About Me

I am a Zimbabwean-born Indian who grew up in Africa and moved to the United States once I was married.  I truly have a significant passion for food, especially natural foods.

I ate a wholesome diet influenced mainly by Ayurvedic practices amongst other natural philosophies.  It was part of everyday life, I was never told “…because it’s natural!” or “…because it’s Ayurvedic”  It was just what we did!  My mum would put turmeric on open cuts, make us drink peppermint water to aid a upset tummy or simply make us down some honey with turmeric and a little lemon juice to ward off a cold.  Simple things that I try to pass along to my kids…

I can’t remember when or where I learnt how to cook.  All I can tell you is that there has been rumor that I could cook an egg for myself when I was three years old.  I do however, remember melting grated cheddar cheese in one of my mums brass kitchen bowls over the stove when I was a wee little one.   I can still smell the aroma of the sizzling cheese against the warm bowl and after waiting patiently for the magic to unfold, the crunch of the toasty cheese in my mouth.

Now you may be wondering why “For the Love of Ghee”?  Well that’s something that always seemed to be around when I was growing up.  A huge container full of ghee!

Ghee is the true essence of the food I grew up eating as a child.  My mum and family would make super huge pots of ghee on any given occasion especially during weddings.  We would never dream of not having ghee!  A biryani with ghee?  Impossible! Or how could we possibly make the never ending list of sweets without ghee too. It would have been considered a absolute catastrophe 😉

I love the pleasant taste ghee lends to almost anything it’s slathered on!  Be it a fresh piece of warm toast or dolloped over a plate of warm steamy rice.  Ever had an egg fried in ghee instead of regular old oil?  Give it a shot!  Please do!  You won’t be disappointed, I promise you!

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A dollop of ghee being added to a sautéing curry

Being of Indian heritage and growing up in Zimbabwe, I am proud to say I have stayed well connected to the Indian culture, tradition and most importantly the food.  I was lucky enough to grow up having a full belly and enjoying some of the delectable delights mentioned below.

  • a bowl of fluffy rice drenched in ghee and a spoonful of sugar.  Pure heaven!

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  • a square of perfectly made barfee, an indian sweet confectionary made with ghee, powdered milk and sugar.

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  • a perfect biryani doused in ghee.  The biryani, taking days to make with the utmost attention to detail and made with the finest ingredients.
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makings of a biryani

finishing touches to the biryani

finishing touches to the biryani

 

  • hadur waro keer – a warm milky concoction, an antidote to a cold and cough, made with ghee, turmeric, and sweetened with jaggery (unrefined cane sugar).  Perfect on a cold wintery day before bedtime.

 

However, my palate was not limited to Indian food alone, I’d absolutely devour a steak pie in a heart beat.  The great thing about growing up in Zimbabwe is that I ate as much homebound Indian food, as well as, tones of food influenced along the way by British cookery.

  • Hot, delicate and crispy fish and chips made to perfection.
  • A moist sausage roll made with the flakiest pastry
  • and let’s not forget shepherds pie, just to name a few.

I will share with you too, the mouthwatering African dishes I absolutely loved devouring as a child.

  • Sadza and Muriwo (African polenta made with white corn and stewed spinach or vegetables)
  • Bones stew (a bone-in, cartilage and all, beef stew simmered for hours)
  • and the ever popular Braii, a feast of meat  barbecued over a charcoal grill.  I assure it is finger licking good, especially eating the seared meats right off the fire.

 

As an Indian who grew up in Africa, I have a unique twist on classic Indian recipes, and some British and African recipes too.  And now from my home in the United States I have numerous recipes that I haven learned along the years to share with you.

Please join me in my epic adventure in jotting down these glorious finds.

Enjoy, comment, bake, cook, stir, sauté, fry and let’s make Ghee!

For The Love Of Ghee,

 

XOXO

-Shamim

All content on this blog is copyright of Fortheloveofghee.com, 2015

 

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36 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Hey Shamim!
    I have to say, I think your blog is great! I can relate to many of the recipes, since my girlfriend is from Trinidad, from the time I’ve spent cooking with her mother who is part Indian in descent, and also cooking on my own from the cookbook she gave me. It’s awesome how multicultural the food and cooking influences are down there, not unlike your own influences (I had so many family’s-variants of Barfi this November while I visited during Divali, some were exquisite, others not as much). Anyway, without further adieu, here is the yogurt-rum-tomato-onion-fish recipe i promised you! (slightly modified, from the Multi-Cultural Cuisine of Trinidad & Tobago & The Caribbean: Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook – I highly recommend the book!)

    Fish Creole
    Ingredients:
    6 slices of fish, seasoned (1 1/2 lbs)*
    2 tbsp melted butter
    1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
    1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
    1/2 cup sliced onion
    3/4 cup tomato pulp, fresh or canned
    salt to taste
    1/4 tsp hot pepper
    1/2 cup plain yogurt
    1 tbsp rum, sherry, or white wine (I used rum, since that’s what the Caribbean is famous for :))

    Method:
    1. Brush fish with melted butter and coat with breadcrumbs.
    2. Arrange fish in a greased baking dish.
    3. Cover with mushrooms and onion.
    4. Combine tomatoes, salt and hot pepper and spread over fish.
    5. Mix yogurt and wine and pour over fish.
    6. Bake in a preheated oven at 375f for 20-30mn until fish flakes easily.
    Adjust salt and pepper. (here we think of pepper as black pepper, but when they say pepper it means chilies/hot pepper, unless they specify black pepper)

    *I’m not totally sure what they mean by seasoned fish, nor can I remember how I made it, but I assume it’s with green seasoning, a super-common seasoning for meats and lots of things. To make green seasoning, you put some water, cilantro (they use something called chadon beni, which is a thick, long leaf but tastes similar to cilantro), a piece of hot pepper and some garlic and salt, and blend it. You could add a little oil, too. It should be a paste-like consistency, maybe slightly runny. You’ll want to use it within a week, or freeze it in portions for use later. Or you can buy some from Marla at Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine in South Minneapolis.

    So yeah, there you have it! You could serve this with some rice and greens. Let me know what you think, and I’m really looking forward to trying your grandmother’s chicken-soup recipe 🙂

    -Chris from Trader Joe’s

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    • Hey Chris!
      Thanks so much for sharing your recipe. I have to say I was so excited to hear from you. Learning about different cultures and how the food differs over time, from the place of origin, is so amazing!
      I am definitely going to try this recipe sometime soon. And I love getting recommendations on recipe books and this one is about to be added to my repertoire.
      I will have to make it a point to check out Marla’s too when I’m that side of town.
      By the way here’s my email fortheloveofghee@gmail.com, please shoot me your email, so I can let you know how the recipe turns out.
      Hopefully I’ll bump into you at Trader Joes sometime.
      🙂

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  2. I love the blog. I couldn’t find the recipe for you lovely beverage made with rose water? Is that right? In any case, it was delicious and I would like to make some. Thank you for sharing your recipes. I am about to bring your curried chicken to a friend in a few minutes. I guess it’s actually MY chicken curry now! Thank you!

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    • Hi Debra,
      I’m so happy that you were able to stop by. I’ve been looking forward to your comments.
      And wow you made your chicken curry! That’s great! I’ll post the rose water beverage soon.
      I hope you enjoyed the cooking class.

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  3. Hi Shamim, your recipes are excellent. As simple and yummy too. Your gudgheeroti reminds me of my mom. The dish is a feast. Will keep checking for more recipies on your blog. Kanan

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    • Hey Kanan. I’m glad you liked the ghee ghoor roti recipe. It definitely reminds me of home and mom too. Will try and keep writing more recipes. It seems with summer the time just flies by.

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  4. The title of your blog is cute. I only discovered ghee a few months ago because I needed it for a recipe. I bought a huge tub. Now and then people look in mu fridge and say: whats that? 🙂

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  5. Hi Shamim! I really enjoyed the Indian Spices 101 class. I can tell how humble you are from the passion you have for cooking and from the stories of your family tradition. Every detail that you had for the class was phenomenal! Can’t wait to start on some more recipes from your blog.

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  6. Hi Shamin,
    I met you at HP lab. We talked about your blog and I’m so happy to have met you. My daughter and I want to take one of your cooking classes. Can you let me know the name of the Indian store you purchase your spices from. I am fairly new in the cooking world so I need every thing “101”:) I want to add more turmeric to my diet due to joint pain etc. Again, it was wonderful to meet you!! I look forward to seeing you and hearing from you.
    Meegan Butler

    Like

    • Hi Meegan! It was so fun talking to you to. So cool that you cook with ghee also. The Indian store that I go to is called TBS Mart and it’s on Portland Ave off 494, near Bloomington. Let me know if that’ll work for you. If not I could suggest another one close by to you. I will be having a spices 101 class coming up soon. You can check the Upcoming Classes or I will send out a post once I know the exact dates. Take care and hope to see you soon 🙂

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  7. Hi there, we share a similar background, except that I grew up in Kenya :). Ghee had a bad rap there for a bit,but is considered real good for you now. Any thoughts on that? I love the taste of it too. 🙂

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    • Hi Loretta. Actually when I was growing up in Zimbabwe, everyone did ghee. Unfortunately many a family switched from using butter to margarine for making things like sandwiches, etc. Except my family of course they still used pure butter 😉 thank goodness! I’m glad we bumped into each other over the internet. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

      Like

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