Spice up summertime favorites like shrimp, ribs, potatoes, and plums with fragrant Indian spices.
Food has always been at the heart of my fondest family memories. I can remember as a toddler sticking my nose into our family spice box, used by my mother and grandmother as they cooked together in the kitchen. Spices are so colorful and so fragrant that they were impossible for me to resist exploring.
To say I come from a food-obsessed family is to put it mildly: When my grandparents moved to London in the 1950s, they started creating Indian food in their home kitchen, which soon developed into a line of sauces, chutneys, and the like, designed to bring the bold flavors of India into homes across the world. My father took over the business when he was young and, with my mother, grew the brand into the worldwide household name it is today. (Next time you’re shopping, have a look; you’ll likely find jars of our curries and sauces at your supermarket.)
When I decided to write a cookbook last year, it was with the same aim my family had when launching Patak’s: I wanted my recipes to be a friendly introduction to the spice flavors characteristic to Indian cuisine, but I also wanted to include international food. I enjoyed many dishes growing up in the West, and I love adding a flavorful spice twist on foods familiar to us all. The late-summer menu featured here, with its ribs, potatoes, green beans, and plums, does just that. My hope is that these crowd-pleasing dishes will inspire those of you unfamiliar with Indian flavors to give them a try. Once you do, you’ll never look back.