“Barrie-ites” are so lucky to have such a wide variety of ethnic cuisine. I read an article today followed with this comment by one of the other readers: “As a new visitor to Barrie, I think it must be a great place to live because there are so many restaurants serving so many kinds of food!”
I totally agree! I love to cook – but I also love to taste authentic ethnic dishes. One of my favorite things to do is to figure out the layers of spices used to create such tatalizing meals. Today my mind drifted back to learning about “The Spice Road” in elementary school. Imagine the thrill of the Portuguese sailors as they were loading thir ships in India that first time? At that time in history spices were very important because they helped flavor foods that weren’t as fresh as we get today. The historical trader’s clamored for Black Pepper, known as the King of Spices. Also known as black gold, it was one of the very first spices traded for in India.
Indian food is steeped in history, rich in flavor with a medley of spices. I think my favorite Indian Restaurant in town is Barrie’s Tandoori Kingdom at 428 Blake Street. One gray afternoon not too long ago I was trying to determine which spices were in the dishes I was enjoying there. I was joined by one of the owners, who shared his love of spices with me.
The main Indian spices are black pepper, cardamom, chili peppers, cinnamon, coriander seeds, tumeric, cloves, ginger and mustard seeds. They are often oil-fried or dry-roasted to release their aromatics and flavors. The spices are also carefully blended to create individualized curry blends. As I was figuring out the flavors I was close – but no win!
The dish was Chicken Korma, rich and creamy, full of spices and flavor…Mmm! With fresh Naan it’s a piece of Indian heaven. I had correctly guessed coconut milk, garam masala, curry, tumeric, coriander, cinnamon, and cardamom. However, I missed the nutmeg and cumin seed.