“I love to make my guests happy and make them feel at home.” This is truly a motto I could make my own. And one that fills every dish of Papa Kazmi.
In 2012, at almost 60, Papa Kazmi fulfilled his long time dream of opening a restaurant. Hills & Mills in Delft was born. Soon the place became a hot spot in the heart of the Dutch city where many come to experience Papa’s magic. Some wanted to spread his cooking beyond the city’s borders. The idea of a cookbook started to form in Papa Kazmi’s children mind and the seed became a tree.
Papa Kazmi Pure Cook Book is not your typical cookbook. Of course it is filled with 80 delightful recipes of modern Indian cuisine, some straight out of the cuisine of Hills & Mills but I read it like a story, one you tell your children and grandchildren. This is exactly what it is about – a family story, told with sincerity, honesty, and love – a tribute to a father from his children – a celebration of delicious food. A self-taught man who left Pakistan at 16, Papa Kazmi is not your conventional chef. His journey took him from his home country to the Netherlands via London. Food became his way of communicating and connecting with people everywhere, while keeping his family roots alive.
Among the traditional Indian dishes, some are his own creations mixing the best of different worlds. Matar pilav, Bharta, Tamarind chutney, Mango lassi, Raw mango coconut pie – exotic names for mouthwatering recipes. Every chapter of this book is filled with soups, the famous Naan, hot and cold drinks, heartwarming lunch and dinner dishes, treats and desserts – you name it. Each recipe uses pure ingredients and brings out intense flavor. They are easy to follow thanks to the straightforward key symbols, very creative. They also can be adapted to everyone’s taste and diet using the helpful tips and tricks. The photos of Kim Thy illustrate them beautifully.
I loved every recipe I tested – the chicken Tikka, the chickpea salad, the coconut and mango panna cotta – light, delicous, simple yet intensely flavorful. My children enjoyed to experience surprising new dishes from far away but with a western twist that makes it easy to enjoy. I can’t wait to dig even further into this delightful gem and to share my great finds with family and friends. As Papa Kazmi would say, “every meal should be a feast”. So be it!
Title: Papa Kazmi Pure Cook Book
Recipes, Concept and Text: Sheraz & Nawaz
Publisher: The Pure Family
Design and Illustrations: Joelle Lemmers
Photography: Kim Thy