Baharat, also known as Lebanese Seven Spice or Advieh, has become one of the many ‘go-to’ spice blends along with Ras el Hanout and Chermoula. Herbie, always up to date or ahead with spice trends, was asked to contribute this article to Australian Gourmet Traveller in 1999. Yes, 24 years ago! This is the article: Legendary spice merchant and blender, Ian (Herbie) Hemphill, has
What kind of meal do you think of when you hear the word “curry”? The origin of our English word is Kari, meaning a spiced sauce. The English took the idea back home from the colonies, and the classic Madras curry – well-balanced and flavoursome – became a staple in the English household. The French, meanwhile, had colonized the Pondicherry area on the south-eastern coast of India, and their eating experiences resulted in the Vadouvan curry – mild in chilli heat, but rich in onion and curry leaf – being taken back to their homeland. Indian migrants took their delicious spicy food with them to Africa, east to the South-East Asian countries, and to Fiji. Local versions such as Massaman, Rendang and Laksa evolved. Even Japan eventually opened up to curry flavours, making their Katsu mild and sweet, based on a roux and thickened with sweet pureed carrot. The distinctive lightness of Thai food was not compromised when curry arrived on the menu – the robust Indian flavours were modified to make the Red and Green curries that are still so very distinctly Thai.