Category Archives: Food Processing

Mc Currie’ Jar Products – A Ready-to-Eat Experience

McCurrie-masala-range

Mc Currie has been in the business of turning out delicious cuisine in jars that helps the busy housewife to conjure a meal at the snap of her fingers and the secret lies in the Mc Currie ready-to-eat jar products.

Our jar Product range is extensive, from Seeni Sambol to Precooked Gravies. Our newest addition to the ready-to-eat jar products is the Masala Pre-cooked gravies, which are a firm favourite among housewives, due to the easy method of preparation, which takes below 15 minutes.

What makes Mc Currie jar products unique is that we do not use any preservatives, but the shelf life of our products are for a year!

All our jar products are exclusively manufactured at our Nalanda Factory in the Matale District, which is equipped with state of the art technology and stringent quality standards that are monitored round the clock.

Our ready-to-eat jar products are very popular among expatriates and parents whose children study in Universities abroad. This is due to the fact that we also have vacuum packing facilities, which is a convenient method to send our products overseas.

Sandwiches could be prepared from any of our jar products, venturing into an innovative style of cuisine that only Mc Currie can think of giving its customers.

Our jar products are available at all three of our showrooms at Maya Avenue, makumbura Pannipitiya and at Nalanda (In the Matale District).

So the next time you need to send cuisine that is Sri Lankan to your relatives abroad, step into our Mc Currie Showrooms where you will have personalized service in bringing out the best of your requirements.

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Vacuum Packing – A POPULAR TREND IN OUR SHOWROOMS

McCurrie-Vacum-pack

Packaging in General

Packaging in any form is an important part of product processing and preservation and has a direct influence on the system in respect of physical and chemical changes.

Packaging has undergone some innovative product developments to help ensure a safe and more nutritious food supply. One method of packaging that may be used for products such as ready-to-eat products and spices is vacuum packaging, where the product is placed in a plastic or aluminium foil pouch and most of the air is removed. The package around the vacuumed product allows the internal atmosphere to be retained so that the product stays fresh and safe.

The plastic used for vacuum packaging should be carefully chosen, because not all plastics are equally resistant to gas.

Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum packaging refers to the technology wherein the product to be packed in placed in a pouch of suitable material and air is drawn from the pack prior to the final sealing. The removal of air eliminates oxygen which affects food in various ways, such as odour, colour, taste and texture and allows for longer storage.

One of the important properties of vacuum packing is the extent to which it is able to resist the passage of gases and vapour.

Vacuum packaged products need to be refrigerated, as some organisms are resistant to high carbon dioxide levels. Their growth is slower at lower temperatures.

Advantages of Vacuum Packaging

  • A simple solution to packaging goods requiring protection from oxygen.
  • Positive control of the moisture content of the product.
  • Inhibits the growth of aerobic spoilage bacteria.
  • Lower costs than those of rigid containers.
  • Longer shelf life for goods.
  • Larger quantities of food can be purchased and kept over a longer period of time and bulk purchases are often cheaper.
  • Vacuum packaging decreases food waste due to spoilage.
  • Not only fresh, perishable foods benefit from vacuum packaging, dried foods also keep longer when vacuum packaged.
  • Vacuum packaging allows more efficient use of time. Food can be prepared in advance without loss of freshness, so slack times are more productive and busy times are more manageable.
  • Vacuum packaging reduces product shrinkage. There is no moisture loss or evaporation in a sealed vacuum bag. Therefore, the weight you purchase will be the same.

At Mc Currie Spice 1st Showrooms, we have vacuum packed items and also vacuum packing could be done to customer requirements. We have also created a niche among our customers, as we vacuum pack cooked items that our customers bring in. Our key customers are parents whose sons and daughters are studying abroad. This is proof enough of the valuable service we render to customers by way of our quality vacuum packing process.

So, the next time you wish to take Mc Currie products or your home-cooked food abroad, visit the Mc Currie Spice 1st Showrooms where you can get it vacuum packed to suit your needs!

 

Chicken Badun

rasoted-chicken

Ingredients

 500 g chicken (washed and cubed), 2 tbsp Mc Currie Crushed Chillie, 1 tsp Mc Currie Crushed Pepper, 1 tsp Mc Currie unroasted Chillie Powder, 1/2” piece Mc Currie Cinnamon Quills, 2 tbsp Mc Currie Curry Leaves,( chopped finely), 2 tbsp Mc Currie Spicy Vinegar,  ½ tsp Mc Currie Fenugreek Seeds,  1 tsp Mc Currie Mustard Seeds,  Mc Currie Salt to taste, 2 large Onions (sliced), 4-5 Green Chillies (sliced lengthwise), 3 cloves garlic (chopped),  ½ “ piece ginger (chopped), 1 tbsp Sweet Chillie Sauce, ½ tsp Soy Sauce, Oil for frying.

For Garnishing

Lettuce leaves and Tomatoes (cut into wedges)

Method

Wash and cube the chicken. Add crushed pepper, salt and vinegar and marinade for half an hour. Add water and boil lightly. Drain the water and fry the pieces of chicken in hot oil. Drain on a white sheet of paper.

In a wok, heat the oil and fry the onions, green chillies, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, curry leaves and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the crushed chillies, unroasted chillie powder and fenugreek seeds and sauté. Add the soy sauce and sweet chilie sauce. Thereafter, add the fried chicken and let the mixture coat the chicken, by turning the pieces of chicken in the mixture. Add salt to taste and take off the fire. In a flat dish arrange the lettuce leaves and pour the entire fried chicken mixture on to the bed of lettuce. Garnish with wedges of tomato.

Food Policy of “Mc Currie”

McCurrie-Food-Policy

A food policy is drawn up to inform the public on how food is prepared, processed and distributed. When drawing up a food policy, a variety of standards are considered. However, in a nutshell, a food policy is on ensuring a safe and adequate food supply to the public, which is unadulterated and free of addictives and preservatives, which ensure that a hygienic product is supplied to the public.

Today, the busy housewife has so much on her shoulders to bear, that ready-to-eat products are fast approaching the checkered flag, passing the fast food industry. How many could vouch for a clean and unadulterated fast food industry? I guess, no one would even attempt.

We give you today, Mc Currie’s Food Policy,

  • To offer our customers safe and nutritious food products honestly presented.
  • To establish an effective food control philosophy and inspection system within our Company that involves, monitoring, surveillance, verification, certificate/approval to minimize hygienic risks and ensure food safety.
  • To adhere to a zero tolerance policy towards food products, which are injurious to health, unfit for human consumption , adulterated or presented in a deceptive manner.
  • To address customer complaints in all earnestness and to have such complaints inquired into thoroughly and promptly and to offer redress to the satisfaction of the customer.

Sri Lanka’s food is unique, distinct, exciting and able to evoke the full range of emotions through the culinary symphony that it is; a melding of different notes, aromas and flavours that together create a taste unlike any other. To us Sri Lankans however, it remains a way of life. Understandable, given its evolution in the cradle of the ancient spice trade.

At Mc Currie we share a passion for aroma, flavor and the authenticity of each and every Mc Currie spice and paste, used by hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan households each. Joining these spices and pastes, is the new product of Mc Currie, the Masala range, which consists of ready to each curries, that only need the required quantity of Prawns, Squid, Fish, Mutton, Beef or Chicken and you have a curry in minutes.

Our pledge, since we began our spice trade, has been to chronicle and maintain Sri Lankan’s long heritage of producing spices which are world renowned.

For the cleanest, purest, unadulterated spices, spice blends and ready-to-eat ethnic products, free of additives, colourings or preservatives, look no further than the Mc Currie range of products from Sri Lankan’s culinary specialists.

“Purveyors of Fine Sri Lankan Spices”

How to Choose Spices for Meat and Vegetables

Choose-Spices-for-Meat-and-Vegetables

Spices and Herbs used in the preparation of meats and vegetables really give a kick in with their natural flavours. Throughout the world meats and vegetables are prepared in different ways. The Asians are known for preparing spicy and hot dishes, while the Western world indulges in mildly prepared good. When we use the word “Mild” it means less spice and chillie and more herbs. The latter uses a lot of herbs in their meal preparations. Herbs come from the leafy portion of a plant and are often used in dried form. However, the herb Basil can be used in fresh form and dried as well. On the other hand spices are found in seeds, bark, roots and in some fruits as well, including vegetation. I guess why herbs are more popular in the West is that they are freely available around the world, while spices are normally found in the Far East and tropical zones.

Spices in Meats

White meat, Red Meat and Seafood all call for a fine mix of spices to really do justice in preparation. Chillie Powder, is the main ingredient in preparations of meats and seafood. The whole chillies are ground into a fine powder and may be used raw or roasted in meats of all kind, including seafood. The dark roasted curry powder gives a unique aroma and is prepared by dry roasting a mixture of coriander seeds, a handful of white or red rice, cinnamon quills, dried curry leaves, peppercorns, cloves, cardamoms, 10-12 whole dried chillies, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and Pandan leaves. Once this mixture is well roasted it is ground into a fine powder and stored in an airtight contained. The aroma alone tantalizes your taste buds.

Unlike the ground chillie powder, the roasted curry powder is a dark one. This dark roasted curry powder even thickens the meat and seafood curries, due to its rice content.

Garlic Powder is another ingredient used in preparation of meat and seafood and also in soups and stews. Garlic Powder is also used in barbecuing and grilling. Cumin seeds and fennel seeds are used in the preparation of fish dishes. In short, it is imperative that herbs and spices are used equally to turn out the best in meat and seafood dishes.

Spices and Herbs in Vegetable Curries

Unlike in preparation of meats, vegetable curries call for more turmeric powder. Turmeric is an age old Indian spice an used in Indian preparation of deserts.

In Sri Lanka, turmeric is ground into a powder and used in preparation of vegetable curries. Along with this is used the unroasted or raw curry powder, which is a mix of coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, fenugreek, sweet cumin, ginger, curry leaf, mustard, cloves, pepper, lemongrass and cardamom, all ground to form a fine powder.

The reason that Sri Lankan preparation of meats and vegetables gives out a tantalizing aroma is due to the fact that all necessary herbs and spices are blended together to create a strong base to bring out the best in culinary delights.

At Mc Currie we go a step further and assist the busy housewife with our Chillie Powders (both roasted and unroasted), Dark Roasted Curry Powder and Unroasted Curry Powder, which is in par with “Grandma’s” method of turning out these powders, which are used in the preparation of meats, seafood and vegetable curries.

The “WHO’s” Golden Rules on Safe Food Preparation

McCurrie-SAFE-FOOD-PREPARATION
1. Choose foods processed for safety – While many foods, such as fruits and vegetables are best in their natural state, others are simply not safe unless they have been processed. For example, always buy pasteurized as opposed to raw milk and if you have the choice, select fresh or frozen poultry treated with ionizing radiation. When shopping , keep in mind that food processing was invented to improve safety as well as to prolong shelf-life. Certain foods eaten raw, such as lettuce, need thorough washing.

2. Cook Food Thoroughly – Many raw foods, most notably poultry, meats and unpasteurized milk, are very often contaminated with disease causing pathogens. Thorough cooking will kill the pathogens, but remember that all parts of the food much reach at least 70 C. If cooked chicken is still raw near the bone, put it back in the oven until it is done – all the way through. Frozen meat, fish and poultry must be thoroughly thawed before cooking.

3. Eat Cooked Foods Immediately – When cooked foods cool to room temperature, microbes begin to proliferate. The longer the wait, the greater the risk. To be on the safe side, eat cooked foods just as soon as they come off the heat.

4. Store Cooked Foods Carefully – If you must prepare foods in advance or want to keep leftovers, be sure to store them under either hot (near of above 60∘C) of cook near or below 10∘C) conditions. This rule is of vital importance if you plan to store foods for more than four or five hours. Foods for infants should preferably not be stored at all. A common error, responsible for countless cases of food borne disease is putting too large a quantity of warm food in the refrigerator. In an overburdened refrigerator, cooked foods cannot cool to the core as quickly as they must. When the centre of the food remains warm (above 10∘C) too long, microbes thrive, quickly proliferating to disease producing levels.

5. Reheat Cooked Foods Thoroughly – This if your best protection against microbes that may have developed during storage (proper storage slows down microbial growth but does not kill the organisms). Once again, thorough reheating means that all parts of the food must reach at least 70∘C.

6. Avoid Contact Between Raw and Cooked Foods – Safely cooked food can be contaminated through even the slightest contact with raw food. This cross-contamination can be direct, as when raw poultry meat comes into contact with cooked foods. It can also be more subtle. For example, don’t prepare a raw chicken and then use the same unwashed cutting board and knife to carve the cooked bird. Doing so can reintroduce all the potential risks for microbial growth and subsequent illness present prior to cooking.

7. Wash Hand Repeatedly – Wash hands thoroughly before you start preparing food and after every interruption – especially if you have to change the baby or have been to the toilet. After preparing raw foods such as fish, meat or poultry, wash again before you start handling other foods and if you have an infection on your hand, be sure to bandage or cover it before preparing food. Remember too that household pets – dogs, birds and especially turtles often harbor dangerous pathogens that can pass from your hand into food.
8. Keep All Kitchen Surfaces Meticulously Clean – Since foods are easily contaminated, any surface used for food preparation must be absolutely clean. Think of every food scrap, crumb or spot as a potential reservoir of germs. Cloths that come into contact with dishes and utensils should be changed every day and boiled before reuse. Separate cloths for cleaning the floors also require frequent washing.
9. Protect Foods from Insects, Rodents and other Animals – Animals frequently carry pathogenic micro-organisms which cause food borne disease. Storing foods in tightly sealed containers is your best protection.
10. Use Pure Water – Pure water is just as important for food preparation as for drinking. If you have any doubts about the water supply, boil water before adding to food or making ice for drinks. Be especially careful with any water used to prepare an infant’s meal.
Source: The WHO Manual

Home Remedies From Spices

Nutmeg and MaceNutmeg and mace

Nutmeg and Mace are plant products and of the same plant. Nutmeg is the seed and mace is the outer covering. This spice is expensive, but has many medicinal benefits. It is an amazing ayurvedic home remedy that can cure many physical and psychological ailments. Nutmeg is by appearance roughly egg shaped and has a rough shell, while Mace is the dried lacy reddish covering of the nutmeg.

Nutmeg assists in digestion and relieves nausea, vomiting, flatulence and diarrhea. Powdered nutmeg mixed with honey can be taken to cure diarrhea. Even children could be subject to this remedy. However, pregnant mothers should avoid this, as it may have harmful effects like miscarriage.

Insomnia

Nutmeg fruit paste made out of nutmeg powder processed with ghee and applied on the forehead induces restful sleep.

Menstrual Cramping

Nutmeg powder consumed with a little bee’s honey recued menstrual cramping.

Asthma

Mace is an excellent medicine to alleviate attacks of Asthma. Mace powder is administered in a dosage of 1 gm with honey 4-5 times a day.

Acne

Acne is something that most people face, especially females. Symptoms of acne are clogged pores, pimples and blackheads, which occur when your skin produced too much oil. When this oil comes in contact with dead skin cells, your skin becomes inflamed and blemishes are more likely to erupt. The University of Maryland, Medical Centre notes that acne is the most common skin problem, affecting 17 to 45 million in the USA alone. If you are one of them in the rest of the world, a home remedy may be effective at helping you clear your skin.

Nutmeg, Milk and Honey

Nutmeg’s mace has antifungal and antibacterial capabilities. According to Reader’s Digest Notes, honey helps kiss bacteria and may also promote wound healing. Honey may not only encourage your acne sore to heal fast, but also helps prevent future outbreaks. Compounds in milk are likely to have similar healing effects.

Preparation method of Nutmeg, Milk and Honey Paste

Mix honey, nutmeg powder and milk in a bowl. Use less milk and more honey and nutmeg, until it forms a thick consistency. Mix well. Apply a thick layer of the paste over the area affected by acne. Sandi Burner, Author of “Beauty and the Budget” suggests leaving nutmeg, milk and honey paste on your skin overnight before carefully rinsing it off. Powdered milk may also be used and would be easier to make a paste out of.

Note: If your skin becomes red or uncomfortable from any version of the above paste, discontinue use.

Note: Nutmeg can be very toxic. Use only the recommended medical amount and always consult a licensed medical practitioner before using nutmeg.

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