I’m Papli, a homecook 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, a pandemic and a realisation following on from the sad loss of some 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. I fretted my girls will never have my food again. Those favourites they always ask me to teach them but we never get round to doing. Always 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 and just late at work. She said she was so upset because she never learnt how to make the roast potatoes! She was 8 years old then.
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 and 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 moments off. Mostly, food that my children have grown up oohing and aahing, memories of our family, 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, something new, something different, something adventurous, even if it was only just that once in our lifetime.
That instilled the penchant for good food made well but I rarely used the cooker in my youth. I knew where it was because I made endless cups of tea, but that was to use the kettle rarely to cook!
I never really cooked before I was married, just the occasional casserole or keema. I could not even cook our staple humble boiled rice!
Then I got married.
What started of as survival, a hunger for my mums and sister in laws cooking, pretty much became a past time and at times my salvation. 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.
So, this brings me to this website. An Xmas gift to me from my eldest daughter. She realised the popularity of my FB page within weeks. The unbelievable interest and the sheer amount of time I was spending giving tips, advice and direction. She created the site and taught me the ropes to manage it. Thanks to her, a library of my recipes was born.
And so in my food, there is a part of my history, a part of my heritage, a part of my culture, a big part of my parents and siblings, and a huge part of me in all the recipes I have posted and intend to post.
I hope in the years to come that my girls, 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 have eaten. 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 with just one delicious dish a day.