Shaheen started Spicemama in 2015 by making small batches of spices based on old family recipes. Hand roasted and ground, her spices sell at various retail outlets in Perth today.
Meet 43-year-old Shaheen Hughes, a mother-of-two who left her corporate job in Perth two years ago and jumped head-long into a new food business.
The whole idea of starting her venture, Spicemama, came after Hughes’ lost her both grandmas in span of one year. They left behind hand-written notes of their 100-year-old recipes of making Indian spices at home.
“I felt the need to remember their recipes and food stories. Food is something that helps us stay connected to our roots as migrants. My grandmas had these treasures of recipes which I did not want to lose. That’s when I thought of starting Spicemama,” Shaheen tells SBS Hindi.
Shaheen started Spicemama in 2015 with making small batches of spices based on old family recipes. Hand roasted and ground, her spices sell at various retail outlets in Perth today.
"When I cook the food of my past, following the old recipes of my great grandmothers, grandmothers and mother, I feel like I am home again in old Bombay, the city of my birth," she says.
"Through my recipes and spice blends, I want to show people how different spices add delicious natural flavours to food, helping to reduce the use of sugar, salt and artificial ingredients in cooking," Shaheen explains.
"I want to teach people that spices are full of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial compounds, the original ‘super’ foods."
Spicemama also runs a pop up supper club twice a month where Shaheen and her mother teach food lovers how to cook Indian delicacies at home from scratch with some history and fun sprinkled in.
Her classes are themed as per popular books and film like Shantaram, The Namesake and Lunchbox where food is a major theme and a connect.
“Twice a month, we gather about 8-10 people in my mother’s beautiful garden and talk about Indian spices, benefits of our traditional cuisine and teach them to cook Indian food. Right from Mumbai’s street food to Mughlai biryanis, we not only share our knowledge and recipes but also demystify Indian cooking, which is much more than just ‘curry’,” says Shaheen.
Shaheen is now in the process of translating many of her old family recipes. She posts them on her website and is also planning to publish them soon.
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