Welcome! I’m Anisha, but my friends call me Anu. I’m the person behind this blog you’ve found yourself on, about food, spice & lifestyle. I am with the best partner who is my critical recipe tester (Carlos) and I am currently operating from my tiny (minute to be exact) Andalusian kitchen, which I also like to call my study, dining room and chill out area. From my “tiny” kitchen I have the best inspiration and the most spectacular views out of the beautiful city of Granada. I have the most breathtaking views of the Alhambra especially when the sun sets upon it and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains shadow in the distance. My greatest passions are getting into the open air looking for wild grown herbs, fruit and vegetables and creating delicious, wholesome recipes to share with you using amazing ingredients that have Mediterranean soul, without whom this foodie blog would not be possible, so thank you for stumbling upon it!
I went to high school studying all sorts but definitely remember Food Technology, hypnotised by food trips and lured by scents of freshly baked French bread at Delice De France. I studied Food Marketing Management in rainy South Yorkshire at Sheffield Hallam University where I had memorable sensory experiences in the form of olive oils, wine, decadent chocolates and midnight natters at Showroom Cafe. During the summers I travelled to see family and spent most of my time in the kitchen learning to make chapattis (Indian bread), whilst eating home-made Gujarati curries. If the opportunity was there, I enjoyed spending afternoons in the kitchen helping to prepare the communal meals we ate in the living room, in a large circle, with grown ups on seats and us children, legs crossed on the floor centred by huge pots of delicious, homely food. Meals were punctuated with ‘oooos’ and ‘aaahhhs’ and from those culinary experiences I discovered a love of cooking that originated with my grandmother who passed on unforgettable memories of good food and childhood stories. Her narrow, cold kitchen, warmed by the intensity of fragrant, spiced cooking which resulted in condensation droplets trickling down the window, forming pools of thirsty puddles on the window ledge, only added suspense for the need to take my first bite of her delicious food. For me thinking of these memories is like a recalled dream that I want to play, rewind, pause and repeat.
Working as a freelance writer, food photographer, recipe developer and columnist, as well as working an everyday job is not just beautiful but interesting because I love the contrast of a 9 to 5 job and coming home to the unknowing of what to cook and how to write about it. Each recipe is a chapter that is forever remembered like a book in a library that I can always come back to in the blink of an eye.
And so, in no way am I Keith or Elizabeth but they are the reason why food is alive in Britain, they created salivating taste buds, curiosity to try something new and thus created hunger for real, flavoursome food, for real people who wanted the different dish, the dish with never before seen ingredients, ingredients with soul. As human beings we thrive on the unknown, curiosity drives us, so why go for the perfect uniform tomato when you can have the tomato that is a little bruised, that has a speck of mould…why, because at least you know that the tomato is ripe, sweet, blush red and full of flavour. Now, don’t get me wrong I love floral tea towels and aprons and the quintessential tea time and sandwiches but I’m the farmer’s market kind of girl, slowly admiring the atmosphere of nattering people, cheerful market stalls with proud to sell produce full of texture and residue of a washed away relationship from nutrient soil. If there is an unfamiliar aroma I’m there and if there are flakes of pastry on the ground I’ll follow, there are journeys in life that you just have to take.
Living is a fact of life but cooking makes it memorable. It’s a biological necessity that needs the chemistry of food. Cooking is sustenance and precision does not interest me I like techniques, not ratios, I want stories behind rustic dishes basically I just don’t like food…I love food!
My recipes are largely inspired by the notion of helping aspiring people nesting away at work when they should be disconnecting and enjoying their time cooking at home. I’m not one for staying behind a stove but I love passing my time striding around markets, villages and unknown coastal areas in search of inspiration. That is where I find myself learning new techniques and enjoying seasonal cooking. For me, eating around various parts of Spain is living in the present, enjoying slow food in a typical Andalusian slow fashion.
All the recipes you see here on Anisha Mistry; food, spice and lifestyle follow aspiring women (not forgetting aspiring men of course) but aspiring people who sometimes fall into the trap of unintentionally working towards stress and feeling stymied by problems at work as well as personal life. As a result of this I created recipes in an exclusive column for My Little Black Book in London to offer recipes designed to provide a dash of inspiration and flavoursome indulgence after-hours, in the hope to shift attention away from a busy day and to channel it into something tastier and memorable for the soul.
My recipes are wholesome, nourishing and to stimulate hunger for real food with real ingredients. I understand many people may not prefer certain ingredients but I do make suggestions for substitutes if the occasion presents itself in my aspiring recipes. One of my personal favourites that I live by is knowing that although it is not noted in any of my recipes, but I never use GMO ingredients and MSG products because that is the last thing any aspiring person needs in their body. I believe that if food is grown naturally, looks colourful and has tantalising scents, why do you need unhealthy chemicals to ruin the purpose of that ingredient. As a result I also focus on using natural foods as a pose to pre-packaged products with the hope of trying to keep my recipes simple, colourful and easy to follow for people with busy lifestyles.
I truly believe in balance and moderation when it comes to almost everything, be it cooking, eating or drinking. As a result of this on my blog you will find brownies made with brown sugar and wholemeal flour, vegetables cooked with love and humility, soup made from fresh herbs from the countryside well you get the idea. In the hope to feed you, my aspirational foodies (which is you) recipes that will help you to rediscover a love of cooking and recall a dream you once hoped for because in life there missed deadlines and ill starred meetings and overlooked promotions but there is joy in tearing crusty, fresh bread, the aroma of Earl Grey tea because good work is there if you can find something that you love.
MY FAVOURITE CHEF QUOTE
“Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love.”
― Keith Floyd
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