We are delighted to be interviewing Mallika Basu – food writer, cookbook author & Evening Standard columnist – about her new venture Sizl Spices!
Mallika visited last year’s Ginger and Spice Festival and demonstrated how to make simple and quick dishes with spices for those with busy lives!
Mallika regularly writes a food column in the Evening Standard Newspaper in which she shares simple yet delicious simply spiced recipes for modern living which she enjoys while leading a busy life in London. Mallika has a YouTube channel on which she also shares some of her recipes.
Here in this interview, Mallika tells us about her new venture, SIZl Spices (www.sizlspices.com) and why they are ideal for passionate people who are passionate cooks!
Can you tell us a little bit about your new spice brand SIZL Spices?
SIZL is a heady, high quality range of spices designed to be practical for passionate, everyday cooks. It features windows so you can monitor levels, can be stacked for ease of storage and has wide lids, so you can get a measuring spoon inside. Importantly, it was designed by cooks and passionate spice lovers. We don’t sell anything we wouldn’t use in our kitchens!
What was the inspiration behind setting Sizl up?
I’ve been writing about food for over 13 years now and wondered why spices, which have such an extraordinary ability to inject flavour into food, are sold at not the best quality and in the most boring, uninspiring way. There is so much ignorance about them and spice jars often just end up gathering dust in the back of cupboards. So, I decided to start a spice company with three friends and business partners, all passionate cooks. My co-founder Amar Dani has been running a hugely successful wholesale organic spice operation for over a decade.
How can we know if a spice is of good quality?
It’s very difficult to tell and each spice has its own tell-tale signs. As a general rule, spices should have a strong, robust aromas and flavours when they are sold. Apart from that, know your seller!
Why are spices important to food?
Spices are the biggest shortcut to flavour in food. This probably explains why they have captivated the hearts and minds of people the world over.
Do you have any best sellers or gift products available?
Our bestsellers are True Cinnamon, the highest quality cinnamon you can get, Turmeric, a blend of two varieties for full curcumin goodness and robust colour and Garam Masala. Our Garam Masala doesn’t use the cheaper spices of coriander and cumin as bulk. We’ve blended it with the pricier and more robust dark, whole spices. I trialled four before we settled on the one we loved.