Steaming Elaichi Wala Chaa – Cardamom Tea

Tea

When I was a teenager, this was the one thing that I noticed most girls would get asked to make but they either didn’t know how to or had forgotten. As soon as anyone steps into an Indian or British Asian household, there are immediately cries of ‘chaa banaa!’ meaning ‘make tea!’, such is the love for our infamous, sweet, milky, fragrant, spiced brew.

So the following scene was very familiar for girls in the 1990’s…

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Ten-Second Yoghurt and Mint Chutney

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Given it is Easter weekend, I thought I would show you something you can make with any leftover dregs of mint sauce, the kind that you get in jars and is traditionally served alongside a good old English roast lamb lunch!

You will recognise this as the familiar chutney you are used to seeing accompany your poppadoms (which we call papads) in Indian restaurants. You can make it with fresh mint leaves too but this speedy version is highly popular and ubiquitous in both restaurants and homes alike.

It literally takes seconds to make, as all you do is stir. It looks very authentic served in little bowls, but little will people know how quickly you knocked it together!  Continue reading

Piquant and juicy Shimla Mirch Parkhe – Charred Stuffed Peppers

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This March weather with its broad streaks of sunshine but nippy winds are making me instictively want lighter, brighter flavours but also a touch of comfort. These fit the bill perfectly and are a firm favouite. They are also a great example of how not every Indian dish is smothered in sauce…

Whole juicy peppers, sometimes in a gem-like array of colours, are gently blistered on the outside to give a smoky char and filled with a piquant, silky mash that is just bursting with the flavours of ground pomegranate, cumin, chilli, ginger and coriander. The tartness of the filling contrasts perfectly with the blushing sweetness of the peppers… Continue reading

Fresh and wholesome Gobi di Sabji – Spiced Steamed Cauliflower

Snipped Gobi

No one gets as excited about cauliflower season as Indians, but that’s because we know how to make utterly scrumptious gobi di sabji out of them.

Banish any memories you have of this vegetable as soggy, malodorous and bland from school dinners, and embrace this delicious dish, a real Punjabi home classic, where the delicate sweetness of the cauliflower is enhanced by a whisper of subtle, earthy spices… Continue reading

Classic and aromatic Punjabi Thariwala Chicken

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At this time of year I always get terribly homesick from having indulged in and chowed down as much of my family’s cooking over the Christmas holidays as humanly possible, so there is nothing better for me to cook as a reminder of home than this very traditional and heart-warming Punjabi classic of tender meat cooked on the bone with creamy, soft potatoes soaking up the rich and shimmering caramelised onion and tomato sauce… Continue reading

What is Cooking Like Mummyji?

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I was drying up the dishes in the kitchen when the doorbell rang. It was a particularly blustery and sodden Saturday in April 2002, the kind of grey day when all you want to do is shut out the dreariness and dozily curl up in the warmth of the living room… Continue reading

What does Mummyji mean?

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Mummyji is the hybrid term we used as kids growing up in Britain when addressing our mothers. ‘Mummy’ was English, but then we stuck ‘ji’ on the end as our one-size-fits-all suffix to denote respect.

Not to be confused with Ali G.

For this is a book all about the food from our mother’s hands as Asians living in Britain; the spoonfuls fed to me as a child, enchantingly spiced by lands and generations that were not my own. It is about being fed love, heritage and nourishment and being a bastion of the tradition, wisdom and skill of previous generations, to preserve and pass on with great care.

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