Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grinding Your Own Pepper

Ground White Pepper
White Peppercorn
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper
Ground White Pepper

The one spice that I must have in my pantry at all times is pepper, be it white or black.  I just love the aroma of ground pepper - but not the ground pepper sold in the supermarkets because they lack of taste and flavour!  For maximum flavour and freshness, I buy whole peppercorns and grind them myself.  It is easy to make your own ground pepper at home and it also allows you to skip undesirable additives that had been added to the pre-ground store-bought pepper.

Before grinding, rinse the peppercorns and drained thoroughly before toasting them lightly in a dry frying pan.  Toasting the peppercorns will heighten their flavour even further. Allow them to cool before putting them into a coffee or spice grinder (my coffee/spice grinder is dedicated solely to grinding pepper and other spices). Then sift the ground pepper through a fine mesh strainer to remove any coarser bits (which can be used to marinate meat or fish). Store the freshly ground pepper in an airtight container. Bear in mind that ground pepper only keeps its kick for about 3 months.  

How to clean the coffee/spice grinder:  Since the coffee/spice grinder cannot be washed, I whizzed a handful of uncooked rice in the grinder; then use a brush to clean out all the rice flour. Wipe with a slightly damp cloth before leaving it to air-dry.

Time to go pick up some peppercorns and take out your grinder?  Let me assure you that it's worth your while when you smell the robust aroma of the freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thai Yellow Curry Roast Chicken

If you like the aromatic flavours of Thai cuisine, you would love this dish which was inspired by Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella's tempting Thai Red Curry Roast Chicken.  You can use store-bought paste if you wish but I prefer to make my own with fresh ingredients.  This dish is quite mild but you can ramp up the spiciness to suit your own taste.  The thing about curry paste is, if you change the ingredients you will get a different flavour and colour.  The lack of dried chillies in the paste would not give you red curry paste. And increasing the portion of turmeric will give you yellow curry paste. This is my version of yellow curry paste.


2 kg chicken drumsticks
10 cherry tomatoes (optional)
coriander leaves for garnishing

Curry paste:
30g fresh coriander roots
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
35g galangal, sliced
20g turmeric, sliced
100g onions, sliced
20g garlic
5 bird's eye chillies
3 - 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
30g roasted peanuts
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
zest of 1 lime
3 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
200g coconut milk
1 tbsp olive oil
salt, to taste

  • Scrape the fibrous outer layer from the coriander roots, then soak them in water to remove grit.  Drain and chop finely.  
  • In a mortar and pestle, pound coriander roots, lemon grass, galangal, tumeric, onion, garlic, chillies, kaffir lime leaves, roasted peanuts and palm sugar into a fine paste.   
  • Transfer paste into a large mixing bowl.  Add in lime juie, fish sauce, coconut milk, oil and salt; mix well.
  • Wash chicken drumsticks and pat dry with kitchen towels.  Score underneath the skin by making two slits on the meat with a sharp knife.
  • Coat the chicken drumsticks with the pounded paste and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Arrange chicken drumsticks in a baking tray and pour all the marinade over the chicken.  Scatter cherry tomatoes over the chicken.  
  • Roast in a preheated oven at 220 deg C for about 45 minutes, basting halfway through with the paste.
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves over the chicken.


This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (April 2015 Event:  Chicken) organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe

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