Unusual Ingredient Glossary

A quick rundown of any ingredients that you may not have heard of. Most of the ingredients I use are available at good supermarkets


A spice widely used in Middle Eastern Cooking. With a lemony sour flavour and a dark red purple colour.

A Middle Eastern spice mix with warm sweet and smokey spices like cinnamon, cardamon, paprika, coriander and cloves

Ras el Hanout
A complex Middle Eastern spice mix that varies region to region and family to family. Sometimes contains as many at 35 spices

Sweet Smoked Paprika
Made from the ground skins and flesh of dried smoked sweet red peppers, its smokey, fruity and a little bitter. It is used a lot in Spanish cuisine.

Shichimi Togarashi
A Japanese spice mix usually containing 7 spices, such as sesame, nori, orange peel, chilli, ginger, poppy seeds and pepper. It’s available at some supermarkets and Asian grocers.


White Miso
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed or other ingredients. White Miso is the mildest form of Miso. It is mellow and sweet.

Pomegranate Molasses
Reduced pomegranate juice with or without sugar, it has a sweet and sour flavour and is one of my favourite ingredients!

Chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce
Chipotle chiles are dried, smoked jalapeños. Adobo is a tangy, slightly sweet sauce. Together in a can they become a versatile pantry staple. Use just the chipotles for intense smoky chilli heat or just the sauce for a sour-sweet flavor and a slightly less fiery smoky heat . Great for Mexican food!

Black Vinegar

This is a Chinese vinegar. I have seen it at most supermarkets. The Chinkiang brand is my favourite, it’s in a yellow bottle. Try an Asian grocer if you can’t find it at the supermarket

Pantry items

Freekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. It's a slightly smokey whole grain, much like bulgar wheat.

Made from stone ground toasted sesame seeds and is an essential ingredient in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.

A naturally gluten free grain, similar to cous cous but nicer I think. Toasting it before cooking is nice too. You can also turn it into a porridge.

Fridge items

Korean style fermented cabbage usually with daikon, spring onion, chilli, garlic and ginger. An essential ingredient in Korea. Great for gut health.

Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a distinctive sour flavor. Also great for gut health.

Traditionally the buttermilk is the whey leftover from making butter. You can make your own by adding lemon juice to milk