A Journey of Spices

Britain’s favourite Indian fare, the curry, is seen through a more crosscultural lens in Madhur Jaffrey’s latest fare.

ulinary legend Madhur Jaffrey brought forth some more of her famous cookbook nourishment last week when she attended the South Asian Literary Festival in London. In the city to promote her latest book Curry Nation, Jaffrey teamed up with fellow chef and author Hardeep Singh Kohli at the Festival to discuss her latest foray into food.

Jaffrey broke into hallowed British culinary ground in the 80s with her cookbooks, where she introduced the nation to  flavoursome Indian curry. This brought a distinct shift in how the Indian curry was viewed, making it more accessible and wholesome, and delivering the secrets of its taste from the corner takeaway to the kitchen table.

Jaffrey’s latest book delves deep into the culinary traditions of the British Asian population that has now long been part of Britain’s ethnic make-up. Looking into what started out as cooking that was close to Indian roots, Jaffrey travels through England to visit Asian communities and see how far the spices have travelled – both where the cooking and the taste of the dishes are concerned. She draws inspiration from Birmingham and Bengal, from Glasgow and Goa and Lucknow and Leicester, finding culinary chains without ever drifting away from the shores of the British Isles.

As always, Jaffrey maintains a simplicity that is unique to her narratives in all her books and reinforces the idea that Indian cooking can be simple, wholesome and without complications. Interestingly, Jaffrey also finds ways to combine traditional Asian fare with traditional British food, adding even more colour to an already vibrant book.

By Riya Kartha


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