My column on BBC Good Food Asia March 2013: Herbs and Spices

A bit delayed in posting this month’s theme, but things have been a bit of a roller coaster ride here with an impossible weekend and unexpected fold of events. Some good news, which I think deserve a blog post on its own some time soon.

I am sure so many of us, if not all, have used herbs and spices in our cooking. This month on BBC Good Food Asia is all about herbs and spices from me, with recipes from all over the world to tickle your palate and give a spicy kick to enliven the spirit!

The menu was rightly described and titled as ‘Spice of Life’– weekend entertaining by my Editorial team, rightly so, as the menu is certainly heartwarming for guests who might pop in, family meals with slow cooked moroccan lamb tagine and a tear-and share sundried tomatoes, thyme and rosemary skillet focaccia. There must always be dessert, so saffron infused riz au lait with lots of pistachios bring an international flavour as it is a pudding known to so many cuisine- French, Arabic and Indian.

Oh yes, a pantry staple for me- Harissa paste, is also featured this month. I use this paste almost for anything and everything, from lamb or chicken marinade, as a dip with garlic bread, to spice up a regular chilli con carne, or even as a curry paste! It goes really well with the tagine, and in fact, one of the most esssential ingredient for an authentic Moroccan taste.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine
Harissa Paste
Saffron infused Riz au Lait
Sundried tomatoes, thyme and rosemary Skillet Focaccia

Indian Masala Chai

I am also sharing the recipe of masala tea below- my own version- maybe not as authentic as the dhabba chai that you get by the road side in India, but this is so easy and deliciously warming that I am sure you would be sipping mugs of them, especially in the cold weather.

So tell me, what is your favourite herb?


Indian Masala Chai

Indian masala chai
Serves 2    Prep 5 mins    Cook 10 mins
11⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup water
1 tbsp loose tea leaves
1 tbsp sugar (optional)
1 inch freshly grated ginger
 2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove


1. In a milk pan, boil the milk, water and tea leaves.
2. Add in all the spices and sugar.
3. Strain the tea once boiled, and discard all the spices.
3 Serve warm.

PER SERVING 142 kcals, protein 6g, carbs 17g, fat 6g, sat fat 3g, fiber 0g, sugar 16g, salt 0.074g


  1. says

    i’m drooling here right in the morning, on a literal empty stomach, which is fed with a glass of green tea and half a litre water… :) the pics looks amazing, the masala chai looks awesome, jehanne… love ur gorgeous photographs… u indeed are a multinational citizen… :)

    • says

      You made me laugh so hard, Rafeeda, multinational! hahaha. no no I am a loyal Malaysian:p..I wish I am as healthy and diligent at drinking green tea like you:-)

  2. says

    Congratulations Jehanne, such lovely pics warm and welcoming, they do justice to the delicious food you have cooked. Happy to follow you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *