One of my passions home and abroad is looking in supermarkets/shops that cater for local communities. It’s an ideal time to have a chat with other Mums who are shopping to prepare family meals – there have been plenty of times that I’ve been invited back to their homes for a cup of tea and a chat, while they show me what they are making out of various ingredients that I’m not familiar with.
I had a wander round our local shopping area this morning and came back to work to have a good, old fashioned ‘Show & Tell’ time!
This kind of ‘Ready Steady Cook’ shopping makes you think outside of the box when it comes to deciding on dinner! Three of these ingredients (beef ribs, Bangladeshi Lemon and herbs) have come together to enable me to make a wonderful slow cooked Beef Shatkora Curry for tomorrow night – can’t wait… (recipe to follow)
Bangladeshi Lemon (Shatkora)
These are very similar to Kaffir Limes and if you can’t get hold of a Kaffir Lime if you’re making something like a Green Curry, you won’t go far wrong by using the skin of a Shatkora instead. They’re actually lemons, but you usually buy them unripe, like these. They eventually go yellow. Their fragrance is absolutely beautiful! The lady in the shop said that the smell reminds her of her Mum – they had a Shatkora tree in their back garden in Bangladesh and her Mum used to make a beautiful Lime Pickle with them. She says she’ll pass the recipe on to me!
I have absolutely no idea! I had to buy them though – I’ll let you know…
Bunches of herbs
Nothing overly unusual about bunches of herbs, but the substantial bunches that you can buy in Asian shops, compared to the feeble ones in supermarkets makes you realise that in other cultures, herbs are used as an essential part of the diet – not just as a garnish or as a mild flavouring.
A cut of meat that is coming back into fashion. Everyone uses pork spare ribs, but not so many people use the beef variety. They take a lot of cooking as you’d imagine, but for around £6 for all of this meat, it’s well worth the time spent slowly cooking them until they’re soft, silky and falling away from the bone.
Errrrm – a type of herb!
Last, but not least – this is a herb that you don’t see very often with a very off-putting name! It literally translates as ‘foul smelling thistle’, which I think is a little unfair! It’s otherwise known as Mexican Coriander and the taste is like very strong coriander. I reckon going into any shop and asking for a bunch of ‘Stinking’, is risky! It’s worth looking out for – once you’ve tasted it you’ll be back for more.