Eats and treats

SPICE – Layers of Flavour

Druv Baker was the MasterChef 2010 winner who inspired many of us to be bolder with flavours teaching us that ‘spicy’ does not necessarily mean ‘hot’. Spices are one of his passions, thanks in part to his upbringing and his mother’s and aunt’s cooking.

His advice in SPICE when starting cooking with spices is to start with just one spice in a dish and getting tobe familiar with it before using a combination of spices; and then learning to tweak recipes – more or less spice – to suit your own palate.

Interspersed between recipes in this full of flavour cookery book are some excellent photographs of the dishes as well as reminiscences on some of the places and events which have inspired him to create them. And at the end of the book there is a terrific spice guide and how to use them.

As to the recipes; from small plates to main meals, from vegetables to meat, from desserts to cakes and even something to drink, from straight forward to slightly more complex there is a huge choice.

And you can think of us steadily working our way through virtually all of them – though we might start with the Butternut squash with red onion, feta and coriander, but then it might be the Yellow pork and if our fig tree yields well next summer think of us tucking into Rum and star anise poached figs.

SPICE – Layers of Flavour. Dhruv Baker. ISBN 978-0-297-87015-9. £25. Wiedenfeld & Nicolson. www.orionbooks.co.uk. Available on Amazon.

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