A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

agar agar Agar Agar
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A rather tasteless gelatine from several varieties of red seaweed. Come either in strips or as a powder. Set in room temperature without refrigeration at 43 degree celcius. Available in various forms.

Angled luffa
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The immature ridged fruit is a delicious vegetable with tender seeds. Peel before use. Related to sponge gourd.

Anise
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Anise is sweet, minty and liquorice like. Similar to and often used interchangeably with fennel and in combination with cumin.

Annatto
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The dried seeds of this interesting looking fruit of American origin is used by the food industry to colour and flavour food. It is gives food a orangy yellow colour and can be used as a natural dye for fabrics and other applications. Introduced by the Spaniards, its use in Asia is limited to the Philippines where it is known as achuete.

Apricot seed
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What the Chinese sometimes refer to as almonds are in fact seeds of Ansu, Manchurian or Siberian apricot. They are used mainly in Traditional Chinese medicine, and in the kitchen in herbal soup preparations. Northern variety is bitter and Southern variety 'sweet'.

asafoetida.jpg - 6386 Bytes Asafoetida
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Dried gum from giant fennel used in North Indian kitchen. Strong distinct odour and bitter in taste. Only small amount is used. Store in all tight jar to prevent the smell from dispersing into other ingredients. A prepared powdered form (mixed with flour) is more common.

Asam Gelugor
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Often named sliced tamarind or tamarind skin, it is not tamarind but dried slices of a Malaysian fruit related to the mangosteen which looks like minature pumpkin with a glossy skin. Asam gelugor is light brown when fresh and darken with age. Used to give a subtle sour taste to various foods, tamarind maybe used as a substitute but lacks the fruty flavour .

Aubergine (Brinjal, Eggplant)
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Aubergines are usually long or round in shape, but sizes vary. They are mostly purple or light green, but some are yellow, red or white. Wilder varieties tend to be slightly bitter. Preserved aubergines are mainly eaten by the Indians.

Avocado
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An Aztecs fruit high in fat content with rough dark glossy green skin, a creamy fresh and a large seed. Makes a very rich and delicious drink with palm sugar and coconut milk.

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