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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just planning what foodstuff I need to take over on the next visit, mainly things like stock cubes and lazy person cheese sauce mix!

We've found a few "cheats ingredients," like Thai and Indian curry pastes, coconut milk, etc. don't seem to be so readily available in Spain. Does anyone know any supermarkets that do stock them (at reasonable prices), so I don't have to bother taking them over? Or maybe you have adapted your recipes?

I've also noticed that tins of kidney beans etc. are very expensive, but they are so much handier for throwing into a quick chilli or salad. I was reading that you can soak, boil, then freeze portions of dried beans. Anyone tried this successfully?

Thanks.
 

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I've become quite an expert at adapting local ingredients especially for Indian food which we love and eat a lot of.

Kidney beans, chickpeas and all sorts of lovely Spanish beans can be soaked overnight, cooked and frozen in plastic bags, then using them is just as quick as opening a tin.

Curry pastes are easy to make, just buy the ingredients separately: comino (cumin), cilantro (coriander), cúrcuma (turmeric), canela (cinnamon), black pepper and chilli powder. Mix into a paste with salt and some water or oil. You can get spices in larger international supermarkets like Carrefour (which has an "exotic foods" section) and most mercados de abastos (food markets) have a spice stall.

Pimenton (paprika) comes in tins, either dulce (sweet) or picante (hot), it has a nice flavour but it isn't a subsitute for hot chili powder. That is hard to get, but you can buy jars of guindillas (dried chillis) if you want real heat.

A trip to Morrisons in Gibraltar may be necessary to get things like cardamoms, coconut paste and tahini. There are lots of Asians in Gib so there is a good large food section for them.

Spanish long grain rice is OK - you can get basmati or Thai rice in Carrefour but it is expensive.

Chickpea flour (harina de garbanzos) is widely available and can be used for onion bhajis or mixed half and half with wheat flour for chapatis.

For spinach dishes like aloo sag use acelgas, Swiss chard, which is very cheap and widely available. Lemons are so cheap that you can grate the zest to flavour the rice and chuck away the fruit.

If you use more obscure spices like fenugreek, star anise or kari leaves, best to bring them with you.

Lamb is expensive here and quite hard to find but cerdo iberico (Iberian pork) is a good substitute for curries and kebabs, it is darker and more flavoursome than the regular pork. Ask for it "troceado" (cubed) or else they will start slicing it into thin fillets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've become quite an expert at adapting local ingredients especially for Indian food which we love and eat a lot of.

Kidney beans, chickpeas and all sorts of lovely Spanish beans can be soaked overnight, cooked and frozen in plastic bags, then using them is just as quick as opening a tin.

Curry pastes are easy to make, just buy the ingredients separately: comino (cumin), cilantro (coriander), cúrcuma (turmeric), canela (cinnamon), black pepper and chilli powder. Mix into a paste with salt and some water or oil. You can get spices in larger international supermarkets like Carrefour (which has an "exotic foods" section) and most mercados de abastos (food markets) have a spice stall.

Pimenton (paprika) comes in tins, either dulce (sweet) or picante (hot), it has a nice flavour but it isn't a subsitute for hot chili powder. That is hard to get, but you can buy jars of guindillas (dried chillis) if you want real heat.

A trip to Morrisons in Gibraltar may be necessary to get things like cardamoms, coconut paste and tahini. There are lots of Asians in Gib so there is a good large food section for them.

Spanish long grain rice is OK - you can get basmati or Thai rice in Carrefour but it is expensive.

Chickpea flour (harina de garbanzos) is widely available and can be used for onion bhajis or mixed half and half with wheat flour for chapatis.

For spinach dishes like aloo sag use acelgas, Swiss chard, which is very cheap and widely available. Lemons are so cheap that you can grate the zest to flavour the rice and chuck away the fruit.

If you use more obscure spices like fenugreek, star anise or kari leaves, best to bring them with you.

Lamb is expensive here and quite hard to find but cerdo iberico (Iberian pork) is a good substitute for curries and kebabs, it is darker and more flavoursome than the regular pork. Ask for it "troceado" (cubed) or else they will start slicing it into thin fillets.
Thanks, I had never thought of freezing cooked beans before - seems like a perfect solution, much easier than boiling some up every time.

I was thinking it would be quite easy just to mix your own dry herbs/ spices into a "garam masala," which would keep for ages, then make a little into a paste as you need it.

I hadn't noticed that chilli was difficult, so thanks, I'll add that to the list.

Not so sure about the Thai ingredients though, I don't really fancy risking fish sauce bursting in a suitcase!! Might be worth a trip to Gib for Morrisons!

I notice that Morrisons are selling some fruit/ veg that I have never seen in the UK before, but saw in Spain. Didn't even know that there were still fruit and veg that we don't regularly import here. I will be asking how to use some of these soon!

I was delighted to find tubes of pepper paste in Spain, which I can't get in the UK, and took some back with me, as I use it a lot in Turkish recipes. Ridiculous really all this carting food around!
 

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Rather than chase around looking for Thai and other ingredients that are hard to find here, why not investigate the cuisine of North Africa? The Moroccan spices, like Ras al Hanout, are quite easy to get hold of and there are some wonderful recipes around.
 

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Mercadona sell Kidney beans in jars much cheaper than the tins. They also sell quite a good range of spices and there's alway Iceland
 

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Mercadona sell Kidney beans in jars much cheaper than the tins. They also sell quite a good range of spices and there's alway Iceland
OH usually bottles beans and chick pea at home, but if we run out we use jars from supermarkets

Alcalaina
Rather than chase around looking for Thai and other ingredients that are hard to find here, why not investigate the cuisine of North Africa? The Moroccan spices, like Ras al Hanout, are quite easy to get hold of and there are some wonderful recipes around.
Good idea that I hadn't thought of.
Any links you could give us?
 

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Good idea that I hadn't thought of.
Any links you could give us?
Lots of recipes here:

Simple and Easy Moroccan Recipes

I love the carrot and cumin combination, which is also found in Andalusian cuisine (as are a lot of the recipes).

I don't have a tajine, I use a pressure cooker. But they are easy to get hold of and you can use them on a barbecue, on the hob or in the oven.
 
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I am a total convert to North African spices. You can buy the spices by the bucketful in Granada. Ras al hanout is excellent with just about anything. Adds zing to a passata or mix with oil for a marinade for chicken, fish, dogs and small children.

Time to stick my head in the fridge...me tengo ambre :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Rather than chase around looking for Thai and other ingredients that are hard to find here, why not investigate the cuisine of North Africa? The Moroccan spices, like Ras al Hanout, are quite easy to get hold of and there are some wonderful recipes around.
Noooo...you've just started a whole new flight of ingredients going across the sea - from Spain to the UK. I love making Moroccan food, but hadn't really thought of looking for the Morroccan spices, though it is rather obvious when you think about it, given the strong Moorish influence!:plane:
 

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A trip to Morrisons in Gibraltar may be necessary to get things like cardamoms, coconut paste and tahini.
If you use more obscure spices like fenugreek, star anise or kari leaves, best to bring them with you.
Don't forget the tiendas ecológicas (organic shops) and herbolarios(a.k.a. herboristerías), if there is one nearby. They carry many "ethnic" items including tahini, star anise, cardamom pods and curry powder -- at least where I live, which is a small inland city with few expats.

If there is not a big demand for a particular spice, they won't keep it in stock but might be able to order it and have it in a day or two, if you ask.
 

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Just planning what foodstuff I need to take over on the next visit, mainly things like stock cubes and lazy person cheese sauce mix!

We've found a few "cheats ingredients," like Thai and Indian curry pastes, coconut milk, etc. don't seem to be so readily available in Spain. Does anyone know any supermarkets that do stock them (at reasonable prices), so I don't have to bother taking them over? Or maybe you have adapted your recipes?

I've also noticed that tins of kidney beans etc. are very expensive, but they are so much handier for throwing into a quick chilli or salad. I was reading that you can soak, boil, then freeze portions of dried beans. Anyone tried this successfully?

Thanks.
Soaking kidney beans overnight is perfect but we don't always remember, do we. If you have forgotten, boil them in for 15 minutes and then soak them for one hour. Rinse well and they will be fine. I much prefer eating kidney beans this way, as I find them far tastier than out of a jar or can. The covered market in Malaga will usually supply you with any spices you want. I haven't managed to beat them with anything yet. And the smoked paprika is wonderful. Also, you can buy black truffles for about €2.60 a jar and tey are fantastic. There is a supermarket in Nerja called Iranzo and they sell a huge range of northern European foodstufs.
 
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