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Gurdeep Loyal's trend-led recipes

Published: August 3, 2022 at 10:43 am

Experiment with a range of unique ingredients and flavours from food and drink trends specialist Gurdeep Loyal, with recipes using fiori di Sicilia, achiote seeds, anardana powder and more

Gurdeep Loyal is a food and drink trends specialist who has worked at Harrods Food Halls, Innocent Drinks and M&S Food. He’s also a food writer and curator of online platform Mother Tongue. His first book, Mother Tongue: Flavours of a Second Generation, will be released in March 2023. Follow him on Instagram @gurd_loyal. Check out these recipes where Gurdeep experiments with a range of on-trend food products, whether it's an Italian citrussy extract, Japanese chilli paste or a Persian larder staple.


Trend: Fiori di Sicilia

Recipe: Citrussy Chelsea buns

Fiori di Sicilia is a highly fragrant Italian citrussy extract used in traditional bakes such as panettone and pandoro, to flavour marzipan sweets, and often mixed into ricotta to fill cannoli. Meaning ‘flowers of Sicily’, it has flavours of lemons, orange, bergamot and woody vanilla with hints of liquorice. It varies in strength but can be used in the same way you might use rose water or orange blossom. It’s a favourite ingredient among baking bloggers online – particularly used in cookies, loaf cakes and brioche buns.

The hottest Italian delis in London – such as Lina Stores, Eataly and Terroni – are stocking it or products flavoured with it. We got ours online from bakerybits.co.uk.

Citrussy chelsea buns on a board next to a small plate with a single bun and fork

Trend: Achiote seeds

Recipe: Achiote seared tuna salad

Annatto seeds (also known as achiote seeds) are a mild, sweet spice that come from the achiote tree. They’re used as a delicate seasoning and colouring in South/Central American, Caribbean and Filipino cuisines, imparting a deep red-yellow pigment to dishes. You can buy annatto seeds whole, powdered or as ready-made achiote paste. They are also infused into oils or ground into spice pastes. They have a nutty, peppery taste with gentle floral notes of nutmeg and saffron, and can be used to flavour and colour soups, stews, curries and marinades.

Annatto seeds often feature on the menus of Mexican restaurant KOL in London and Filipino-Californian restaurant Abacá in San Francisco, and can also be found in the deli section at Ottolenghi. We got ours from spicemountain.co.uk.

A white plate topped with seared tuna steaks on watercress with segments of grapefruit and a small pot of red sauce

Trend: Anardana powder

Recipe: Anardana paneer kati rolls

Anardana powder is a pantry staple in Indian and Persian cuisines, made from dried and ground pomegranate seeds. It has a sweet-tartness and fruity tang that tastes a little like sumac and tamarind combined together. It adds sour depth to slow-cooked strews, a hit of sharp flavour to marinades, or can even be sprinkled onto salads as a zippy final garnish. Anardana comes in a variety of grinds which can vary from a finely crushed red powder to more of a purple coarse rubble and whole dried pomegranate seeds.

It’s an ingredient used often on the menus of flavour-forward restaurants Jikoni and Kutir in London, and the hip restaurant Anardana in New Delhi, India. We got ours from spicemountain.co.uk.

a stack of round flatbreads topped with pink onion and golden paneer on an orange background

Trend: Nanami chilli paste

Recipe: Nanami gyoza

Nanami paste is an aromatic Japanese chilli paste that combines red chillies with yuzu peel, sesame, sake and ginger. It can be added to sushi, ramen or dumplings, and can also be found in a dried powder format.

It’s often seen in stylish Japanese restaurants across the globe, such as Nanami Izakaya in Singapore and the inventive Michelin-recommended Sushi Nanami in Taipei, Taiwan. In the UK it can be found in Japanese supermarkets such as the Japan Centre in London and online store Tuk Tuk Mart.

Nanami gyoza on a black plate with a pot of dipping sauce against a blue background

Trend: Jasmine pearl tea

Recipe: Jasmine pearl tea gimlet

Jasmine pearls are made from young Chinese green tea leaves that are carefully hand-rolled into small round beads. These are then submerged into or layered with fresh jasmine flower blossoms as many as 15 times, allowing the jasmine to impart its intensely floral-sweet scents into the tea. It has a delicate, fresh flavour with notes of heady jasmine that are released in full as the pearls unfurl in boiling water. It’s delicious to drink on its own or it can be turned into an aromatic syrup, which can then be used for making cocktails, drizzling over ice cream or even pouring over fresh tropical fruits.

Find at large supermarkets and health food shops.

A golden cocktail in a coupe glass next to a silver shaker on a tray with a blue napkin and sliced lime

Trend: Black garlic

Recipe: Beer battered fish tacos

Black garlic is made by ageing white garlic bulbs at gentle temperatures and a specific humidity. It has a rich dark colour, soft fudgy texture and deeply savoury and sweet flavour. It can add depth to stocks and stews, stir-fries and pasta dishes, and can be added to marinades and dressings.

Buy at Sainsbury’s and Waitrose & Partners.

A plate topped with beer battered fish in tortillas with pickled red cabbage and wedges of lime

Trend: Nonya kaya

Recipe: Nonya kaya coconut ice cream

A staple in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, nonya kaya (also called pandan kaya, kaya jam or coconut jam) is a coconut-egg paste that’s sweetened with sugar and flavoured with pandan leaf. Spread over toast, add to sponges and frostings, or blend into milkshakes.

Find it online at tuktukmart.co.uk.

A container filled with white ice cream, with two scoops in a bowl on the side

Trend: Blonde chocolate

Recipe: Blonde chocolate Christmas bark

Blonde chocolate is made by roasting white chocolate chips very slowly until they take on a golden cappuccino colour and toasted caramel aromas. Use in chocolate truffles or a rich ganache to spread between layers of sponge.

Find blonde chocolate at M&S, both in stores and online through Ocado.

A tray of chopped white chocolate bark sprinkled with nuts and dried fruit

Trend: Sour cherries

Recipe: Spiced pear and sour cherry chutney

Dried sour cherries have a deep red colour, tangy flavour and chewy texture. They are great for adding tartness to koftas, kebabs and tabbouleh salads, or baked into breakfast muffins, granolas and loaf cakes. They also work well in mince pies and stuffings, Christmas jams and preserves.

Find dried sour cherries at Waitrose & Partners.

A green table topped with two jars of pear chutney

Trend: Colatura di alici

Recipe: Lamb cutlets with celeriac slaw

An Italian condiment made from fermented salted anchovies. It comes from the ancient Roman tradition of ageing pungent fish (garums) in wooden barrels (terzigni), and a little really does go a long way! Just a few drops in pasta or dressings gives deep, rounded savouriness.

Buy online at souschef.co.uk.

A plate topped with two grilled lamb chops and a shredded carrot and celeriac salad with green herbs

Trend: Pandan

Recipe: Pandan cookies

Pandan is a signature for many sweet and savoury Southeast Asian dishes. The leaf has a grassy vanilla-like taste, with a subtle hint of toasted coconut. Use a few drops in cakes, pancakes, desserts or cocktails.

You can find concentrated pandan pastes or extracts in larger Tesco stores.

A beige background topped with green cookies

Trend: Umeboshi paste

Recipe: Umeboshi salmon skewers

Umeboshi paste is a salty-sour ingredient traditionally made in Japan using fine plums that are slowly preserved in sea salt. It has an intense, concentrated tanginess that adds a fruity flavour hit to sushi, dressings and marinades.

Find it online at souschef.co.uk.

A metal tray topped with skewers pierced with chunks of salmon with spring onions and lime

Trend: Dried black lime powder

Recipe: Pea hummus

Rock-hard on the outside and shatteringly brittle on the inside, dried black limes are a staple of Persian cuisine, bringing an aromatic sourness to dishes. They can be added whole to slow braises and stews, where they give an earthy depth; or they can be ground to a fine powder sprinkle to give a vibrancy to food, in the way you might use sumac or lemon zest.

Find black limes online at souschef.co.uk or in Persian and Middle Eastern food shops.

Bowl of Pea Hummus with Toasted Pitta Triangles

Trend: Hibiscus powder

Recipe: Hibiscus, pomegranate and rose shrub

Dried hibiscus can be used in so many ways. Hibiscus is traditionally used to make tea and it has a deep, almost berry-like flavour. It’s great in cold drinks, too, such as this shrub or a cordial, or in desserts – try it with poached rhubarb. It also works brilliantly if you add it to a pickling liquor to make pickled onions, and in a hibiscus vinaigrette for salads.

A glass of bright red liquid with ice and a slice of orange on a white stone coaster

Trend: Amchoor dried mango powder

Recipe: Honey-masala spatchcock chicken

Something quite magical happens with you combine sticky-spicy, salty-sweet and zesty-tangy in the same dish. The amchoor dried mango powder is the secret ingredient here, it gives a sour tartness that makes all of the other flavours in the chicken and mango-corn salad really zing.

A whole roast chicken on a mango salad

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