Growing up in a large Indian family, life revolved around the kitchen. I would spend hours sitting with my grandmother as she dreamed up dishes that could serve a table of 15 or more on a daily basis, finding hundreds of ways to combine ingredients and conjure flavours.I appointed myself her sous chef and Chief Taster. I would take every opportunity I could to learn more about cooking… and eating!
Years later, my mum gave me a neatly divided spice kit before I set off for university, a real rite of passage for me. With a modest budget, some pots and pans and that magical little tin, I managed to turn our humble uni kitchen into a riot of colours, fragrances and flavours— spicing up pasta, jazzing up beans on toast and stir-frying like an Indian. I was astounded at how many of my friends had never even heard of ingredients like tamarind and turmeric, let alone knew how to cook with them.