give that uplift. I mix raw and cooked, grains and brightly flavoured vegetables, add the afore mentioned flourishes in order to achieve these tastes. They rock my boat, they just do it for me.

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Kitchen Notes: Mujaddara with an Indian soul

Onions

I messed with a classic. And I would do it again. The results in this case justify the means. I used Indian techniques on an Arab dish, mujaddara. Cumin and coriander seeds were popped in olive oil, and joined by the sliced onion. They were given a lot of time together, about 40 minutes. First on the high heat to remove their moisture, after which they fried gently in the oil that they released back into the pan. The onions became deliciously caramelised and sweet, and hauntingly fragrant with spices. Lower notes of cumin and cinnamon uplifted by the flowery citrusy coriander. Insanely delicious. I leave it on a plate to mix in with the lentils and rice later.

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