Let's face it people, despite anything else that is going on this week (and let's face it there's plenty) ultimately this week is all about staying sane and staying cool. So each day we'll be bringing you some tried and true methods of keeping the evil heatwave at bay.
Today's is all about combative dining and we'd like to remind you that aside from the obvious fridge frosty watermelon, sunnyboys and icypoles the peoples of south east asia have been using hot curries for hundreds of years to help them stay cool as a cucumber raita. The theory being hot foods increase your body temperature therefore making you feel cooler by diminishing the difference between you and the surrounding air. They also bring the heat in your body to the surface where it can be more effectively cooled by - well we could say 'glowing' but let's call a spade a spade -sweating.
Thankfully the long weekend saw the architect in full flight building cupboards, putting up a picture rail, even busting out a breakfast bar, but most important to todays message he got this old school spice rack (thanks ikea) up on the wall. With all her booty now at the ready, resident mistress of spices Beck suggested that a little garam masala might just be what we the good doctor ordered. Apart from being a dodgy bollywood remake (see below) it's as easy as heating a frypan, can be used to give any food a touch of the subcontinent, stores like a dream and makes a super quick present for people who may be little 'flavour challenged' in the cooking department.
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cummin seeds
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cardomom seeds
(measure once roasted and removed from pods)
1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella) seeds
4 x 7.5cm (3inch) cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
Roast each spice, except nutmeg, separately in a small heavy based pan over a gentle heat. Turn each batch onto a plate to cool as soon as it smells fragrant. Remove seeds from roasted cardomom pods and discard pods. Grind roasted spices in an electric blender, coffee grinder, or good old fashioned mortar and pestle (especially if you want to work those tuck shop arms). Finely grate nutmeg and mix in with the rest of the spices. Fresh is best but this mix will last a good three months if stored properly. Store in an airtight container and proudly display in your own spice rack.