How To Blend Spices
Dinesh Perera, The Spicy Gourmet
I’m Dinesh Perera, The Spicy Gourmet, and it’s my pleasure to bring you a unique culinary experience that lets you make authentic, delicious, exotic South Asian spice blends and classic dishes in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Growing up in the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka, off the southern tip of India, cooking with spices came as naturally to me as the warm breeze that rustled the palm trees outside our house. My grandmother and grand aunt were always preparing spice blends to use in an array of meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
They started by dry-roasting fresh, whole spices in large skillets. Earthy aromas signifying that a feast was in my future soon filled the house and drew me to the kitchen. I would watch my grandmother select pinches of this and that roasted spice and grind them together with a mortar and pestle to make a blend. She would then add salt and white rice vinegar and mold the mix into “spice balls,” which were used for a whole week’s cooking.
Later in the day, at least a dozen relatives and neighbors would join us for the meal that was always a big, noisy celebration full of laughter and good food – the ideal pairing. Those early memories greatly influenced my ideas about what life ought to be, and freshly blended spices were – and still are – a key ingredient.
Eventually, my two siblings and I lived with my father in the United Kingdom. Here was a man who had not made so much as a cup of tea in his whole life; yet he had to keep himself and his three children fed. It didn’t take him long to master the art of using spices to prepare excellent meals. Through trial and error and our occasional suggestion to “take it a little easy with the cayenne,” he became a good cook who loved to boast to family and friends about his famous kukul mus (chicken curry) and parripu (lentils). We came to enjoy his food as much as his passion for preparing it.
Those childhood experiences of life and food in Sri Lanka and England – witnessing the play of spices, the laughter and joy in my grandmother’s kitchen, and my father as he lovingly mastered the art of cooking – have not only stuck with me, but made me The Spicy Gourmet. It’s a great legacy, and one I’m so happy to share with you.
The Spicy GourmetWatch Dinesh’s latest Recipe Video!
Dr. Schweta Kasbekar
Dr. Schweta Kasbekar is a native of the Chicagoland area and received her two undergraduate Bachelor degrees in both Biology and Spanish from Creighton University in Omaha, NE. She then attended the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL where she achieved her Doctorate in Chiropractic Medicine and the University of Chicago, IL where she completed her MBA.
Dr. Kasbekar has had a lifelong interest in fitness and health, as well as great experience addressing musculoskeletal conditions, chronic disease, and inflammatory disorders. Her background in clinical nutrition and current candidacy for her Diplomate for the American Board of Chiropractic Internists allows her to use extensive laboratory testing and evaluation.
The doctor, through her hundreds of hours of post-graduate study in nutrition, natural therapies, and acupuncture has successfully treated patients suffering from many conditions, including but not limited to: chronic disease, auto-immune diseases, fibromyalgia, weight management, fatigue, food allergies, and support for cancer therapies.
Dr. Kasbekar pursues a patient-centered, integrative medical approach to wellness. She believes that the combination of medical science and natural therapies is the key to responsible, safe, and effective health care.Read Dr. Schweta’s latest Blog Article!