A hands on cooking class with Ashia, with easy recipes from her first cookbook "My Indian Kitchen". The recipes are simple and authentic, from her background growing up in Malawi, Africa to the UK and then New Zealand, Ashia shares stories of her upbringing and how her mother taught her to seamlessly combine East and West to make a gorgeous authentic homemade Indian feast to share. We will cook about seven dishes then sit down and have a shared meal, and finish off with something sweet.
The menu includes:
Burtho ( Aubergine curry)
Coconut chicken curry
Pea and paneer curry
And a welcome cup of masala chai and a dessert.
My heritage is Indian, my grandparents came from Western Gujarat, from a Memon community. Indian home cooking is my soul food, its nostalgia, passion and comfort. I want to show with my recipes that Indian food is easily accessible to anyone. With a few core ingredients you can effortlessly make a brilliant Indian meal, be it an everyday meal, or an elaborate one. What I love about Indian cooking is there are no rules, every region has its own way of doing things, each family has it’s own customs and traditions. Ours is using simple ingredients, although the spices are fragrant and mild, the dish is simple and suited to a western palate.
My grandparents moved to Malawi, Africa from India in the late 1940's, when the partition happened between India and Pakistan, there was a large Indian community in Malawi, so recipes and cooking styles from home were preserved
Being of Indian heritage, but growing up in Malawi, Africa, was amazing, it was a happy childhood, food and cooking were a big part of my upbringing. My parents entertained regularly, the ingredients we used in Malawi were fresh, the dishes were predominantly Indian, but mum would effortlessly cook all sorts of meals during the week, from Roasts, Pies and casseroles, with western flavours (but always a hint of chilli!) To hot rotis fresh from the tawri (Indian frying pan for rotis) and spicy curries. We then moved to the UK as a family.
I inherited my mum’s passion for entertaining, and after moving to NZ in my twenties, on my OE and big adventure, I truly found my love for cooking and baking and learning new ideas and recipes, and being so far from home, I missed my mum’s cooking, so would recreate the comforts of home cooking here in New Zealand.
My cookbook, which was published in October 2018 is a way to get myself out there, my writing is a way to combine my passion and commit my recipes to paper and print. I admire chefs, but I am not one, I want people to feel comfortable about cooking in their own style, but also uphold my own culinary traditions, and I want to preserve my delicious family recipes and get a chance to share them with others, and also being from a dual heritage, I want my children to never forget this part of their heritage.
My cooking style is simple, yet fused with ingredients from all over, people always ask if I just cook Indian meals at home everyday, and I don’t, in the week it’s a mixture of east and west, my two children love hot rotis, but being married to a Kiwi, having a good old roast is just as likely to be on the menu as having a gorgeous flavoursome curry!
Photo courtesy of @msphotographynz.