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Roo Hasan @pompomcooks
Homemade Ghee — image courtesy of author

This magical golden substance is called Ghee and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda for medical and therapeutical purposes. Ghee is clarified butter that has been heated for longer, lending to its deeper colour and nuttier, richer taste. Using clarified butter in Indian cooking has many benefits:

  • Clarified butter is pure butterfat as the milk solids and water that are usually present in butter get removed. Milk solids are the reason butter starts to burn at a lower temperature, so when you remove these you create a fat with a higher smoke point. High smoke point oils…

If you don’t cook meat much from home then the idea of cooking a steak could seem pretty intimidating. With this wonderful shift towards sustainable eating, especially when it comes to beef consumption, the steaks (no pun intended) are even higher when it comes to honouring the perfect bit of meat in cooking it to absolute perfection. Follow these simple steps and you’ll cook amazing steakhouse style beef steak every time.

Perfect Steak — image courtesy of the author

Step 1: Buy a good steak

Happier cow = tastier meat. This is a simple equation that’s easy to swallow if you’re willing to buy less but better quality meat. There have been countless studies…

Fermented Hot Sauce — image courtesy of the author

Lacto-fermentation is the the simplest and arguably oldest method of food processing and preserving. This primitive fermentation process requires nothing more than salt, vegetables and water, with no need for expensive equipment. Foods like cabbage naturally contain lactic acid bacteria and when you submerge these foods into a salt brine, two things happen.

Firstly, the salt kills off the harmful “bad” bacteria which spoils food and is potentially harmful to us — this is stage one. Stage two is where the “good” lactic acid bacteria gets to work and encourages more growth. This healthy lactic acid bacteria is otherwise known…

Mushrooms — image courtesy of author

I don’t like mushrooms because they’re mushy and look like slugs” is something I hear so often, which is a crying shame because there’s so much flavour and texture to extract from ‘shrooms! Here’s the answer to those woes and how to not to do them a disservice.

Dry sautéing, aka cooking in a pan without fat, liquid or sauce is the easiest way get the best texture and concentrated flavour out the little fun-guys. Mushrooms have a super high water content so benefit from a dry fry as the heat from the pan helps to release their juices. …

Tarka — image courtesy of the author

Mastering the Indian technique of tarka (or tadka) will take your food, Indian and otherwise to a higher notch. Tarka is a process that is also called “tempering” or “blooming” and is incredibly easy and super quick. Bonus.

Simply put, making a tarka is the method of frying spices in hot fat. Tempering spices in this way unlocks maximum flavour from them, infuses the oil and in turn, your food. …

Photo by Ingmar on Unsplash

Komorebi. Language: Japanese. Meaning: The interplay between light and leaves when sunlight shines through trees.

The Japanese word komorebi has no real English equivalent, it’s a romantic word that describes the sunshine filtering through the leaves of trees and for me, a sign that fall has fallen. As the autumnal sun drops in the sky like heavy eyelids after a summer of activity, the light it casts is thick and low. …

Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

like words. I like onomatopoeia, I like emotive adjectives, I like funny words (nincompoop, flibbertigibbet, snollygoster — look them up), but more than anything, I like untranslatable words. Words that are lost in translation; feelings and ideas that we can’t put words to, the essence of perhaps an emotional state or belief.

One of my favourite word is betsubara. A Japanese word, that literally means other stomach…your dessert stomach. Now for some etymology: betsubara (別腹), is composed of betsu (separate) and bara (stomach), meaning that your body has a second stomach for sweets things.

I knew it.

Now I can…

I have vivid childhood memories of my Daddyma’s house. My Daddyma is my dad’s mother, my Asian grandmother; a Gujarati powerhouse of a woman who spends her entire day either cooking or praying. In fact, I’m sure she prays whilst she cooks and that’s why her food tastes so damn good.

Daddyma’s kitchen is her kingdom. It is impeccably clean. I’m talking Dexter style clean-up routines, scrubbing away all signs of previous activity. For a lady who spends her entire day toasting and grinding spices, rolling bread, frying delicacies and simmering curries, there is never any evidence of it on…

Doughnuts — image courtesy of the author

Recently, I found myself stuck in Groundhog Day for some indiscriminate amount of time. This Groundhog Day had not much of the cynical wit of Bill Murray, nor the lightness and charm of Andie MacDowell.

This was a period of time driven by anxiety. Routine had been replaced by internalised chaos and not much (if any) thought had been put into what I was making in the kitchen. I needed a touchstone to pull me back in.

My touchstone of choice? Bread, or more specifically, dough. This raw, prehistoric invention became my stress ball. It was something that I could…

Could you bring back:

x 1 box of mini Shredded Wheat honeynut

x 1 box of mini Shredded Wheat plain

x 1 bumper pack of Heinz baked beans

x 1 Thai Taste green curry paste

x 1 Yorkshire tea bags

x 1 Walkers prawn cocktail 6 pack crisps

x 1 Galaxy Minstrels

x 1 Dairy Milk bar chocolate

Saturday or Sunday Guardian, Observer or Times

Thanks dude! Can pay in Euros or Sterling.

Photo by Deepansh Khurana on Unsplash

I am a British expat and that there is a shopping list from my expat neighbour. …

Roo Hasan @pompomcooks

Half English/half Indian expat, living & cooking in the mountains, Chamonix. Private Chef, writer, painter, mountain biker, over-thinker. @pompomcooks

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