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Braised Beef Cheek Pie

Winter Comfort Food. This sumptuous recipe, Braised Beef Cheek Pie, is one of those lovely comfort food that you can cook over and over again without getting tired of it. Of course, this recipe involves you making everything from scratch. But don't be put off by it... you can take some short cuts such as buying pre-made pastry with the results guaranteed to be splendid. Beef Cheek Spice Rub - 2 beef cheeks (about 1.5kg) - 1 tbsp all spice ground - 1/4 tsp cloves ground - 10 Tasmanian pepper berries (optional) - 1/4 tsp star anise ground -  Freshly grown black pepper - 1tbsp sea salt - 2 tbsp orange zest -4 cloves garlic crushed 1 shallot chopped finely 4 sprigs of thyme - handful of parsley chopped 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil5 ***   Marinade the beef cheeks with the spice rub for at least 2-4 hours ***   Braising broth ingredients  - 1 onion finely chopped - 2 cloves garlic minced - 4-5 celery stalks finely chopped - salt & pepper - 2 cups red wine - 1 cup chicken stock - cooking oil   Pastry Ingredients & Method  Please see the Persian Ghee and sour cream pastry recipe. RECIPE *** For pastry - you will need egg wash and some black sesame seeds ***   Filling Method  1. Heat oil in a heavy based pot, saute onion and garlic until soft and slightly browned. 2. Add celery stalks  and saute for 5-10 minutes followed by red wine. Bring to boil and simmer for further 5 minutes. 3. Add marinated beef cheeks & stock to pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 2-3 hours. Adjust seasoning.  Braised cheek is ready when the meat falls apart and the broth is reduced to 1/4 of its original level. If the broth is still runny, mix with 1-2 tbsp of cornflour and stir well. Once ready, Let the filling to cool down for 30 minutes or so. 4. Cut the pastry in circle to line & cover the pie pan (1x large circle + 1x small circle for the lid). Place in the fridge for 10 minutes to chill. Then fill 3/4 with the beef cheek mixture. Brush the edges with egg wash and cover with a pastry to cover the pie. 5. Brush the pastry with egg wash and poke a few holes with a fork and then dust with black sesame seeds.   Alternative option for the pastry cover (lid). Use mash potato. The smooth mashed potato can be piped over the pie filling.    

Sri Lankan Salmon

Sri Lankan Salmon dish using the Sri-Lankan Curry Powder. Our little stall in Subiaco markets was a library of sharing recipes and joy of cooking up a recipe. One of my staff was a lady from Sri-Lanka who always reminisced about her mothers' Sri-Lankan curry powder. So I thought to myself... surely blending Sri-Lankan curry powder was not that hard! Well, I was to be proven wrong. Sri-Lankan cuisine has a unique complexity about it... the way the spices are roasted to give it the smokiness and the depth is delicate and requires patience. So after burning a few kilos of spice mixtures, throwing out many batches of curries cooked with what was to be my new blend... I finally nailed it. This took over 3 months to master. When my new blend came to life, I was very eager to share it with my staff and to some extent seek her approval. Deep down I thought she would come back and say "Yeah it's close to her mothers' master pieces..." But to my surprise, she said " It is great and even her husband thinks it is better than her mum's recipe..." I was amazed and was not expecting this whatsoever. So armed with confidence, I introduced this blend to my customers which proved to be a hit. Ohh what a great moment that was.... So this simple, easy and wholesome Sri lankan Salmon dish is her recipe:   Ingredients - 2 Salmon Fillets - 2-3Tbs Sri-Lankan curry powder - 1 Tsp turmeric - 2 Tbsp freshly ground black Pepper - 1 Tbsp Dried Chilli Powder (Optional) - 10 dried/fresh curry leaves - 2 red shallots- finely diced - 2 cloves of garlic - crushed - 4Tbsp Persian Ghee or 4 Tbs Oil - 1 Tsp Salt and some extra for seasoning the Salmon - 1 Lemon Juice Method 1. Mix all the above ingredients and spices with the Persian Ghee to make a moist paste/mixture. 2. Pat dry the salmons from any moisture, then lightly season. Then rub the paste all over the salmon until well coated. 3. Wrap each Salmon piece in an al-foil and bake at 160-170C preheated oven for 30 minutes until the fish is cooked to your desired liking. Add a squeeze of Lemon juice and then place the Salmons uncovered back into the oven to achieve a blackened top/crust. 4. Add more lemon juice if required before serving. This dish is delicious served with mango chutney, salad and Sri-Lankan red Raw rice.

Beef Chilli Con Carne

Beef Chilli Con Carne cooked the Mexican way. Wholesome and hearty dish to be served with freshly made tortilla. This recipe of Beef Chilli Con Carne is contemporary, easy and simply delicious. This is one of my favorite recipes. The combination of flavors are simple yet memorable. Simple ingredients that have been delicately prepared for enhanced flavors. you will find out what I mean. This is a perfect party or family idea of fun dinner.... make-yourself-a-taco dinner party kind of things. It is interactive and fun. I haven't met anyone that doesn't like this recipe of Beef Chilli Con Carne. So as for the ingredients - I cook with most of my ingredients on offer at the Spice Library Online Shop. I will never go without these ingredients in my pantry. I use them in so many dishes - not necessarily all Mexican.   { Cooking Tip } Smoke or Kebab the Anchos, Garlic & tomato by simply placing them over an open flame to charcoal the skin. This will give the ingredients a nice smoky and intense flavor. This is crucial to overall flavor of the dish. Ingredients - 5 Ancho Chilli roasted - 4 cloves garlic roasted -5 Roma tomato -3tsp smoked paprika -1 tbsp Mexican oregano - 2tsp ground cumin - 550g beef  (the more marble in the beef the better it is) -2 cups water or home-made stock -Salt and Pepper Method In a heavy based casserole dish layer the ingredients; first goes in the beef, smoked paprika, garlic, tomato, anchos, Mexican oregano and seasoning, then the stock. cook in the oven @150c for 3-4 hour. Check the liquid level half way through cooking to ensure enough moisture. Add water if required. Serve with Tortilla. Fresh Cream. Salads. Avocado.

Lamb Meatball with Barberries & Wild Figs

My Famous Meatball recipe

Lamb Meatball with Barberries & Wild Figs Lamb meat is widely used in Middle-Eastern and Arabian cuisines and is quintessential to overall flavor of the dish. Meatball is one method of using lamb. There are hundreds of variations each with its unique heritage and preparation techniques. Every Persian family have their own recipes which is passed down through generations. Lamb meatball with barberries and wild figs is my funky fusion of ingredients associated with fun memories growing up with this dish. I have picked one key element from four generations of home-cooks.  Sweet and sour flavours balanced with soothing broth topped with classic Persian herbs. I suggest serving this dish with Moghrabieh or Persian Cumin Rice. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoy cooking it. Ingredients: - 500g Lamb mince - 5 medium brown onions- 1 onion finely diced and the rest cut in quarter - handful of parsley - finely chopped - 3 cloves garlic - crushed -3/4 tsp Spice Library Ground All Spice - 3/4 tsp Spice Library Cinnamon powder - 1tsp brown sugar/coconut blossom sugar - 1 tsp Persian sumac -1 tsp Turmeric -1 tsp Black Pepper -1 tsp Salt- add more if needed - 1 happy egg - 50g Barberries - 150g Persian Wild Figs - 1 glass (200-300ml) of crispy white wine - 500ml of Chicken/Lamb stock (I highly recommend home-made stock or a good quality stock) - 2 Tbsp Dried Dill - 2 Tbsp Persian mint - Sunflower oil - salt & pepper as needed (adjust seasoning during the cooking process to bind all the flavors together)   Method: 1. Combine lamb mince, diced onion, sumac, egg, spices, garlic, half of barberries & parsley. knead like bread dough for 5-10 minutes until stretchy. Then roll into balls of your desired size. Set aside. 2. Heat oil in the heavy based pot on medium heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Add meatballs and cook on each side to ensure they are browned/colored on all sides. 3. Remove the left over oil and wipe the pot clean with paper towel. Add fresh oil. Once the oil is hot, add the quartered onions and cook over medium heat. Add sugar, pinch of salt, pepper and turmeric. Stir frequently until golden brown. 4. Add wine and leave to bubble for 2-3 minutes. Add stock and bring to rapid boil. Arrange the meatball in the pot and cook on high heat for 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasoning as you go. Now add wild figs and the remaining barberries. Cover the pot and reduce heat to very low and cook for 45 mins -1 hour until the sauce has reduced and intensified in flavor. About 10 minutes before it is ready, add the dried herbs and adjust seasoning. Leave some of the dried herbs for garnish. 5. Serve with moghrabieh and natural yoghurt.  

Persian Celery Stew

Persian Stew

Persian Celery Stew. I bought some amazingly fresh and green celery from the farmers markets. This was inspiring for me to cook up this classic Persian celery stew recipe using lamb. Ingredients;  -2 celery bunch. Discard the tough green leaves - 3 onions diced - 4 cloves garlic- crushed - 4 spring onions diced - 1 tbsp the Spice Library caraway seeds -1/2 tsp the Spice Library Dill seed - 1 tbsp the Spice Library Advieh & ground cumin each - 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick - 1 dried gaujillo chilli optional - 1kg lamb/ beef - 4 cups stock - 1-2 lemons juiced - 2 tbsp dried Persian mint- crushed Method; 1) fry onion until golden. Add garlic & spring onions until soft 2) add meat and brown for 5-10 mins 3) add all spices, sauté until fragrant 4) add celery and sauté for further 5 mins 5) add stock - bring to rapid boil for 10 mins and then slow cook for 2-3 hours. 6) 5 mins before turning off the heat - add lemon juice and dried mint Serve with Persian cumin rice and yoghurt. I added some sliced potatoes at the bottom of the pot for the tahdig (crusty part of the rice)

Cucumber Yoghurt (Mast-o-Khiar)

Cucumber Dip

Natural yoghurt is the quintessential accompaniment for most Persian meals. There are many variations of the theme, all designed to take an already tasty dish to extraordinary new heights. Ingredients: 2 large Lebanese cucumber 3 spring onions, washed 1 clove garlic , peeled (Optional) 1 tablespoons dried mint 1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped 2 cups Natural yoghurt Salt & pepper Method: Roughly chop cucumber, spring onions, garlic and fresh mint, as shown. Place chopped ingredients in the food processor along with salt, pepper & dried mint. Blend until a smooth paste. (note: if you prefer the chunky cucumber, then finely chop the ingredients) Place the mixture into a serving bowl & add yoghurt. Mix well until well combined. Adjust seasoning if required. Great Served alongside of Spice Library Split-Pea Stew or Saffron & Barberry Rice. Nushe-e-Jan! (Enjoy!) Great With

Tafting (cooking golden onions)

Foundation of Persian curies

This method is one of the crucial ways of achieving soft, golden and caramelized onion. It allows all the goodness and flavours of onions to be released. The result is sweet flavoured onion which is the building foundations of cooking Persian curries. Ingredients: 2 large onions, peeled, finely sliced or diced 1 teaspoon turmeric 4 tablespoon olive oil/vegetable oil Method: Place diced onions in a saucepan on low heat.  Add salt and mix well, stirring occasionally for 5 mins. This process will sweat the onion and allows all the goodness and flavours to be released. Then add oil and turmeric. Stir well. then fry or Taft the onion on medium heat until onion is golden. View Spice Library products used in this recipe

Chickpea Curry

Indian recipe

A delicous recipe for Chickpea Curry. Method: Soak 220g of chickpeas overnight. Drain, rinse and place in a pot with 1 clove of garlic, cover with water. Bring to boil & Simmer for 45 minutes or until soft. Drain from the pot while keeping 1/2 cup of the liquid as your stock. Heat 4 tbsp Persian Ghee/oil in a saucepan. Then add 2 finely chopped onions, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp finely chopped ginger. Add chilli if desired. Cook until the mixture is translucent. Add 1 tbsp of Channa Masala blend, saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Then add 400g of freshly chopped Roma Tomato (or in tin) and 1 Tbsp tomato paste. Mix well. Return the chickpea stock to the pot along with 1 cup of hot water and another tablespoon of Channa Masala blend. Bring to boil for 3-5 minutes. Then transfer the cooked chickpeas to the saucepan. Season well and cook on low heat for at least 30 minutes until the mixture is thickened. Optional: 10 minutes prior to turning off the heat, add 2 tbsp of cream. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and finely sliced shallots/chillies and serve on Persian Cumin rice.  

Beef Curry

Indian recipe

A delicous recipe for a beef curry. Method: Heat oil/Ghee in a large saucepan; add 2 chopped onions, 4 cloves of garlic and 1 tbsp of finely chopped ginger. Season with Salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for 5-7 minutes until browned. Add 50-700g beef cut into 2.5cm cubes and fry for 5 minutes. then add 3-4 tablespoon of curry powder and stir until fragrant. Then add 1/4 cup tomato paste, 2 tablespoon of white vinegar, 1/4 cup of sultanas. saute for 3-5 minutes. Then add 250ml stock, bring to boil. Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 40-60 minutes. Adjust seasoning and add lemon juice if desired. Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander.

Sumac Salad Dressing

Persian recipes

A delicous recipe for a Turkish Sumac Salad Dressing. Method: In a large bowl, add 3 tablespoon of Sumac, 4 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 clove of garlic crushed, salt and pepper. Mix well. Toss your green salad leaves in the dressing mixture.

The Spice LIbrary
The Spice Library is an online ingredient hub offering gourmet spices herbs, spice mixes, Australian native bush spices, chilli, Persian Gourmet products, Mexican products, wholefood and organic range delivered across Australia to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Tasmania and Northern Terittory.Join our online spice shop to discover new flavours from across the globe. Learn how to cook new cuisines and create flavoursome dishes using our freshly roasted and ground spices, spice mixes, chilli or try our gluten free Persian Gourmet meal kits using only the authentic Persian recipes handed down from four generations of home cooks.Bulk spices herbs are also available for our serious homecooks, chefs and food services.Happy Spicing!
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