Tuesday, 23 November 2010


At Hogwarts I was taught that there are five principal exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration and one of them is food. This means that you cannot make good food out of nothing. You can summon food if you know where it is, you can transform it or you can increase the quantity if you've already got some. Yes, it really is rewarding to pay attention in Transfiguration class.

Do you know why? Because when you live on the other side of the world where most Oriental and Asian condiments don't come cheap, you have to learn to adapt to save your Galleon, Sickle and Knut (wizard's currency). You have to make use of what is closest and accessible to you. On the plus side, you learn something new, something off your own culinary path. Of course there are always some ground rules to follow.

First, you need essentials. They are my must-haves. I usually divide them into four categories;
  • Carbs: pasta/ flour/bread/potatoes/rice/noodle
  • Protein: Eggs/chicken/beef
  • Dairy: milk/cream/butter/yogurt/cheese (must haves in my fridge as u can make almost anything out of it)
  • Vegetable: Tomatoes/broccoli/lettuces/carrots/celery/leek/paprika/cabbage
Ingredients mentioned above come fairly cheap here. Just by having these essentials you can jumble up anything from dishes as simple as an omelet to as complicated as a stew. That way you can save trips to the supermarket.

Besides that, you really need to be creative. Work with what you already have. For example, with just butter, flour, eggs, cream and cheese you can make a great quiche. Or make beef stroganoff out of beef slices and cream. Or creamy pasta with slices of chicken breasts. The possibilities are endless. You can now transform those raw ingredients into Cordon Bleu, Chicken Kiev, macaroni and cheese, and many more. Or better invent your own signature dish. Just be sure to team your dish with a good salad or vegetables and you'll be laughing.

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