WINTER GETS MORE OF US INTO THE KITCHEN
‘HOME AND HEARTH’ IS ALIVE AND WELL
With winter in full swing, I notice a lot of my friends and customers are really enjoying cooking more lately. It could also be the MasterChef factor! More on that later. It warms my heart when I receive feedback about my products taking centre stage in home kitchens, but also, that home cooks are frequenting their local produce markets. It seems that more and more farmers’ markets are popping up everywhere and they’ve been such a blessing during times of COVID restrictions. Being out in the open air, avoiding crowded supermarkets, the opportunity to stop and chat with producers and providores, it’s all so therapeutic for the soul!
Here in Perth, we’ve had our share of COVID scares and snap lockdowns and I think they serve as regular reminders that we need to not take daily life for granted. We’ve also had a good dose of weather dramas and these too have us sitting up and taking notice. All of this returns us to the simple pleasures in life … eating, drinking, gathering, telling stories, comforting each other, making each other laugh … and these are all very precious.
The Latasha’s Kitchen store is OPEN!
I’m so very proud to tell you that my retail store and eatery is open and doing very well. On any given day, the bain marie could have big pots of Simple Style Chicken, Red Pork Vindaloo, Homestyle Goat Curry, Yellow Split Pea Dahl with Spinach, Beef Massaman, Fresh Tomato Curry, slow cooked Red Beef Brisket, Saag and Paneer, Vegetable Turmeric Curry or any number of other dishes. It all depends on what’s in season, how the weather feels outside and sometimes, just what I feel like cooking!
Customers have been very supportive, and it’s been so thrilling having people come in, try my food and provide such lovely feedback. One woman said, “my husband doesn’t do curries, but he’ll eat yours”! Another was a dad who came into the store and bought my Malaysian Satay Concentrate Paste. He said, “My children adore the chicken I make marinated in this paste and cooked over hot coals.” In my book, anything that gets children to eat well and try new tastes is a triumph!
The physical store is open from 11am to 7.30pm Monday to Friday. Apart from the full range of Latasha’s Kitchen products, we offer hot and chilled takeaways, takeaway family-sized meals and a range of revolving freezer meals to go. You can also pre order from our North Perth Good Food To Go Online Store and pick up at your convenience. And you can add preference comments too such as mild for children, no coriander garnish, not too creamy, etc.
I was very honoured recently when the wonderful Amanda Keenan featured me and my store in an article for Sunday Times magazine. You can read it here.
40 Angove Street
North Perth WA 6006
Tel: 08 6186 6237
Recipes for your winter cooking
Have you been craving a lovely, warming soup on these cold evenings? My Restorative Thai Chicken Noodle Soup is just what the doctor ordered to perk you up and provide a good hit of flavour. If anyone is feeling a bit under the weather, Khitchari is wonderfully nourishing as it’s a traditional Ayurvedic dish and, of course, it tastes delicious. A beautiful dish for any time of day is my Boston Baked Beans, which you can serve up with crispy toasted ciabatta bread for a brunch. For vegetarians or those looking to reduce their meat intake, try this tasty Magical Cauliflower Roast or Golden Broccoli Turmeric Bake, both of which use my Turmeric Spice Magic. You can add some tofu pieces if you want to make them into a proper meal.
For something a bit hotter, use my Vindaloo Masala Simmer Sauce to create an easy curry or to marinate sausages, paneer or koftas. Remember, I also have a couple of Satay Simmer Sauces – Buttery Spicy Satay (hot) and Malaysian Satay (mild).
If you enjoy the idea of fusion cuisine, my Butter Chicken Lasagne has been a real winner. It’s next-level comfort food and I think you’ll find your family asking for it on a regular rotation. Get the kids in the kitchen to try their hands at making Rotis. They’ll love eating them too!
When a dish calls for a quick and easy burst of flavour, my condiments come to the rescue. Jalapeno Onion Relish goes well with seafood, meats and vegetables and is also excellent with Mexican and Spanish wraps. Red Onion Chilli Relish is superb with duck, poultry and game meats and you can even add it to your meatball mixture for an extra twang.
The MasterChef factor
MasterChef is always a lovely multicultural affair, with cooks from a rainbow of cultures showcasing their cuisines as they make their way through the stages. This year’s cohort has featured contestants from various backgrounds: Aussie, Middle Eastern, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Fijian Indian, Italian, Bangladeshi, Cambodian/Laotian, Vietnamese, German, Sri Lankan and Burmese/Taiwanese. We’ve seen a lot of dumplings, a whole lot of ice cream and some incredible curries, plus lots of seafood, pasta and even a couple of dishes considered worthy of three chef’s hats.
Every year, during MasterChef season, I notice people talking more about cooking, ingredients and plating. I love that the show inspires so many through its wholesome theme and mouth-watering dishes. We can’t all be a MasterChef, of course, but it’s always fun to try one’s hand at something new.
To see the contestants – particularly Minoli and Kishwar – prepare all their curry pastes from scratch has truly warmed my heart. Naturally, it helps to have a pantry bursting with every possible ingredient, and for the average Aussie home cook, this just isn’t a reality. What I can tell you is that every jar of my concentrated curry paste is made from scratch using fresh, natural ingredients. And remember, they can be built upon with whatever you feel like adding.
Try a couple of my recipes in homage to the MasterChef contestants, Minoli, Kishwar and Linda. First, this Sri Lankan Fish Curry is creamy and fragrant, with loads of flavour. And if you saw Kishwar cooking her spectacular Ruby Chicken, you’ll be keen to have a go at my Ruby Red Chicken Makhani. My Laotian Curry Chicken with Bamboo is really easy and versatile. Just use whatever veggies you have on hand, and you can swap the chicken out for duck or pork.
We’re all looking forward to the upcoming markets in Perth. We’d love to meet you if you can come along! See our Events page for more information.
Remember too, we have lots of gift ideas for your flavour-loving friends and family members. We’ll ship to their door anywhere in Australia.
I trust you’re all keeping well and managing with whatever COVID circumstances are occurring where you live or travel. Let’s continue to enjoy winter and its reprieve from hot, sticky weather and gather when we can with loved ones for a quick bite or a fancy meal. Take care, all.
With love, Latasha.