Stevie Parle's a UK restauranteur and food writer, while Emma Grazette makes holistic and unusual beauty products using spices. Together, they're the hosts of Spice Trip, a program that visits six countries to learn more about six fundamental spices. To complement the TV show, airing Thursdays on SBS ONE this month, this cookbook has been compiled by the show's hosts.
By
April Smallwood

4 Jul 2013 - 1:07 PM  UPDATED 2 Jul 2014 - 1:45 PM

Why buy it?

This is Parle and Grazette's first cookbook, and it’s an important one because it enhances one’s cooking through the application of six fundamental spices, oft found in every kitchen, yet applied with little confidence or basic know-how.

“The simple way to make food exciting” is the book’s tagline, and it’s fitting. With a sprinkle of nutmeg, a pinch of pepper, a humdrum dish is taken to new heights, as is your reputation as a cook. Most of the recipes are ready in 20-30 minutes, so it’s the kind of thing where you can flip to an attractive page, stop by the market for a few essentials and make a stellar feast tonight.

If you’re excited by uncomplicated meals, lifted with a hint of chilli or cumin, Spice Trip might actually end up replacing a number of recipe tomes on your shelf. Each spice is connected to a place; chillies and Mexico, cloves and Zanzibar, cinnamon and India, etc, so the dishes are diverse to boot.

It’s broken up into six chapters and each begins with a rundown called “quick fixes” on how to use said spice in everyday dishes you may not have considered. For example, grate nutmeg over cheese on toast for a spicy kick and extra depth of flavour. Who knew?

Cookability

Most recipes take less than 20 minutes to plant on the table. They're designed for ease and simplicity, despite the fact that spices are used. Beginners welcome.

Must-cook recipe

Fried eggplant with tomato sauce and cumin salt.

Most surprising dish

Black pepper and strawberry ripple ice-cream.

Kitchen wisdom

Cinnamon is great for settling the stomach after a meal, which is particularly useful if you're travelling to countries where you'll be eating unfamiliar foods. To make a tea, dissolve half a teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon in water and boil for 5 minutes.

Ideal for

Those who want to add a little kick to their recipes and from here, extend their spice knowledge even further. Beginners will be delighted and find the confidence they need to use these six spices – cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, chillies and cumin – in other creative and experimental ways.

Cook the book

Mulled wine and oxail stew