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In response to Scribbler’s request, here is a sort of handy reference to identify some of the more obscure terms and ingredients I use (it’s a work in progress)


Centre: Raw Almond Kernels Clockwise from bottom left; Blanched Almonds, Slivered Almonds, Blanched Flakes, Natural Flakes, Blanched Almond Meal, Natural Almond Meal

Centre: Raw Almond Kernels
Clockwise from bottom left; Blanched Almonds, Slivered Almonds, Blanched Flakes, Natural Flakes, Blanched Almond Meal, Natural Almond Meal

Almond; the seed kernel of the Almond (Prunus dulcis) fruit. Almond kernels can be eaten raw, providing they are fully ripe. In cooking they are used in many ways;

  • Blanched; the outer skin of the kernel is removed and the kernel used whole
  • Flaked; can be either whole (“natural”) or blanched kernels sliced or shaved into thin flakes
  • Meal (or flour); can be either whole (“natural”) or blanched kernels milled, ground or processed into flour. The oil is extracted to give a dry flour.
  • Paste (or Butter); Whole almond kernels are milled without extracting the oil to form a smooth paste.
  • Slivered; typically blanched almonds that have been chopped into slivers


lean, smokey and perfect shortcut bacon

shortcut bacon

Bacon (Shortcut)  Middle bacon with all fat and skin removed

Baking Powder; A leavening (rising) agent comprised of Sodium Bicarbonate and a neutral flavoured acid.

Bicarb; abbreviation of Bicarbonate of Soda. Also known as Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda. NOT Baking Powder. A leavening agent used to expand air bubbles in a batter or dough when heated causing the product to “rise”. The chemical reaction that causes the “rising” effect can only occur in the presence of both a liquid and an acid (e.g Citric Acid in fruit, Lactic Acid in milk, Acetic Acid in vinegar)

Bran; The outer husk of a grain (see Flour).



Brioche (French);  A light, crumbly bread-like pastry, very rich in butter and eggs.


Chevron;   Meat from an adult goat. In Australia that can be either farmed or wild-caught

Conserve; A chunky style of sweet preserve. Conserves are characterised by pieces of cooked fruit suspended in a thinner gel than either jams or jellies.

Curd (Bean); Tofu

Curd (Cauliflower); The edible head of a cauliflower

Curd (Fruit); A fruit preserve made with butter, eggs and sugar. Essentially a custard.

Curd (Milk); Milk solids. The soft, white substance formed when milk separates either through enzyme activity, or the addition of mild acids (such as vinegar). Used as the basis for cheesemaking and sweet desserts such as junket.  Many substances resembling milk solids are also referred to as “curd” (e.g. the fatty substance that forms between the flakes of poached salmon)



Dhal = dal = daal = dahl = daar



Origin; India, Pakistan, Bengal, Bangladesh and surrounding regions Description; General term for pulses made from various species of legume, or the stew prepared from these pulses. Varieties and substitutes; Almost everywhere you travel on the Subcontinent you will find regional variations of Dhal (stew) based on the species or variety of legume grown there. Here are a few of the most common, and the ones you are likely to find outside of Asia

  • chana dal = Chholar dal = gram dal = Buta daali This dull yellow dhal is the most popular dhal in India. It’s made by skinning and splitting Kala chana (black chickpeas)   Substitutes: tur dal, yellow split peas, garbanzo beans/chickpeas
  • masoor dal = masar dal  = mussoor dal = masur dal The Indian term for red lentils
  • moong dal Small, flat yellow dhal made from skinned and split Mung Beans (Vigna mungo) Substitutes:split peas
  • tur dal = toor dal = tuvar dal = arhar dal = yellow lentils Whole toor lentils are yellow with tan jackets, but they’re usually sold skinned and split, sometimes sold an oily coating, which you should rinse off.   Substitutes: channa dal, yellow split peas, pigeon peas
  • urad dhal = Kolai dal = sabit maash =udad dal = urd bean = urd = urid =black matpe beanThe Urad bean (Vigna mungo) looks very much like a black Mung Bean and is highly prized in the Punjabi region of India   Substitutes: mung beans, azuki beans,  pigeon peas
Heatproof bowl works as a double boiler

Heatproof bowl works as a double boiler

Double Boiler; a two tier saucepan for applying indirect heat to contents that will scorch easily. Boiling water in the lower pan heats contents in the upper one. A double boiler can be improvised using a heatproof bowl that fits snugly into the top of a saucepan. The bottom of the bowl must not touch the boiling water.



wheat kernel

wheat kernel

Flour; Grains or pulses ground to a fine powder. Wheat flour comes in several grades: white flour (wheat kernels are processed to remove husk/bran and germ then milled), wholemeal (white flour with husk/bran added) and wholegrain (the grains are milled whole). In some cases very finely milled (white) wheat flour is sold as “cornflour” or “gravy” flour. True cornflour is milled from dried maize seeds.


Golden Syrup; sometimes called Light Treacle. A thick, amber-coloured syrup made during the sugar refining process, or by treatment of a sugar solution with acid.


Hogget;  Meat from a sheep between 1 and 2 years of age




Falconry Jess

Jess;  Falconry term for the thin straps used to tether a hunting bird.


Kid;  Meat from a goat younger than 1 year old


Lapin;  Meat from a rabbit. In Australia that can be either farmed or wild-caught


Pinzon Mandoline Slicer

Pinzon Mandoline Slicer

Mandoline;  A kitchen tool used for slicing fruit and vegetables. Useful where speed and/or uniformity is important. Many types come with various blades for producing Julienne, chips, shredding and grating.

Milling; the process of grinding grains or pulses into flour. In modern times, this process is mechanised. Traditionally, flour was milled between two huge stones, turned by hand, yoked animals, wind or water wheels.

Molasses; Sometimes called Dark Treacle is a very thick, black (or almost black) syrup made during the sugar refining process.

Muffin Tray; A baking tray containing cup-shaped indents designed to give cupcakes or muffins even heating through the base and sides as they cook. They come in three sizes; miniature, standard and Texas.

Mulling, Mulled;  Flavouring a (often alcoholic) beverage by warming it with spices and/or fruit and/or sweetening. The drink is then said to be “Mulled”




Panko (Japanese) or Panko Breadcrumbs;  a variety of flaky bread crumb for fried foods. Made from crust-less bread ground to fine slivers. It has a crisp, light texture and resists absorbing oil or grease when fried.

Parboiled rice or converted rice is rice grains that have been partially cooked in the husk. The three basic steps of parboiling are soaking, steaming and drying. These steps boost the grains’ nutritional profile, change its texture and make it faster to cook. (see Rice)

Pectin; Pectin is a polyscaccaride found in the cell walls of fruit.  When heated together with cane sugar (sucrose), it forms a gel characteristic of jams and other preserves. Pectin content of fruit determines how easily a preserve will “set”. The higher the pectin, the firmer the set.


Ragoût (French);  A thick stew made from meat, poultry or fish, cooked with or without vegetables.

Ragu (Italian);  A tomato based meat sauce, usually served with pasta.

Ramekin; A small (usually round) oven proof dish.

Structure of a rice grain

structure of a rice grain

Rice; Seed grains of various species of the Oryza genus of grasses, primarily O. sativa.  Regardless of variety, rice grains are sold in one of three states;

  • Brown or Natural Rice; Rice grains with husk (lemma and hull) removed, germ and bran structures intact.  This includes Wild Rice
  • Parboiled Rice; Rice grains partially boiled in the husk, then dried. The husk is then removed, giving the grain a golden appearance. (see Parboiled Rice)
  • Unhulled Rice; Red, Black and Wild Rice varieties are sold with the hull intact or partially intact.
  • White Rice; Rice grains processed to remove everything but the endosperm (the starchy inner structure of the grain)
Some rice varieties

Some rice varieties

Varieties include;

  • Arborio Rice; sort grained, slightly glutinous variety of white rice favoured in Italian cuisine, especially for risotto
  • Basmati; an aromatic, long grained variety, usually white but occasionally brown rice. Favoured for the cuisines of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and surrounding areas.
  • Carolina Gold; long grained, mildly aromatic white rice originally from the Southern USA.
  • Jasmine; an aromatic, long grained, slightly sticky white rice favoured in the cuisines of Cambodia, Thailand, Southern China and surrounding areas
  • Purple Rice or Black Rice, or Forbidden Rice; unhulled variety of long grain rice favoured in Chinese and Thai cuisines.
  • Red Rice; unhusked, or partially husked, long grained seeds of Oryza longistaminata or Oryza punctataOriginally from Africa and Madagascar, it is not found in the cuisines of Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • Uruchimai or Sushi Rice; short grained, glutinous white rice favoured in Japanese cuisines and in the production of sake
  • Wild Rice or Canada rice, or Indian rice, or Water Oats; Hulled seeds of the genus Zizania, originally from North America and China.

Rolled oats; Porridge Oats.


Setting Point; of Jam or Jelly. The temperature at which hot, runny preserves thicken and “set”.  At 104ºC/220ºF, sugar bonds with pectin to form a gel.

sprigs of various herbs

sprigs of various herbs

Sprig; An arbitrary measurement for fresh herbs. A 5cm/2″ long piece cut or pinched off the plant. Normally this would be the growing tip, where the freshest leaves and shoots are clustered.

Squash – Summer;

This “vegetable” is actually the fruit of the Cucurbita genus, usually C. pepo. Summer Squash are harvested while immature and need to be eaten immediately. The earliest varieties can be picked in late Spring. Varieties;  Cucurbita pepo, and many related species of gourds, have been cultivated for thousands of years. There are hundreds of modern and heritage cultivars. They fall broadly into these categories;

  • Button Squash "Yellow Scallopini"

    Button Squash “Yellow Scallopini”

    Button, Pattypan or Scallop Squash;  flattened, round squash with scalloped edges. Resemble green, yellow or creamy-white buttons. Best as immature fruit.

  • Delicata Squash; distinctive cream colour with green lengthways stripes. Often classified as Winter Squash, however it does not store well. Fruit eaten either mature or immature.
  • Lebanese or Cousa Squash; pale-colored Zucchini varieties from the Middle Eastern and West Asia. Best eaten as immature fruit
  • Tromboncino Zucchetta or Italian Trombone Squash; fruit of Cucurbita moschata.  A pale, creamy green fruit with a very long, often curved neck and a small bulb at the end. The mature fruit can be a meter long and weigh two kilos.
  • Yellow crookneck squash; bright yellow skin and a long curved “neck”. The flower end of the fruit becomes a bulb shape as it matures.
  • Zucchini "Cocozelle"

    Zucchini “Cocozelle”

    Yellow summer squash; very similar to the crookneck, however the “neck” is shorter and straight.

  • Zucchini or Courgette; This is the most commonly grown, with a large number of cultivars in many shapes and colours. Shades of yellow, green or cream, even stripy ones. There are long, smooth shaped zucchinis, ones with ridges, even ball shapes. Best eaten as immature fruit, often with flower still attached.


SR Flour; Self Raising flour. Plain/all-purpose wheat flour sold with raising agent already added.  Substitute ; 1 cup plain flour sifted with 2 tsp baking powder = 1 cup SR flour




Tagine (Arabic: الطاجين ) is a North African or Mediterranean dish named after the distinctive conical lidded earthenware pot in which it is cooked.

Texas Style (or Texas Sized) Muffin; A very large muffin (see Muffin Tray)



Venison;  Meat from a deer. In Australia that can be either farmed or wild-caught.