Eat Drink KL: Dehara Spices: Premium Italian & Sri Lankan spice mixes for extra zing in your cooking

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Dehara Spices: Premium Italian & Sri Lankan spice mixes for extra zing in your cooking

Spices that swirl from the sultry Neapolitan inspiration of pasta puttanesca to the soothing Ceylonese charm of cinnamon: Whether you're a home cook seeking to bring new flair to your family recipes or a restaurant chef striving to offer the best to customers, KL-based online store Dehara Spices promises a potent parade of premium spice mixes to conveniently enhance both food and beverages.

Dehara Spices' founders are food lovers whose formal careers might be in health and law but whose secret passions sparkle in cooking. They've meticulously sourced a sumptuous variety of spices from Italy and Sri Lanka, now available in Malaysia at

Cooking with Dehara Spices is super simple, with immediate results to perk up the taste buds!

Specially for EDKL readers, use the promo code DSXEDKL on Dehara Spices’ website to receive a 20% discount off your purchase and a free gift too! Limited to the first 50 redemptions, so be fast!

Dehara Spices' Italian range is showcased in the Goccia Umbra brand. These organic spices boast no preservatives, except natural salt, with a shelf life of two years if refrigerated well.

With these premixed spices, you can prepare a full-bodied sauce within 12 minutes - make it easily while the pasta is cooking. 

You can also use these versatile spices for everything from marinating roast chicken to flavouring omelettes, stews to stir-fries, pastries to potatoes. Recipe suggestions are on the product packaging, with many more on the website.

The spices are available in 25g (RM16.90) and 50g (RM28.90). A 50g packet can last up to 20 servings.

Both the smaller bottles and the larger packets feature a classic, time-honoured look - great for gifting! They also come with a primer on the history of the spice, with the packets illustrating a map of the region where the spices originate.

The Goccia Umbra range includes:

Puttanesca - rich and complex with carrots, chilli peppers, parsley, garlic, celery, onions and olives. Perfect for pasta sauces and seafood.

Pesto Alla Genovese - warm and earthy with basil, garlic, walnuts, pine nuts, parsley and onions. For pasta, potatoes, bread and roast meat.

Aglio Olio Peperoncino - alluring with the aromatics of the region of Abruzzo, mildly spicy with chilli peppers, cooking salt, garlic, parsley and tomatoes. This is marvelous for meat, eggs, and of course, the classic aglio olio pasta that we all recognise and relish.

Bruschetta - tomato, basil and garlic. A condiment for bread, a blend for sauces and a marinade for stews.

Arrabbiata - raising the temperature with chilli peppers, tomatoes, garlic grains and parsley. For sauces and marinades.

Each of these spice mixes has an aroma captivating enough to tempt you the moment you open them. We even indulged in a pure pinch of the Aglio Olio Peperoncino; its powerful kick was a pleasurable punch for our palate!

We also couldn't resist trying our hand at two of the Italian spice mixes to see how they make for fuss-free, mouthwatering meals. 

Linguine Puttanesca with Prawns
Relying on the Goccia Umbra Puttanesca, this transports us straight to a traditional Italian trattoria with its time-honoured, comforting depth of flavour. 

This is a highly recommended recipe if you're searching for a restaurant-worthy pasta experience with minimal hassle. It's a breeze even for amateur cooks like us!

Goccia Umbra Puttanesca
Linguine, 200g
5-6 prawns
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
⅓ cup of chicken stock
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Boil water in a pot, season with salt, and add in your pasta to cook. This will take about 10 minutes.
2. At the same time, put a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Turn the gas on low, then sauté the diced onions and garlic for two minutes.
3. Add about 1.5 tablespoons of Puttanesca spice mix to the pan and stir for half a minute. Then add in the chicken stock.
4. Bring the pan to a simmer, then add in prawns and a bit of lemon juice. Prawns should take about two minutes to cook.
5. Season to taste. Your sauce is ready!
6. When the pasta is done cooking, drain the water, then toss the pasta into the pan with the sauce. Stir well. 
7. Add a bit more olive oil and you’re all set! Garnish this soulful pasta with parsley if you like.

If you love flavour-loaded butter, try making your own Pesto Butter with Goccia Umbra's Pesto Alla Genovese, a dry pesto spice mix. It lends a delightful uplift to smooth salted butter, taking minimal effort for a spread to snack on with bread or to slather on potato wedges.

Pesto Butter, with Toast or Roasted Potato Wedges

Goccia Umbra Pesto Alla Genovese
½ block of salted butter
3 or 4 medium sized potatoes, washed and cut into wedges
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

1. Leave the salted butter out at room temperature until it softens. Add 1.5 tablespoons of Pesto Alla Genovese to the butter, and mix thoroughly. 

Congratulations - you now have pesto butter, brilliant enough to eat with toast for breakfast. Plus, it's so much more economical than making pesto from scratch. Pesto butter is also great to marinate meat, like roast chicken or lamb.

For potatoes, proceed with these steps - straightforward and fun enough that even children can participate!

1. Heat up some water, then add salt. When it’s boiling, add potato wedges. Cook until about 70% done - noticeably soft but not mashed-potatoes mushy.
2. Drain the water and take out the potato wedges. Add 2 tablespoons of pesto butter to the potatoes. Also add salt, pepper and lemon juice as desired. Mix it together thoroughly, ensuring the potatoes are coated with the pesto butter.
3. Cook the potato wedges in the oven at 200°C, for 15 to 20 minutes, until cooked through to create evenly baked potatoes. Addictively tasty!

For your cinnamon cravings, Dehara Spices' Sri Lankan specialities comprise the Cinnamon Quills (RM21.90 for 30g and RM31.90 for 50g) and Cinnamon Powder (RM17.90 for 25g and RM29.90 for 50g) - genuine, high-quality cinnamon, native to Sri Lanka, organically sourced, prized for its flavour and health benefits.

Original Sri Lankan cinnamon is an exquisite experience compared to cassia bark, which is commonly sold as cinnamon. Expect more mellow, warmer nuances with lovely citrus hints. What also sets real cinnamon apart: the quills are rolled up like a cigar and have many layers that peel off as you use them.

Dehara Spices' cinnamon quills are distinctive with a uniform thickness and consistent pale tan colour on their surface. Its cinnamon powder is derived from a blend of various grades of pure cinnamon quills. 

Dehara Spices offers C4, the Continental grade of cinnamon, the second-highest grade of Sri Lankan cinnamon, balancing value for money with virtues like smoothness and fragrance.

The cinnamon can elevate baking, stews and curries - we sipped on it with a classic beverage, masala tea. 

Masala Tea
This brews in about 15 minutes. The cinnamon and other spices furnish a South Asian authenticity, simultaneously sharp and sweet. The result tastes like the type of true-blue, tried-and-tested masala tea that established Indian eateries would respect.

Dehara Spices Cinnamon Quills
Tea: Use either 4 teabags or 2 tablespoons of tea leaves
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
2.5cm of ginger, washed and flattened
Full cream milk
Brown sugar

1. Use a grater on the cinnamon quill to make cinnamon shavings, with about 1.5cm of cinnamon.
2. Take 2.5 glasses of water and put in a pot. Add in the tea, cloves, cardamom pods, ginger and cinnamon shavings. Add brown sugar as preferred.
3. Bring the pot to a boil. Then lower the flame and let everything brew for 5 minutes.
4. Add the ½ cup of milk (or more), keep on a low flame and bring to a boil again.
5. Allow to boil for an additional 5 minutes. Then pass the tea through a sieve and serve.

These spice mixes are a gorgeous addition to the household pantry or a gift for loved ones. It'll be exciting to experiment with endless spice-fuelled recipes - perhaps some seafood paella with a dash of the Puttanesca spice mix, shepherd's pie with Arrabbiata, apple sauce with cinnamon, and much more.

Dehara Spices also does gift sets for celebratory occasions. Earlier this year, the Aidilfitri set gathered the Goccia Umbra Puttanesca, Bruschetta and Arrabbiata alongside Dehara Spices Cinnamon Powder, Cinnamon Quills, and dates, in a lovely ensemble. Look out for more festive sets before 2021 ends!

Specially for EDKL readers, use the promo code DSXEDKL on Dehara Spices’ website to receive a 20% discount off your purchase and a free gift too! Limited to the first 50 redemptions, so be fast!

Dehara Spices

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