Coconut-Ginger Wet Spice Mix

Coconut-Ginger Wet Spice Mix

In countries where a lot of spices are used, it is common to take a dry spice mix and convert it into a wet one, which allows you to add even more flavors. Here we build on Sweet and Hot Masala No. 7, using coconut milk as the agent of change. With the addition of ginger and lime, the mixture begins to take on a Southeast Asian character. This is the one to use as a powerful flavor enhancer in any Near or Far Eastern soup or stew.

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup coconut milk, unsweetened canned
1/4 tablespoon tamarind paste stirred into 2 tablespoons hot water
1 tablespoon grated lime peel
1 cup Sweet and Hot Masala No. 7

Heat the sesame oil in a large saute pan over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Add the coconut milk, bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Add the tamarind water and stir well, then add the lime peel and Sweet and Hot Masala No. 7 and stir until the spice mix is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. This mix will keep, covered and refrigerated, for about 1 week. Makes about 2 cups.

Adapted from: Big Flavors of the Hot Sun by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby
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