Special Ingredients

Special Ingredients

Baking powder—A powder used in baking to lighten dough or batter

Bamboo shoots—Tender, fleshy yellow sprouts from bamboo canes. They can be bought canned, whole, or thinly sliced.

Basil—A rich, fragrant herb used fresh or dried in cooking

Bulgur—Kernels of wheat that have been steamed, dried, and crushed. A similar product called cracked wheat may be used as a substitute.

Cardamom—A spice of the ginger family, used whole or ground, that has a rich aroma and gives food a sweet, cool taste
Cayenne pepper—Dried red chilies (hot peppers) ground to a fine powder

Chickpeas—A type of dried pea with an irregular texture and a nutlike flavor. Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.

Cinnamon—A spice made from the bark of a tree in the laurel family. It is available ground and in sticks.

Coriander—An herb used as flavoring and as a decorative garnish. Dried, powdered coriander is used in curries.

Cornstarch—A fine, white starch made from corn, commonly used to thicken sauces and gravies

Cumin—The seeds of an herb used whole or ground to give food a pungent, slightly hot flavor

Curry powder—A combination of several ground spices, often including
cumin and turmeric
Feta cheese—A crumbly white cheese made from goat’ s milk

18 garlic—A bulbous herb whose distinctive flavor is used in many dishes. Each piece or bulb can be broken up into several small sections called cloves. Before chopping a clove of garlic, remove its papery skin.

Garlic powder—Dehydrated garlic in a powder form

Ginger root—The knobby, light brown root of a tropical plant, used to flavor food. To use fresh ginger root, slice off the amount called for, peel off the skin with the side of a spoon, and grate the flesh. Freeze the rest of the root for future use. Fresh ginger has a very zippy taste, so use it sparingly. (Do not substitute dried ground ginger in a
recipe calling for fresh ginger, as the taste is very different.)

Halva—In the Middle East, a sweet candy of crushed nuts or sesame seeds in honey syrup. A dessert called halva is also eaten in India, where it may include butter and grated vegetables.

Matzo—Crisp, unleavened bread

Mushrooms, dried—Many types of mushrooms are available dried at groceries and specialty markets. Black, oyster, and wood ear mushrooms are a few common varieties. Before dried mushrooms can be used, they must be soaked in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Oregano—The dried leaves, whole or ground, of a rich and fragrant herb that is used as a seasoning in cooking

Peppercorns—The berries of an East Indian plant. Peppercorns are used both whole and ground to flavor food.

Rice noodles—Long, very thin noodles made from rice flour

Soy sauce—A dark brown sauce made from soybeans and other ingredients, used extensively in Asian cooking

Thyme—A fragrant herb used fresh or dried to season foods

Tofu—A processed curd made from soybeans

Turmeric—An aromatic East Indian herb

Yeast—An ingredient used in cooking to make dough rise and cause liquid to ferment. Yeast is available in either small, white cakes called compressed yeast or in granular form called active dry yeast.

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