These expert tips will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavours.
8 May 2013 - 2:39 PM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Cooking beans

When cooking with beans (such as black beans or kidney beans), any acidic ingredients (lemon, vinegar, tomatoes or wine) should be added towards the end of the cooking, otherwise the acid will make the beans hard.

Cooking feijoada

Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil. When the feijoada is nearly ready be careful not to use a fork or spoon (or, in fact, any utensils) in the dish, this is said to spoil the flavour and turn the dish sour. If you do need to add water while it is cooking, make sure it is boiling.

Malagueta chillies

If you can not find a malagueta chilli (a popular addition to many Brazilian dishes) you can substitute with other hot chillies such as jalapeno or add a few drops of Tabasco.

Manioc meal

Manioc meal is used to make farofa, a seasoning that is made with toasted manioc meal and may contain extra ingredients such as olives, nuts or raisins. If you cannot find manioc meal you can substitute tapioca starch – although be aware it is more refined than manioc flour.