Sunday, May 18, 2008

Spice it up...

I know I mentioned the Red Hill Spice Girls in passing a few weeks ago, but now that I have tried the products, it is definitely worthy of more than a mention. Red Hill Spice Girls has been around for a couple of years, but has recently been bought by Pam Stirling and her cousin Karen. I visited Pam and Karen a week or so ago in their spice blending room (based in Mt Eliza), and I was very impressed. The blending room is full of colours and flavours that you cannot even begin to imagine. They have a huge range of blended spices that are easy to use, and absolutely delicious. And they are always working on improving their blends with both flavours and colours (natural of course!).

After a coffee, a chat, and a taste of the delish Dukkah, I came home with 2 jars of spices (and by the way, I just love the packaging). I bought Mumbai Curry and Moroccan Ras El Hanout. I have to say, these were great, and have snuck their way into our regular repatoire of weekly dinners.

The Mumbai Curry is a family favourite. It is mild anough for the kids, and they love it with natural yoghurt, mango chutney and pappadams. It is spicy enough for adults, but you can add chilli for a bigger kick if you wish.

The Moroccan Ras El Hanout was also popular with the kids (and adults), and they love it with cous cous. There are recipes on the back of the jar, but I also added a couple of my own touches, such as topping it with coriander leaves (just call me Chef Susan).

I love the recipes on the back of the jar, but the girls also have other recipes you can use. One of the best things is that I don't need to buy anything special to whip up a great meal. The recipes I have tried all use staple items from the pantry, such as onions, chicken stock, or tinned tomatoes. As long as you have those things in the pantry with your choice of meat or veg, you can create an impressive and quick meal.

Now I just need to increase my supply. I want the Dukkah, the Marinating Rub, the Laksa, the Siam Salt and Pepper.....I want them all!

Where can you get them? The Girls go to markets such as Yarra Valley, Red Hill and Mornington. Details can be found on their website at If you can't get to the markets, just call Pam and Karen, and I am sure they will do mail order for you. Did I mention they also do Turkish Delight? Mmmmmm.......