Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Spice Merchant's Daughter, Cookbook Author Christina Arokiasamy

The Spice Merchant's Daughter Author Christina Arokiasamy

As a schoolgirl, Christina Arokiasamy could always smell her house before she could see it. In THE SPICE MERCHANT’S DAUGHTER: Recipes and Simple Spice Blends for the American Kitchen (on sale now), Christina journeys back to her childhood and reveals the magic and culinary adventure behind the golden yellow tumeric, burning red chile, earthy brown cumin, coriander and cinnamon powders of the Southeast.

With a voice that evokes the aromas and flavors of her past, Christina regales readers with stories from her childhood and empowers the home chef to cook fantastic dishes with authentic spices. THE SPICE MERCHANT’S DAUGHTER’s 140 recipes are crafted for the American kitchen; they are healthy, easy-to-make and kid friendly. (Christina has two teenage boys herself, so she knows what works and doesn’t work in the family kitchen.) She also suggests a myriad of spice blends to make and have on hand for spicing up last-minute meal ideas. And she explains how best to store spices, how long they stay fresh and lists the must-have spice blends for every kitchen. With dishes such as, lemon pepper wings, masala shrimp, stir-fried chicken with cashews and lamb korma, THE SPICE MERCHANT’S DAUGHTER will awaken and inspire home chefs everywhere.

Christina shared wonderful memories of her childhood, family heritage and the rich culture of Malaysia. You could feel her love for creating wonderful flavors and teaching others how to enjoy them, as well. She explained how to create and blend spices, spice pastes and the different types of curry. We covered a few recipe suggestions for entertaining, such as the Lemon Pepper Wings, Coconut Spareribs and Sweet & Sour Meatballs wrapped in Lettuce. Christina recommended the Green Apple and Mango Salad and, of course, the Cinnamon Chocolate Cake (yummm!)

Pineapple Pickle

This tangy relish can be served as a dip with rice crackers or as condiment with BBQ, Lemon Pepper Wings or grilled fish. Also, ripe mango can be subsituted for the pineapple.


1/2 Pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablesppons fresh lime juice
1 fresh red chile, halved and sliced
1/2 teaspon salt


Combine the pineapple, cucumber, shallots, vinegar, sugar, lime juice, chile, and salt in a bowl and mix thoroughly. The pickle can be made up to 1 hour in advnace and refrigerated. Serve at
room temperature.

from The Spice Merchant's Daughter by Christina Arokiasamy

So listen to the program and be prepared to try these wond-er-ful recipes. Lemon Pepper Wings: paprika, yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, garam marsala, lemon pepper rub. Also, Christina provides advice and culinary instruction. She can be reached through her website, Enjoy!

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