Indian Cooking with Papa Kazmi

There is nothing I love more than good Indian food, something which I have certainly missed since I left the UK (Brits really are spoilt for choice when it comes to top-notch Indian eateries). So when Nawaz Kazmi from the acclaimed ‘Hills & Mills’ in Delft got in touch to ask if I would be interested in reviewing their new cookbook, I naturally jumped at the chance.

The books starts by introducing the family and Papa, who was sixteen when he moved from Pakistan to Europe. The tale that ensues is a family affair in the truest sense, with Papa’s children helping him to realise his dreams of opening his restaurant and write his first cook book. I won’t give too much away but this recipe book has a real personal touch, with sentimental photos, little anecdotes and tips scattered throughout. From breakfast in the Kazmi household to special occasions, you get a real insight into the family’s world and how food has played an important part in each aspect.

papa

Papa outside his restaurant in Delft (photography by Kim Thy taken from PURE COOK BOOK)

The book boasts beautiful photography of the dishes, each turn of a page left me salivating and eager to recreate them in the kitchen myself. Add to this the lovely illustrations to introduce equipment you may need plus a directory of herbs, and you’ve got one very aesthetically pleasing book in your hands (or on your kitchen counter).

A snapshot of photography from the book

A snapshot of photography from the book

Now the important part: the food. With my apron firmly tied around my waist, I attempted to recreate bharta, a potato side dish which goes perfectly with over-baked fish (another great thing about the book is it gives little tips to go with each dish). The recipe was straightforward and didn’t have too many ingredients.

Ingredients

Let’s get started…

I started by chopping spring onions, garlic and a whole green chilli whilst my potatoes were happily boiling away. Once the potatoes were ready I mashed them then toasted cumin seeds in a pan before adding the onions and garlic. The last step is to add the mash combined with salt, pepper & chill flakes and to sauté this for 5 minutes! Easy peasy!

Mashed potato

Mashed potato time

How was it? DELICIOUS! I served the magical mouthwatering mash with a simple pan-fried salmon fillet which went down a treat. I can’t wait to try some more of Papa’s recipes!

Panfried salmon

The end result!

Want to get your hands on Papa’s book? Click here to shop for the English and Dutch versions in the online store.

Papa's book

Papa’s book in all its glory

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