serving platter of kerala prawn fry

Kerala prawn fry

Kerala prawn fry is a simple dry dish of crispy fried prawns. Nadan chemmeen varuthathu is one of Kerala’s best-known street vendor snacks. It is slightly hot and tangy and highlights the flavour of the prawns.

A bowl of Sri Lankan beef curry.

Sri Lankan beef curry

This Sri Lankan beef curry is a delightfully simple recipe to prepare. Take your time, and allow the flavours to develop. It features beef slowly braised in a coconut milk gravy.

a mound of panch phoran

panch phoran

Panch phoran, is the taste of Bengal. It is a blend of five seeds or spices, hence its name which translates literally into English as “five spices”.

a bottle of gingelly oil

gingelly oil

Gingelly oil or til ka tel is an edible vegetable oil made from sesame seeds. It is used extensively in south Indian cuisine.

A serving bowl of chennai fish curry, with some dried red chillies on the side.

Madras fish curry

This Madras fish curry is a family dish from Chennai. Meen kuzhambu gets its flavour from the shallots and tomatoes and features the taste of the just-cooked fish to perfection.

a mound of cassia sticks


Cassia is the inner bark of a tropical evergreen tree. This bark is noticeably harder than cinnamon and has a more robust and less sweet flavour.

a block of paneer, partly cut, on chopping board


Paneer is a simple farmer-type cheese made by coagulation. It has a crumbly texture that works wonderfully with spices. It is not a fermented or cured cheese.

a closeup of a mound of uncooked sella rice

sella rice

Sella rice is basmati rice that has been parboiled while still in its husk, then milled. It has a more fragrant aroma, a deeper taste and exquisite long individual grains.

a closeup of a mound of uncooked basmati rice

basmati rice

Basmati rice is the fragrant rice used in many Indian dishes.

A serving bowl of paneer and peas

paneer and peas

Paneer and peas, or matar paneer is a popular dish from the Punjab. It highlights the paneer, has a spicy tomato sauce and bursts of flavour from the just-cooked peas.

a heap of garam masala

garam masala

Garam masala translates as ‘hot spice’ but a look at the ingredients would suggest something more savoury and subtle.

a small bowl of rasam masala

rasam masala

Rasam masala, or rasam podi, is a spice mix used to flavour rasam, a thin lentil soup, very common in the south of India.