A British Punjabi chef who has won countless hearts for her exquisite dishes, Sarah Woods has recently released a new cookbook titled “Desi Kitchen” which celebrates the essence of ‘Desi’ cuisine and culture and is a culmination of Sarah’s years of experience in the culinary world.
“Desi Kitchen” is Sarah’s first cookbook, and it features over 100 recipes that showcase the vibrant flavors and aromas of all the desi communities from the island of Sri Lanka to Kashmir in the foothills of the Himalayas and everywhere in between. The book is divided into chapters that cover everything from breakfast and snacks to curries, rice dishes, and desserts. Each recipe is accompanied by beautiful photographs and detailed instructions, making it easy for readers to recreate the dishes in their own kitchens.
In an exclusive interview, Tricity Scoop spoke to Sarah to know more about her culinary journey!
Tell us a brief about your journey as a chef so far.
I appeared on a TV show called Best Home Cook on BBC1 back in January 2020. That was the turning point, where I decided to pivot my career and follow my true passion: food and feeding. I re-trained as a Chef as soon as the first lockdown was lifted. Since then, I have started a food business, hosted restaurant pop-ups, and supper clubs, and written a book. I am looking forward to partnering with a local business to teach cooking classes in the very near future too. I want to make authentic desi cooking accessible to everybody.
Where do you hail your roots from in India?
I was born and raised in the UK. My dad came to the UK in the 1960s as a child of 12 years and mom came later on in 1972 to get married. They hail from Jalandhar in Punjab.
Your latest cookbook – Desi Kitchen is garnering a lot of attention across the globe. Tell us more about it.
In simple words, it’s a beautiful cookbook showcasing how British Indian food varies around the UK depending on the migration!
Packed with recipes, stories and authentic voices from each of the communities covered, I have brought together this collection of dishes and provided a rare and privileged glimpse into desi kitchens from all over modern Britain.
One thing that you love the most about Indian cuisine? Why?
The endless range and diversity, the taste explosion. Spice, heat & flavour is life!
One final message for all the budding chefs in India.
Firstly, follow your dreams. Cook from your heart and put love into your food. Be authentic. To any female chefs, empower yourselves, and be fearless. The food you make should be authentic and should tell a story.