The face behind Chillies n Spice and All Things Rice!
I’m Papli, a food aficionado in the UK who began her humble journey with serious food blogging during the COVID-19 pandemic. I love to cook and have a passion for experimentation in the kitchen, where I spend my days tweaking old and new recipes. I decided to share my love for hearty, home-cooked cuisine with others online and have had phenomenal support from familiar faces and strangers, alike.
Chillies n Spice and All Things Rice was born on the 4th December 2020, all because I got worried COVID-19 might take me!
For years I have been jotting and trialing dishes, adapting, creating and experimenting.
All stored in endless notebooks, diaries, papers and sheets.
Then came pictures, albums of them, still ever-growing!
All stored with the notion someday I will put them together for my girls and hopefully their children. Some day.
Then comes COVID-19 and a realisation following on from the many sad loss of close family friends and colleagues. I kept thinking I could be one of those statistics and my recipes will never see the light of day. My girls will never have my food again. Those favourites they always ask me to teach them but we never get round to, thinking when they have families and really crave those dishes and ask, I will pass them on then.
There have always been family favourites, my youngest always told me from a very young age she loves my roast potatoes and needs to learn to make them in case I die. She said it every time she had them.
One day I was late picking her up from school. When I got there she started crying saying she thought I had died. I consoled her telling her I was fine, just late at work. She said she was so upset because she never learnt how to make the roast potatoes! She was 8yrs old.
I decided when the Kent COVID strain was rampant that I would do this blog to leave behind my recipes, a part of me. My favourites, sentimental dishes I shared the love for with my mum, foods that bring to mind my siblings everytime, curries that stir memories of my parents and their passion for good food, dishes I have shared with my hubby and have fond memories off, mostly, food that my children have grown up oohing and aahing and of home.
Food was important for my family: my dad loved his food cooked well. That was his big ask from my mum. For us children they wanted us to try everything so that we would always be able to say we were given the experience to savour something, even if it was only once in our lifetime.
That instilled the penchant for good food made well but I rarely used the cooker. I knew where it was because I made endless cups of tea, but that was to use the kettle!
I never cooked before I was married, just the occasional casserole or keema. I could not even cook rice!
Then I got married.
What started of as survival pretty much became a past time.
I have been passionate about cooking pretty much all my married life. All 30 plus yrs of them.
Once I got the basics, the joy of food and cooking took over. I have never looked back.
And so in my food, there is a part of my history, a part of me in all the recipes I have posted and intend to post.
I hope in years to come my girls, my hubby and generations of my family will enjoy ‘home cooking’ just as they do now.
I want people to sample some genuine traditional Bengali food that generations of our family ate. I want to showcase those dishes you never find in restaurants. Foods that influenced British Restaurant curries but in its originality.
I want people to experience the vast range of vegetables and fish they have never seen or heard off.
I just want people to experience, if only once a week, something new.
I always believe you can live like a pauper but still enjoy food like a king, even if it’s just one delicious dish a day.