Tea is not limited to a cup, it can also be served on a plate! The art of brewing tea for cooking is very different from how you would brew your everyday cup of tea. Firstly, when using tea as in ingredient in your dish, gently over-brew the tea into a strong tea essence as the texture or fragrance of the tea must be discernably evident in the food. Secondly, but just as importantly – respect the tea – each tea has flavour, strength, texture and fragrance linked to its terroir. The tea that you select should form a part of a harmonious composition of ingredients which, when subjected to cooking, should maintain its identity and be pleasing. Tea can be the base for a sauce, it can add texture when sprinkled over a salad and its uses are limited only by the imagination of the Real Tea Revolutionary.
We have shared a few tips by Peter Kuruvita, celebrity chef, author, restaurateur and a lover of tea, who will also address the World Chefs Congress in Greece to share his insights on tea gastronomy.
Dilmah Tea as a marinade: Wondering what to do with that extra Dilmah Earl Grey tea left in the teapot at the end of teatime? Don't dump it…. Use it! Try adding it to your favorite marinade for chicken breasts for an out-of-this-world addition that will be sure to have your guests wondering where the mysterious (yet familiar) flavour came from. As a vegetarian digression, tea marinated tofu is a wonderful substitution in this dish.
Dilmah Tea as a tenderizer: Among tea's many benefits and effects, it is an efficient tenderizer. Want to get that falls-off-the-bone, melts-in-your-mouth effect for that dish that is great, but could be even better? Try adding some Dilmah tea!
Dilmah Tea as a dessert: It is a fairly common practice to take tea after a meal. But what about tea as the dessert? This trend is quickly building popularity in the food industry and is revolutionizing the way we think about our after-dinner sweets. Most people have been introduced to Green Tea Sorbet, but what about Dilmah Earl Grey tea truffles or a Jasmine Ganache made with Dilmah Jasmine Green tea? Because many teas take sugar well, it is sensible to conclude that many sweets would take tea well. Countless bakers and chocolatiers are adapting and adding new recipes to include the wonderful hints that tea can add.
Tea, it seems, is not only a refreshing, delicious and healthy beverage, but also one of the most versatile and interesting ingredients that is (finally!) hitting the western culinary scene. I recommend that you consider using your favourite teas in your culinary exploration. Like what many chefs say about cooking with wine (“Do not cook with a wine that you wouldn't drink”), for the best results, use the teas that best fit your tastes. You are limited only by your imagination in this journey for the search of new ways to take your tea.