Exotic Spices: Part One

We have divided our range of Exotic Spices into sections to create a five part series. Part one focuses on the spices that are of Indian origin and that are best used to create mouth-watering curry inspired dishes.

Origin and Recommended cooking methods…

Rogan Josh                       

Originating from exotic Kashmir, Rogan Josh Curry is every bit as passionate in flavour as it is in colour. A bold, rich red colour is the signature of the dish, created by an artful combination of spices. Brought to India by the Moghuls who escaped the unrelenting heat of the Indian plains, the Rogan Josh recipes carry a hint of this heat through every variation

Lamb Rogan Josh


2 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp crushed ginger

30 g Rogan Josh spice

500 g lamb knuckles

1 tin tomatoes, chopped

1 tin coconut cream

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed


Sauté onion, ginger, garlic and spice in a heavy based saucepan until browned and fragrant, then add a tablespoon of water to loosen. Add the meat and fry until browned. Stir through the tomato and coconut cream and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 30 minutes until sauce has thickened and meat is tender.


Serve with your choice of Indian breads, rice or vegetables.



Tandoori is a popular Bangledeshi, Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of roasted chiken or fish prepared with yoghurt and spices. The name comes from the type of cylindrical clay oven, a tandoor, in which the dish is traditionally prepared. The flavour palette is quite mild with slight accents of pepper, chili and often a little smokiness from paprika.

Chicken Tandoori


800 g boneless skinless chicken breasts

175 ml plain yoghurt

60 ml vegetable oil

100 ml white vinegar

30 g Tandoori spice

1 small handful of fresh coriander

Chopped lime wedges to serve.


Preheat the oven to 250°C. Cut 3 slits into the flesh of each piece of chicken (across the width). Mix together the yoghurt, oil, vinegar and Tandoori spice and stir into a paste. Pour this marinade over the chicken and rub in well, then cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Shake off the excess marinade from the chicken pieces and place in a baking tray. Roast for 20 minutes or until well done and browned.


Serve with lime wedges, chopped coriander and naan bread or rice.



The name Vindaloo is derived from the Portuguese dish ‘Carne de Vinha d’ Alhos’, which is a dish of meat, usually chicken, with wine and garlic. The Portuguese dish was modified by the substitution of vinegar for the wine and the addition of red Kashmiri chillies with additional spices to evolve into Vindaloo as we know it today. It is regarded globally as the ‘king of the curries’.



100 ml plain yoghurt

75 ml vinegar

2 tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp crushed ginger

800 g deboned and cubed lamb leg / 8 chicken breasts, sliced

30 g Vindaloo spice

60 ml vegetable oil

2 onions, thinly sliced

500 ml water

250 ml pureed tomatoes (not paste)

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt and pepper


Mix together the yoghurt, vinegar, garlic and ginger in a bowl. Then coat the meat in half the Vindaloo spice. Heat half the oil in a deep saucepan and fry the meat just to brown then, as you remove them, place them in the yoghurt mixture. Heat the rest of the oil in a saucepan and fry onion with the rest of the Vindaloo spice. Add lamb, water and tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer for 45 minutes. Add the sugar, seasoning and left over marinade to the pot and heat through.


Keep the curry another day and serve with sambals, dal and chapatis.


Meat Masala

Masala in Hindi means ‘blends of spices’ and is a wonderfully aromatic blend specifically created for meat. It is ideal for beef, lamb or chicken. This versatile spice can either be dry rubbed into the meat, or combined with oil to make a paste for easy coating, or blended with yogurt to create a meat marinade.

Beef Masala


1 kg deboned beef, cubed

50 ml lemon juice

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp minced ginger

100 ml ghee

2 onions, chopped

4 Tbsp Meat Masala Spice

1 tsp whole mustard seeds

1 green chilli, chopped (to taste)

50 g tomato paste

1 Tbsp sugar

2 cups water

Coriander to garnish


Massage the meat with the lemon juice, garlic and ginger and leave to stand for 2 hours. Heat half the ghee in a large pan and in small batches brown the beef. Set aside. Heat the remaining ghee and sweat the onions. Add the Meat Masala Spice mix and continue frying until fragrant. Add the mustard seeds and chopped chilli and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the beef cubes, tomato paste, sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 1 hour until the beef is tender. This curry should be fairly dry but add more water if necessary.


Serve with a chapati and fresh chopped coriander.


Goan Fish

This is a wonderfully aromatic blend of spices and herbs inspired by Kerala, traditionally used with firm white fish fillets. Heat oil in a pan and fry the spices with finely chopped onions, ginger, green chilli and garlic. Add fish fillets plus a cup of water or coconut cream and simmer gently for a few minutes only.

Kerala Fish Curry



½ tsp turmeric powder1 tsp black pepper powder

½ tsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

500 g firm white fish, in 125 g portions

1 cup coconut cream

1 tsp crushed ginger

1 tsp crushed garlic

3-4 whole green chillies

30 g Kerala Fish spice

2 onions, chopped

2-3 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup coconut milk 


Mix the marinade ingredients together and rub onto the fish fillets; leave for half an hour. Shallow fry the marinated fish for just 2-3 minutes in a clay pot or heavy based saucepan and set aside. Heat the saucepan and add 1 Tbsp of the coconut cream. Add the crushed ginger, garlic, green chillies and Kerala Fish spice and stir fry until fragrant. Then add the chopped onion and tomatoes. Once they become soft, add the coconut milk and cream and let it boil for a few minutes. Finally, add the fried fish pieces.


Serve with your choice of Indian breads, rice or vegetables.

In the next instalment of our Exotic Spices series we will discuss the origins and recommended recipes for our eat.art spices with a Middle Eastern influence. These spices will transport you to a Bedouin feast of flavoursome and aromatic cuisine.

Images sourced from: www.lasvegasfoodadventures.wordpress.comwww.sweettoothcraving.blogspot.comwww.lemonandcheese.blogspot.com and www.cherryonmysundae.blogspot.com

One thought on “Exotic Spices: Part One

  1. This comes as a surprise as I do not see any oil in the Kerala Fish Curry recipe I wonder how many more recipes are there without the use of oil as we know it today (Canola, Olive etc)

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