These expert tips will help you achieve the perfect balance of flavours.
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8 May 2013 - 10:09 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2013 - 9:31 AM

Dried versus fresh herbs

When substituting dried herbs for fresh herbs, use approximately a third of the suggested quantity, as dried herbs will tend to be more pungent. However, the older the dried herbs, the less flavour they'll have, so taste as you go.

How to store spices

Spices will generally be at their best for up to a month, if stored correctly. Store spices in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. Humidity, light and heat will cause herbs and spices to lose their flavour more quickly.

Clarified butter

To make clarified butter, gently melt unsalted butter over a low heat. After some time, the butter will form three distinct layers - the foam on top (which is skimmed off and discarded), the milk solids (which will sink to the bottom) and the clarified butter, which will be left in the middle.

Making Ethiopian injera

Injera, the Ethiopian pancake-style bread is traditionally made with tef (a native wheat). Tef may be available at good health food stores. However, if you can’t find it, substitute buckwheat, which will not taste exactly the same but will make injera that's similar in texture and colour.

Berbere substitution

When making doro wat, about four tablespoons of berbere, an extremely hot Ethiopian red pepper mixture, is used in each recipe. You can substitute a combination of cayenne pepper and paprika (which is not Ethiopian) to replicate the characteristic dark colour and flavour.