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Every Christmas, my husband would make gingerbread cookies with our kids. They would cut them out with dino and traditional gingerbread men cookie cutters. By the end of the evening, the dinos always ended up with 2 heads and the gingerbread men would have dino heads. What silly fun!
One of the best ways to add instant flavour to dishes is cooking with spices. They not only give a boost to your taste buds but also to your health. I cook with so many spices and often end up filling any empty jar with spices, very few of them match! My jars have their very own box in the corner of my kitchen filled with whole ( I buy in bulk ) and freshly roasted ground spices. I honestly couldn't imagine my life without these little jars.
Theme: Spice it up!
This aromatic mixture of dry roasted and ground spices called "shahi garam masala" is used in a large number of dishes that are native to the region of West Bengal in India. Vegetable dishes are finished with a touch of ghee and shahi garam masala. When cooking meat, however, this goes in the marinade itself. This must-have Bengali spice mixture reminds me of home everytime I cook.
Rajma is a rich, hearty, spicy, tangy quintessentially Indian Red Kidney bean recipe that is typically eaten with rice. The base is onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilies. It is slow cooked with spices like cinnamon, cloves, black pepper and cumin till the aroma wafts through the air and the beans are smooth and tender. It is perfect with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkling of chopped onions.
One of my favourite memories of drinking Mulled wine was at the Christmas markets in and around Frankfurt. Although it was bitterly cold there was a lovely smell of spicy warming, wine infused with the cinnamon and cloves. As well as other delicious foods that were being served at the markets.
For the Global cuisine challenge
This cake is a very fond memory of mine and it is also a local speciality from where I grew up, in the south west of Germany. I tried to translate its name „Kirschplotzer“ and I hope it conveys what it is: a juicy fruitiness combined with cloves and cinnamon that add a mysterious hint of christmas to the late spring season when cherries are abundant and everyone who owns a tree is trying to pack as many as possible into this wonderful recipe – I hope someone tries to bake it!
This quick version of the Vegetable Biryani although easy is bold and flavourful. It's lightly spiced with turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala and other warm spices.The vegetables in this Indian rice dish can be changed around - perhaps add bell peppers, potatoes or cauliflower. You can add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for a kick if desired.