A couple of weeks ago I was inspired by something from one of the Moro cookbooks to make a roasted almond and chilli paste, to have with curry etc.
Anyway, I can’t remember it exactly but I’m still enjoying it from the fridge, one of my better creations and wonderfully hot.
- A handful of whole almonds. I used ones that had not had the brown “chaff” removed
- 2 tsp of whole cumin seeds
- 1 clove garlic
- 25 or more large dried red chillis (the 10cm or so long ones from India)
- 1 tsp salt
- A little olive oil
How to make it:
- Roast a handful of whole almonds in the oven – don’t burn them but bring the flavour out. Roast them at say 180C for about 20 minutes
- Roughly chop the almonds
- Fry in olive oil a couple of teaspoons of whole cumin seeds. Once browning and aromatic, turn off and add 1 crushed garlic clove and mix
- Remove from the pan and put in a blender/chopper with the almonds and whole dried chillis
- Process until you have a coarse paste
The end result is quite a “rustic” coarse paste, with very strong flavour. Try it!
We’ve become used to being able to just eat almost anything that takes our fancy at any time, but in the coming years this is likely to have to change. Not only are rising food costs and scarcity going make some products a luxury rather than every day commodities, people are going to have a rising awareness of the ethical issues behind the food they buy.
A piece on a possible ratings scheme system for food products shows the way things may end up going. However I personally doubt any supermarket is going to do anything that means ugly red “bad bad bad!” marks showing up on any of their products. Who wants to be seen to be selling “bad” things?
It may well be that Kenyan beans and Zambian mangetout end up being the first casualties of the coming food miles awareness.
The basic issue is however that we have to accept that we will have to eat more seasonally, and this for many will mean a major shift in diet.