A lot of people have asked me, why I wrote Soul Spices…
There are a few reasons.. but first let me just say that I totally respect the amazing chefs out there, the food writers, they are the heroes of the kitchen.. the mothers, the grandmothers.. these are the hearts of the kitchen…
For me, writing Soul Spices was more of a passion project than a business idea.
I came into it rather organically, and although it was a lot of work, a lot of hours, expensive ( I self published), I enjoyed every gruelling second of it.
There was so much that I learnt.. So many new, talented people I came to meet.
For me, all of that formed part of the completion.
Those who know me well know that cooking wasn’t really something I was essentially born to do. I never enjoyed the work it entailed. The chopping, the cleaning up after.. way too much energy spent for me. I love eating, always have, always will.. but I was happy with someone else doing the cooking. Anyway, to cut a very long and repetitive story short, I ended up loving being in the kitchen and cooking itself was therapeutic.
Just feeding people, inviting them to sit around my table, having my daughters’ friends over.. that whole experience was something I came to relish.
And so I began catering a tiny bit,inviting little ones over to have cookie baking classes. And upon entering culinary school, realised that I had found my passion.. my love for ingredients and the tricks that only seasoned chefs can show you. That truly was the only time I enjoyed learning anything. And I came away from that with my own ideas of what I wanted to do.
So that’s when the teaching started.
And through the teaching, I discovered that there was a huge gap in the cooking universe here ini Barcelona. Something that people didn’t really understand.. how to use and eat with spices… why buy 6-7 different spices? What do do with them.. ?
The same questions came with every cooking class, and I’m always very happy to answer them. And so I thought, why not put all this in writing and learn a little bit more myself?
So I started reading, going through other cookbooks that used spices… and I was beginning to learn and discover a little more every time…
I wanted to share all this.. I wanted to put it into words and pictures and share recipes that I cook everyday…
So putting a book together has got to be passion and love and all the things you’d like to share with anyone who’s willing to read and look and try… In a way it was a sort of selfish project.. a type of bucket list thing.. but hey, all our goals are a little bit like that aren’t they?
So this is part of how and why Soul Spices was born.
Now I feel like it’s out there on it’s own, speaking for itself a lot of the time. It has allowed me to spread my wings a little further and do more in this world of food… It has brought me together with some amazing people… and has given me the tools to teach not only cooking classes but restaurants and develop new recipes for their menus…
And so it continues and we keep cooking and sharing and working…but mostly we keep getting inspired by others who are doing the same!
Oh.. the book was originally written in English..I think and speak in English… and was translated to Spanish since we are here in Barcelona. The English version is in the book, so it’s great for everyone.. it’s also a fantastic tool to learn a language, as people have told me.. through cooking!
So go on, if you haven’t already got yours, pick it up today, right here, via the website!
Have lovely day, and here’s a wonderful, meat free, calming recipe to start the week! Thanks for being here!
Moong Dal Tadka
1 cup = 250ml
3/4 cup moong dal ( yellow split lentils)
1 medium onlion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 small piece fresh ginger, grated
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 cups water
For the tempering
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 tsp garam masala
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
Soak the lentils for about an hour.
In a large pot, put the lentils, onion, tomato, ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric and water. Season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cover for about 25 mins.
Remove the cover and stir. You need to achieve a sort of “hummus” like texture, so leave it uncovered on a medium flame at this point until you reached the desired consistency.
Heat a non stick pan and add the oil. Fry the garlic and cumin seeds until nicely toasted. Turn off the heat and add the garam masala. Mix this well and then add it to the dal, stirring well. Season again and serve hot with chapatis or white rice