Very rarely am I left speechless and overwhelmed with emotion. So when you’re in the midst of holding a year’s worth of hard work, beautifully bound, printed and presented to you for the very first time it’s a moment to soak it all in. I did just that. The very first copy of my debut cookbook staring right back at me, it was finally here! Turning each page I could clearly remember how each recipe was written, photographed, styled and discussed.
Then again the journey back home gave me time to reflect how these recipes came to be part of my life experiences and it’s those that are sketched as memories that have defined me and my approach to Indian cooking. From a very young age I have kept hand written notes, recipes and filed away all the emails my mother wrote me when I first began cooking in the UK. She would email them over in a hope that I could replicate them. That didn’t always go to plan, when I first began cooking it really didn’t feel like I was in anyway able to do what she did with food. They seemed like very big shoes to fill.
Over time I realised as much as my journey began because I yearned those meals from my childhood in India it really was not about replicating mum’s style of cooking, flavours or even recipes. But more than that, it was about discovering my love, flair and sensibility for it. I reckon it’s the best way I have ever discovered so much more about a cuisine I grew up eating. I found that my family recipes, travels across India, experiences cooking at family homes were just half the story and it all helped me create my take on food that was unique to me. Indian Kitchen is about all those experiences and one that I know leafing through each page will make you feel like you are right there with me. This book has been a long time coming but the joy I get in knowing that a piece of me and my cooking will actually be part of your life, in your kitchens is where it all makes sense and brings sheer pleasure.
The choices of which recipe would make the book was a hard one and sometimes makes me think of a few gems that I haven’t even included to be part of it. But with over 120 recipes within the cookbook it’s a delicious balance of Indian vegetarian and non vegetarian curries, side dishes, biryanis, breads, desserts, drinks and spice blends. There are family recipes alongside a massive regional selection. All divided up based on what we cook depending on how we feel – Hungry/ Lazy/ Indulgent and to the ultimate Celebratory. Cooking that evokes emotions and connects us.
I had the privilege to cook some of the canapés from my cookbook for a recent event with my publishers at Hodder & Stoughton. Needless to say they went down an absolute treat!
Indian Kitchen is available to pre order on Amazon UK and will be out on the 7th of May (in Hardback and Kindle) online and in all book stores. I will be also doing book signings in cities across UK, India and beyond so make sure to subscribe to my website and check out the dates when they are announced. I would love to meet you all and of course sign copies of the book. Thank you so much to so many of you who have ordered your copy and have sent me such wonderful messages to tell me how excited you are to cook from it! M x