Indian beef gets an Aussie makeover!

By Published On: 19 Jul '20Last Updated: 8 Jul '21

Following my previous post, some of you would have had an Aussie toast with Vegemite and I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this brand-new taste. If you have not yet tried it, please try it the next time you feel like something different for your breakfast or a snack. Take your tastebuds on an unique journey and I doubt you will regret it!

Thank you for your patience. This recipe has been in the making for a few months as it has taken many attempts to perfect it and now, I am so pleased I am finally ready to post it. Today I have a brand-new recipe to share with all of you who are keen to use that extra special secret ingredient not just on your toast but in other dishes too. In this recipe, I am upgrading beef by adding this iconic spread to turn the beef into something so delicious that Vegemite will remain a memorable spread for the rest of your life no matter where you are. It will change what you think of Vegemite, as that’s exactly what it did to me. You won’t believe how beef transforms itself when a hint of Vegemite is added to the recipe! It is now my pantry staple and I am keen to use it in more of my recipes.

Check it out and let me know if you have tried Vegemite before and how you go with the recipe! Please leave your comments below on what you thought honestly about Vegemite and this new dish.

In this brand-new recipe, Australia’s favourite icon Vegemite brings an umami-rich hit to an Indian inspired beef dish.

Remember the rule of the thumb, less is more. Add Vegemite according to the recipe instructions for that perfect introduction to the 5th taste of food.

I can almost see you are wondering what is ‘Umami”!

I had read about umami and heard this word repeatedly on “Master Chef” in the 2020 series and earlier but never understood the meaning of this word completely. My curiosity led me to go online and after reading a few articles on umami, I would like to share in brief the meaning of this word as I understand it.

To put it in layman’s language, umami is the 5th taste of food, the first four being salty, sweet, bitter and sour. It is a way of describing taste. This is the simple meaning.

To make the meaning slightly descriptive, umami translates to “yummy”, “savoury, pleasant taste”. I would say, it is the taste that lights up your palate when certain foods come in contact with the tiny sensory organs on your tongue called the taste receptors.

By now, you may have already guessed the source of this taste but if you have not, this taste is Japanese and traces back to Dr Kikunae Ikeda, a Professor of Chemistry from the University of Tokyo. Researchers have continued their research throughout the 20th century, but it was only in the year 2000 that umami was firmly established as the 5th taste.

Finally, if you are up to it, I will take you on a quick tour of the science behind this taste and the compounds that trigger the umami taste receptors. According to Dr Ikeda, the compounds that contribute to this unique taste are glutamate, a salt of glutamic acid, specific ribonucleotides and glutamate salts including MSG, potassium glutamate and calcium glutamate among others. The taste perception of umami comes from the chemical interactions of these compounds with the glutamate receptors.

If you are wondering what foods trigger this taste, in 1908 Dr Ikeda proposed that the distinct taste of umami is recognizable in “dashi” which is a Japanese stock flavoured with kelp and dried bonito flakes. When I ate my Beef with Vegemite, I could finally relate to what that umami taste is. It is a deep, complex savoury taste of the yeast extract that is released into the beef during the cooking process as the yeast extract contains a high concentration of glutamic acid. I, as a home cook, would find it challenging to build this flavour profile on my own. Thanks to Vegemite for creating that unique 5th taste in my food journey.

I hope my explanation of the meaning of umami satisfies the curiosity that lies behind this special 5th taste. Please note, I have written this as per my understanding, but kindly feel free to explore this topic in detail if you are interested to have a greater understanding of this 5th taste of food.

Start your adventure with Vegemite and take it to the next level.

Lavina with Deliciously Indian

Hi, I’m Catherine!

I’m all about creating tasty Indian dishes with whatever’s on hand, even when I’m short on time or budget. I love turning simple ingredients into flavorful delights. Join me on this culinary adventure where we’ll explore the magic of Indian cuisine, one delicious dish at a time!

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