To truly experience the difference in flavour the author of the book advises you to marinate raw shrimps in garlic, divide in two and add a few drops of angostura bitter to one batch, grill both batches and notice the difference. I plan to try that!
The book "Taste" makes for an interesting read; it's in my bookcase for a while now and while I read it from cover to cover I have only made 2 or 3 recipes but I plan to keep it downstairs for a while to explore further. So far each and every recipe is a hit. The set up from this book is quite different from what you're used to, categories aren't the usual appetizer, entree, dessert chapters. It is based on individual flavours and what they do to each other when combined. The author explains and gives examples of each flavour and then follows up with recipes (from sweet to drinks and soups to savoury) where you experience what she describes. You'll be finding chapters as Sour, Salt, Bitter, Sweet, and Savoury -or umami-. My sons' favourite fried rice recipe comes from her and you can't believe how simple it is but it blows you away on flavour.
First I'd like to share this curry recipe, it's from "Taste" by Sybil Kapoor.
8 spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh -lemon- thyme, finely chopped (I used regular thyme)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp finely chopped habañero pepper (I used dried aleppo pepper)
juice of two limes
6 fish fillets (snapper/cod/
1/2 tsp angostura bitter
Mix spring onions, thyme, garlic, pepper and lime juice. Rub the fish with the angostura bitter and cover with marinade; make sure there's some under the fish as well or flip halfway through marinating time. Cover and marinate for 20-30 minutes
4 tbs sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 tbs curry powder (I used a red Thai curry powder which is somewhat milder, sweeter even)
4oo ml coconut milk
Heat oil on low and fry onions 10 minutes or until soft and golden. Add curry powder and cook for another 4 minutes. Push onion to the side and quickly cook fillets on one side (it should have a slight coloring), flip over and cook the other side for 1 minute. The fish is not fully done yet. Take the fish out and keep warm.
Turn up the heat and add remainder of the marinade plus coconut milk to the pan, bring to a boil, lower the flame and simmer for 10 minutes. Return fish fillets to the pan and poach for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice (although I really like to have naan, tortilla or roti with this as well). Spinach, or stir-fried vegetables will go very well with this.
We all really really liked it, I had a small bowl of Greek yoghurt ready for those who thought it too spicy but it wasn't necessary at all. The heat of Aleppo pepper is far milder than Habañero. I made this as part of a saturday night dinner with company but since it's easy to make and doesn't take too long to prepare it will make a delicious meal for a weekday as well.