A few weeks’ ago, I visited Café Spice Namaste for the launch of Cyrus Todiwala’s new book – Mr Todiwala’s Spice Box. The new recipe book is refreshingly simple compared to other India cook books, as it focuses around just 10 spices that Mr Todiwala considers essential for the base of all classic Indian cooking. The criteria for these spices means they are all versatile and accessible, and have been narrowed down to:

–          Black mustard seeds

–          Red chilli

–          Cumin

–          Coriander

–          Turmeric

–          Cardamom

–           Cloves

–          Saffron

–          Cinnamon

–          Mace

The recipes are inspired by Mr Todiwala’s favourite foods, including simplified versions of classics from cuisines such as Portuguese, Indian, and Goan, to name a few.

I was fortunate enough to be able to sample a few of the dishes at the launch, including spiced chicken dishes, beautifully cooked fish and an intriguing chorizo and cheese bread, all served with a spiced Pimms, leaving me wanting to try more.  

Beautiful recipe photography, which makes you dream of delicious dishes before you even get to the kitchen, accompanied by simple, easy to cook dishes is what will make this book such a hit.

Split into 8 sections (soups and starters, light dishes and street food, meat and poultry, fish and shellfish, vegetables and vegetarian dishes; rice, pluses and breads; barbecues, flavourings and accompaniments; desserts and drinks) there is a recipe for every occasion – from the warming baked mash potato with fish, bacon, cauliflower and chilli, to lighter oriental fish parcels, and finishing off with spiced pecan pie.

This is a book that can be enjoyed by a budding chefs, the time poor, or the experienced cook and will awaken anyone’s taste buds – a must-read for all.