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