By the time we arrived at the Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School we were heady from the fragrant aroma of spices. On the way we’d been given a guided tour of the Tropical Spice Garden, crushing leaves in our hands, smelling flowers, and learning some fascinating new pieces of history and folklore.
We were also shown the torch ginger that we’d later use in this recipe.
Yet for me, the most interesting discovery was that of nutmeg syrup. It’s sensational. I managed to bring some back with me from Malaysia but I’m also going to experiment (now that I’m at home) with making my own.
On this occasion it was Nonya cook Pearly Kee taking us through our cooking school paces. Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School also hosts regular cooking teachers Azizah Osman (Malay) and Chef Sugumaran (Indian).
Greens with Caradamon Salad
1 stalk lettuce, rinsed
1 small cucumber, quartered and sliced on diagonal
1 sprig coriander leaves, rinsed and pucked
1 piece pineapple, quartered and cut into thin slices
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 a torch ginger for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons nutmeg syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 cardamon seed
Pound cardamon in a mortar and pestle to separate husks from seeds, then pound seeds until fine.
Wash and dry all salad vegetables and place in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine lime juice, nutmeg syrup and pounded cardarmon powder. Mix well and rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dressing on the salad vegetables and toss. Garnish with finely sliced torch ginger.
With thanks to Pearly Kee and Tropical Spice Garden Cooking School for permission to share the recipe.
Rebecca Varidel was a guest in Malaysia of Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines.