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Glossary - Foods And Recipes

   Here are some names, terms and alternatives to help everyone use and understand recipes in general.

A-k, L-Z

ABALONE: [a-buh-LOH-nee] Is a mollusk obtainable frozen or canned. A GASTROPOD MOLLUSK  found along the coastlines of California, Mexico and Japan. The edible portion is the adductor muscle, a broad foot by which the abalone clings to rocks. As with any muscle, the meat is tough and must be pound.

ALMOND ESSENCE: almond extract.

Powder of sour mangoes

ASPARAGUS TIPS: asparagus spears.

BAKING POWDER: Is a raising agent consisting of an alkali and an acid. It is mostly made from cream of tartar and bicarbonate of soda in the proportion of 1 level teaspoon of cream of tartar to 1/2 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. This is equivalent to 2 level teaspoons baking powder. 

BAMBOO SHOOTS: Are available in cans.

BAMBOO STEAMERS: Available in varying sizes. The base should be soaked in cold water for about 10 minutes before using.

Black Beans: These fermented, salted soy beans, both canned and dried; one can be substituted for the other. Drain and rinse the canned variety; soak and rinse the dried variety. Leftover beans will keep for months in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Mash beans when cooking to release flavor.
Green (or French) Beans: Should be topped and tailed before use.

Bean Curd: is also known as tofu. It is made from boiled, crushed soy beans to give a type of milk. A coagulant is added, much like the process of cheese making. Buy it as fresh as possible; keep any leftover tofu in refrigerator under water, which must be changed daily. 

BEEF: Used in several different cuts; usually the tender cuts such as fillet or rump are ideal for quick cooking. If the recipe requires the beef to be sliced finely, freeze the piece for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Cut across the grain of meat for maximum flavor and moisture retention during cooking.


BREADCRUMBS: Can be packaged or made freshly at home. Use 1 or 2 day old white bread made into crumbs by grating, blending or processing.

BURGHUL: Cracked Wheat 

BUTTER: use salted or unsalted (sweet) butter or substitute depending on your diet. 

Sweet Pepper

An oriental combination of various spices. Details of ingredients and preparation is as follows:-
30 g (1 oz) cumin seeds
1 tablespoon salt
Pinch of asafoetida
3 teaspoons chilli powder
2 tablespoons dried green mango powder (amchur)
1 tablespoon crushed dried mint
2 teaspoons dried ginger powder

Lightly toast cumin with salt and asafetida. Grind all ingredients to a fine powder and pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid.

CHICKEN STOCK: Homemade stock will give you the best flavor, but if you want to use stock cubes for convenience, use 1 crumbled stock cube to every 2 cups water.

CHILLIES: (Fresh and dried are available in many different types and sizes. The small ones (bird's eye or bird peppers) are the hottest. Use tight rubber gloves when chopping fresh chilies as they can burn your skin. The seeds are the hottest part, so remove them if you want to reduce the heat content of recipes.

CHINESE MIXED PICKLES: A variety of fruit and vegetables preserved in vinegar, sugar and salt. The ingredients may contain ginger, shallots, papaws, cucumbers, carrots, chilli and pears.

CHINESE TURNIP/CHINESE WHITE RADISH: Also known as daikon. A basic food in some Asian countries.

CHOCOLATE, DARK: Dark eating chocolate.

CINNAMON: Fragrant bark used as a spice in ground form or sticks (quills).

CLEAVER: Broad-bladed chopper available in many sizes and types. Cleavers are inexpensive and take only a little practice to use efficiently. Steel cleavers need to be wrapped in an oiled cloth to prevent them from rusting; keep them razor sharp by sharpening on an oilstone.

COINTREAU: An orange flavored liqueur.

COLOURINGS: Concentrated liquid vegetable food colorings.

CORN: Baby corn is small corn cobs canned in brine. Creamed corn is a type of puree in cans.

CORNFLOUR: Cornstarch; is the main thickening ingredient used
in Chinese cooking. It is always blended with liquid before being added to other ingredients, then boiled until the mixture thickens. 

CREAM: May be thickened (whipping) cream in some recipes; while cream is simply a light pouring cream.

EGGPLANT:  Aubergine

Fenugreek:  A green herb also known as Methi in oriental Language.

FIVE SPICE POWDER: Is a pungent mixture of ground spices, which include cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise and Szechuan peppers.

FLOUR: Basically of two types. One cannot be substituted for another to give the same result.
Plain Flour: All-purpose flour; this should be used when no particular type of flour has been specified.
Self-Raising Flour: Substitutes plain (all-purpose) flour and baking powder in the proportion of metric cup plain flour to 2 level metric teaspoons baking powder, sift together several times before using. If using an 8oz measuring cup, use 1 cup plain flour to 2 level metric teaspoons baking powder.

An oriental combination of various spices. Details of ingredients and preparation is as follows:-
60 g (2 oz) black peppercorns
60 g (2 oz) cumin seeds
60 g (2 oz) coriander seeds
25 large black cardamoms, peeled
15 g (12 oz) cloves
15 g (12 oz) ground cinnamon

Blend these to a fairly fine powder and pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid. The spice mixture will be even more fragrant if the peppercorns, cumin and coriander are lightly toasted under the griller before grinding.

Green, Fresh or Root Ginger:
Scrape away skin and ginger is ready to grate, slice or chop. Peeled fresh ginger can be kept in vinegar, enough to cover; keep in airtight jar in refrigerator.
Ground Ginger: is also available but should not be substituted for fresh ginger in any recipe.
Preserved Ginger: Is fresh ginger preserved in syrup.

GRAND MARNIER: Orange flavored liqueur.

Gram Flour
Fine flour made through grinding gram. Also known as Besan in oriental language.

JUNKET TABLET: rennet tablet used for setting milk desserts.

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