I was treated to a meal by a Pakistani friend whose cinnamon rice really tasted of the spice. My efforts to recreate it have been dismal – where might I be going wrong?
Cinnamon, whether stick or ground, has to be fresh and lively if it is to do its work effectively – maybe yours has seen better days? In her recipe for peelay chaaval, or aromatic rice (in Illustrated Indian Cookery; BBC), Madhur Jaffrey uses a 2.5cm stick, 3-4 cloves and ¾ tsp turmeric, to infuse 450ml basmati rice cooked in 1.2 litres of water. If your recipe calls for ground cinnamon, buy in small amounts and use within a month. This may be heresy, but if after all that your rice still does not exude the cinnamon whiff you're after, add a quarter-teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon at the end of the cooking, and let it stand for five minutes before serving. Heat has a way of killing off delicate spices (and herbs), particularly if not in the first flush of youth.
I've just got around to making your chicken sausage recipe from 2005, which you say can be frozen. Presumably you mean when cooked. If so, how best to reheat them?
And what a splendid recipe that is – not wholly original, of course, but a winner. It can be frozen uncooked or cooked. If frozen uncooked, make sure it's properly defrosted, and cook as per the recipe instructions; if frozen cooked, defrost and reheat gently in the oven at 150C/275F/gas mark 2 for 20-25 minutes. There may be a slight loss of texture in the freezing, but it should still taste great.
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