What we've been up to
September 2015 Archive
Delhi and North India
India's colourful, religious heritage has allowed for the nation to be constant in exploration and adventure. Although largely unified by spirituality and religion, India itself is distinctively diverse in culture across its regions. Similarly, the common culinary theme across India nationwide can be largely attributed to ancient heritage and religious beliefs, where vegetarianism is often embraced. Despite this, as a nation so diverse in ecology, regional cuisines are prominent throughout the nation, each offering something novel and disparate from the other. If you are a hungry traveler then you are in for a treat.
The North of India is home to two of India's worldwide travel destinations, Delhi and the Taj Mahal. Delhi is the capital of India and is buzzing in popularity. There is no doubt that you will never be short of adventure when in Delhi. Delhi itself is somewhat divided into old and new from the temples and ruins, the modern bazaars. For a more historical experience, be sure to check out the stunning temples of Akshardham Temple and Jama Masjid. Even if temples and ruins aren't your thing, the 3 hour trip South to the Taj Mahal is worth every second. This world heritage listed building is also listed as one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Covered in marble domes, its exquisite beauty is a once in a lifetime experience.
Regardless of your scene, a trip to Delhi isn't compete without the food. Delhi is home to butter chicken and samosas, however, has much more to offer. Here are our top five 'must-try' dishes of Delhi and Northern India:
• Chaat - This fried potato Indian snack can be served as a sweet or savoury treat. It is best found from the local street stalls accompanied with various yoghurts, dips and spices for an authentic Indian culinary experience.
• Tandoori Chicken - This Indian classic has become a worldwide phenomenon and is vastly popular is the Southern regions of Asia, the Middle East and Western cultures. As it names suggests, the dish is prepared by cooking chicken with an array of spices in a traditional oven, called a tandoor.
• Phirni - If you have a sweet tooth, then this is the dish for you. This authentic Indian dessert is made from rice, saffron, milk and sugar. Phirni provides a creamy relief from all the spices in Indian cuisine and can be found at most Punjabi restaurants.
• Traditional Tikka Kabab - North India has hit gold combining the two favourites of chicken tikka and kababs. This fusion of Middle Eastern, Bangladeshian and Indian flavours tickles the taste buds with its combination of chicken, spice, herbs, yoghurt and bread.
• Chole Bhature - This heavy Indian breakfast is comprised of spice chickpeas, fried bread and much like all India cuisine, an array of herbs and species. Although originated from Delhi, this breakfast is now largely popular among the North and West regions.
Here at Asian Home Gourmet, we offer a taste of North India in the form of various spice pastes and marinades. Check out our products
today and try your hand at North Indian cuisine.
Travelling is not only for those who want to experience new cultures and customs, it also is for those whose taste buds' are longing for a new adventures. From the moment you receive your first inflight meal, you can say goodbye to your standard, run-of-the-mill cuisine and hello to exciting new flavours. Asia, in particular, is known to provide exciting new horizons in the culinary department, with each region offering something new, novel and inspiring.
Like many regions within Asia, Seoul equally embraces the new technological revolutions and old heritage and traditions. With such excitement, there is definitely no shortage of adventure and exploration in Seoul. Our top recommendations for metropolitan Seoul are:
• Any of the markets - Seoul has a lot to offer. Some include of our favourites include; Gwangjang markets, Noryangkin fish markets and Namdaemum markets
• N Seoul Tower - for scenic views as far as the eye can see
• Bongeun-sa - for an insight to some of South Korea's historical shrines and temples
• Ihwa-Dong Art Neighbourhood - an art gallery in the form of a neighbourhood for a more realistic experience of Seoul's streets and culture
• Seoul City Wall - originally built to protect against invasion, this wall is not a major tourist attraction
Korea is a nation of sharing when it comes to cuisine. All meals are ordered to share and served at once. When one thinks of Korean cuisine, often Kimchi springs to mind. Kimchi is a Korean spiced cabbage and vegetable dish that has been fermented. The fermentation process is employed not only as a means of preservation, but also greatly enhances the unique flavour of the cabbage, vegetable and spice concoction. It is believed that South Korea packs more spices, heat and flavour into their pickle, whereas North Korean kimchi is a little less pungent.
Seoul offers numerous cooking classes if you're interested at having a go at making Korea's signature dish. Visit Seoul
recommends Seoul Kimchi Academy House for a unique combined cooking and history lesson in one. However, you don't have to go all the way to Seoul to try your hand at this authentic dish. Here at Asian Home Gourmet, we offer a spice paste for Kimchi soup
(see image above). If soup isn't your thing then be sure to check out our website
for many more fusions using the Korean classic, kimchi.
Goa and West India
As the second most populous country, there is no doubt that India has a lot to offer. With its bustling cities, there is no shortage of fast-paced action. However, if the sun, sand and sea is more your setting, Goa is the place for you. With beautiful, sandy beaches and a Portuguese influence, this region is like no other. Here are our top three "must-do" experiences and attractions for Goa and West India:
1. Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception - this exquisite church is recommended by The Lonely Planet
as a top attraction of Goa. The church itself is slightly elevated, built on a pre-existing chapel to slightly resemble a beautiful, white wedding cake. The colour is lost every year in December to beautiful bright colours for the Feats Festival celebrating the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception.
2. Mapusa - this town is one of the largest in Goa and is popular for its weekly Friday markets. Mapusa is a great place to pick up bargins on both food, beads and threads for prices far cheaper than resorts on the beach. Furthermore, Mapusa embraces colonial aspects of Goa, offering beautiful churches and buildings.
3. Snorkeling - a trip to West India isn't complete without taking in all of what the beaches have to offer. The best way to get to known this stunning coastline is to head to South-Goa and spend the day in the water among the local sea life. Most resorts offer or will guide you to a place where you can hire snorkeling equipment and enjoy the aquatic life.
As Goa is located on the West coast, boarding the Arabian Sea, it naturally holds a cuisine rich in seafood and coconuts. One of the iconic Goan dishes is Vindaloo, a hot, spicy curry that has been adopted internationally. Vindaloo curry is the perfect way to experience the taste of India. Try it for yourself:
Indian Vindaloo Curry Serves 4
• 450 g (1 lb) deboned chicken meat; cut into bite-sized pieces
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• ½ cup (110 mL) tomato puree or chopped tomatoes
• 1/3 cup (75 mL) water
• Mint leaves as garnish (optional)
1. Heat oil in non-stick saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and Spice Paste, stir-fry for 2 minutes.
2. Add meat; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Stir in tomato puree or tomatoes and water; bring to boil.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked. Stir occasionally. Garnish and serve hot with rice or Naan bread
(a) You may use lamb, beef, fish, seafood or vegetables instead of chicken. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
(b) For a richer taste, add 3 tbsp of cream or coconut cream before serving.
Exploring Rural Korea
Although Seoul is full of adventure and
exploration, rural Korea has much more to offer. For something completely
different, head away from the city and fully uncover everything that South
Korea is home to. Head slightly north and experience to beauty of Bukhansan
National Park. This luscious Korean ecosystem provides scenic views and offers
some of Korea's most beautiful fauna and flora. The Bukhansan National Park is
easy to get to and top of our list for a must-do when in Korea.
Go even further North to the less-populated
Gangwon-do. This province is a region of contrast, holding some of Korea's
tranquil beaches and bushland as well as being the boarder to North Korea. This
region is covered in mountains and has no shortage of outdoor activities during
all seasons of the year. Gangwon-do's capital, Chuncheon has no shortage of
action where it is also known for its various markets and busting nightlife.
Regardless of where you go, The Lonely Planet describes the
food culture and customs as a must-do. From the everyday touristy markets, to
the alleyway stalls, Korea has a lot to offer. Although not as well-known as
kimchi, Korea is home to many other culinary delights. Our top five recommendations
Korean barbecued beef - This
Korean favourite has been adopted internationally. This method of cooking
involves grilling your chosen cut of meat over hot charcoals. Korean barbeques
are abundant in flavour combinations and spices, with every experience being
different from the next.
Pork Bulgogi - Stemming from
the barbeque theme, Pork Bulgogi is a sweet and spicy barbequed favourite. This
staple owes it popularity to the unique flavour from Chile pepper paste and
crushed red pepper and is found at most barbeque restaurants.
Jeon - This Korea's version of
a pan-fried pancake, made with endless combinations of meats and vegetables.
This dish is often served as an appetizer, side dish or even a dessert. This
Korean favourite is also known to be popular in Royal Korean cuisine.
Bap and Juk - This meal is
another authentic Korean classic. Bap and Juk is a rice porridge dish that is
considered a staple throughout the nation. It is not only served for breakfast,
but also a side dish for a special occasion and is often eaten to improve one's
Hangover Stew - Known as
Haejagguk among the locals, this rich broth is known to be Korea's little
secret to that nasty hangover. Often made with beef or pork as well as a varied
combination of vegetables, this soup is known to do wonders to give you a kick
start after a big night out.
If you're eager to try your hand at
authentic Korean cooking, be sure to check out Asian Home Gourmet's Korean products.