Designer, author and food fanatic Husna Rahaman shares the power of slow food
Starring a fictional family of larger than life characters from the Kutchi Memon community and recipes from her grandmother’s kitchen, Husna Rahaman’s book Spice Sorcery conjures up edible solutions to all of life’s problems. While you won’t find any shortcuts or quick fixes, she promises to help you taste the difference in fresh food, and discover the magic in your kitchen ladle.
Tell us a bit about your culinary inheritance?
My cooking journey began with my nani. From the Kutchi Memon community, her philosophy of food is straight from the heart. It’s about fresh produce used with painstaking passion. No short cuts with pastes and powders out of a store. Have you been in a room with cumin being dry roasted on a griddle? Then ground and used instantly? That’s honest food.
More on Kutchi Memon food.
It isn’t pretentious, but robust and hearty. It’s ‘lick your fingers’ good and cutlery is distinctly disrespectful. My favourite is the aloo gosht ka korma, the pillar of the community and the basis on which biryani is built. It’s soul satisfying. One travels the world only to know that home is where the korma is.
Thoughts on fast food.
I don’t look kindly at pre-fried onions, coconut milk out of a tetrapack or powders out of plastic. Keep the dish simple, but true. The flavour difference from keeping it real is gigantic. But folks, do keep the grinder, I draw the line there! Buttons that make things work are our clever allies. Busy professionals need to hire help that can do things from scratch. And for heaven’s sake, in our country, you can do just that.
The magic of food.
It’s magic that we see everyday – each time you are happy after a meal, excited before one, or content after one. You can make friends due to it, woo with it, soothe, heal, mollify. That magic starts with the chemistry of the right ingredients put together with a benevolent heart and stays for many hours longer in satisfied tummies.
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— Maegan Dobson Sippy