Cooking at home doesn't have to mean slaving over the kitchen stove for hours. There are now ready-made sauces and pastes on the market that make whipping up a meal a breeze. - by Tay Suan Chiang
While most instant spice pastes on the market are designed for local dishes, Mekhala Living stands out from the competition for its Thai pastes. The Singaporean/Thai label has pastes for making green, red and yellow curries, as well as tom yum, lemongrass turmeric and basil garlic paste.
The production is done in Chiangmai, and co-founder Daphne Hedley says what makes them different from other brands is that the pastes are gluten-free, vegan, and certified organic. "Being based in Chiangmai gives us access to USDA and EU certified organic raw ingredients," she says. She adds that the range of pastes suit vegans, as there is no fish sauce or shrimp pastes added which are commonly used in other brands.
Before she had a child, Ms Hedley was one of those who scorned premade sauces and pastes. "But with a full-time job, a family to take care of, who has time to source organic ingredients, find a good recipe and then make everything from scratch," she wonders at times. Her sentiments would resonate with many time-strapped Singaporeans. "Our pastes are not just for newbies, but also for people who are hard pressed for time and yet appreciate a quality meal at home.
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