Simplifying Indian Cooking

Jaswant's Kitchen spice kits

I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen. I like big bold flavours and fresh ingredients and I know enough to prepare something - with or without a recipe - that relies on those qualities. So Italian and Thai influences come out a lot - it's not hard to throw a few basil leaves into something and squeeze some citrus on top with a pinch of chilli flakes! But for me there are two world cuisines that - without the best possible cookbooks and YouTube coaches - I just find too intimidating to approach on my own: French and Indian. Both are so full of technique and subtlety and layers and complexity and history. It can make it daunting to even get started. 

I'm not alone in that feeling. Even Jaswant Kular's own children were intimidated! Jaswant is an accomplished Indian cook and nutritionist but her kids were growing up as typical Canadian kids in Brampton. And while they did inherit an appreciation for their mom's cooking, they didn't really have the time or expertise or confidence to try it themselves. However, they were acquiring some other kinds of expertise and confidence in the business world so Jaswant and three daughters went into business together to take some of that intimidation factor out of Indian home cooking.

Masala blends from Jaswant's Kitchen have been a popular item on our shelves among Indian cooking aficionados in the neighbourhood for some time but the family have just released a new product line that welcomes even the most cautious cooks into the fold. These dish-specific spice blends come in envelopes with easy-to-follow instructions for creating some Indian classics at home. Prep-times, temperatures, ingredient lists and other info are spelled out so all you need to do is add the contents of the packet to achieve delicious and authentic results.

And believe me, on hot days there is nothing like Indian food - and perhaps a cold Kingfisher beer or two.  Alternatively, daughter Roupi produced this video with the recipe for a delightful Indian-inspired summer cocktail to start!

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