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The Rafi's Spicebox Cookbook - AVAILABLE NOW!

The Rafi's Spicebox Cookbook - AVAILABLE NOW!

We are so pleased to announce the release of our first Rafi’s Spicebox Cookbook!

The Rafi’s Spicebox Cookbook is a beautiful hardback book with over 80 recipes, covering Basics, Light Bites, Meat & Fish, Veg, Drinks and Sweets. These are recipes we cook week in week out, tried and tested dishes which we love to eat and share with others. Many of the recipes have been inspired by our travels and of course, we have included some of Rafi’s much loved family recipes.

With this book, we want to inspire you to incorporate spices into your food any day of the week, at any meal, to create delicious, interesting and well-balanced food.

We really hope you enjoy cooking these dishes as much as we do!

The Process

We began our book-writing journey in early 2016 and, as the year draws to a close, we are so proud to be able to hold a physical copy of the Rafi’s Spicebox Cookbook. From the initial conception right the way through to the printing, we have learned so much about what it takes to write a cookbook.

Firstly, we had to decide what kind of book we wanted to write and how it might be used. Our main aim for it, like with everything we do, was to try and inspire people to use spices to cook delicious food with authentic Indian flavours. Indian food shouldn’t have to be a guilty pleasure or a weekend treat. We wanted our cookbook to show that Indian cooking can be healthy, varied and easy, as well as being utterly scrummy! Because of this, a lot of the recipes we included are simple dishes we cook week in week out, along with a range of others inspired by our travels and, of course, some of Rafi’s much loved family favourites.

We had an exciting time of recipe testing, tasting, re-testing and re-tasting (etc) to make sure all our dishes would be accessible, interesting and, above all, really tasty! Many lunch breaks involved a table heaving with food for our discerning team of foodies to sample. There were also lots of occasions where we would be eating the dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner! A hard job, but we pulled through!

With all the recipes in place, we then had a photo shoot with Jim Poyner Photography. We cooked all of the dishes from the book in an intense 4 day period (and then 1 more day, when we realised we’d missed some recipes, whoops!). We didn’t have a ‘food stylist’ to plate up the dishes in an elaborate way. We wanted to let the food speak for itself, showcasing its simplicity and incredible colours and textures. We’re sure you’ll agree that Jim’s photos are stunning and really capture the essence of our food.

After this, everything was handed over to our design team at Press Green, York. They compiled all the recipes and photographs in an attractive, clear and easy-to-use format. Following this, there was another period of edits and changes (at which point some of us started to have cookbook-related dreams!). The design work and creativity put into this project has transformed our initial ideas into something very usable and we think, beautiful.

Throughout this process, we were assisted by our neighbours, York Publishing, who guided us and made sure every detail was covered. Who knew we’d have to pick out things like colours for the end of spine binding?!

From here, once everything was signed off, it was passed onto the team at Gutenberg Press in Malta, who would print the final books. We took a flying visit to their factory to ‘press pass’ the book, signing off pages fresh of the press. We also gained valuable insight into the book printing process. Finally, we left it in their hands to add the finishing touches - cutting, binding and attaching the cover. The level of care and attention to detail, displayed at every level of the process, was incredible to see.

Then it was just a matter of time, waiting for the books to be delivered. Now they are here and we couldn’t be happier!

The Book

With this book, we hope to show how easy and versatile using spices can be. A lot of these recipes are incredibly simple, but, by using good quality ingredients, simple spicing and a few key techniques, you can elevate your food to something that you’ll be excited about eating and sharing with your family and friends.

We crammed the book full with over 80 recipes that cover Basics, Light Bites, Meat & Fish, Veg, Drinks and Sweets. Dishes can easily be taken from book to create full, exciting meals or used as accompaniments to our hand-made Curry Packs. We hope you’ll be able incorporate spices into your food any day of the week, at any meal, to create delicious, interesting and well balanced food. We’ve included recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between from BBQs to dinner parties, so there’ll be something tasty to cook for every occasion.

We really hope you enjoy cooking these dishes as much as we do!

A big thank you to:

Andrew and Adam at Press Green for the design (www.pressgreen.co.uk).

Jim Poyner for the photographs (www.jimpoyner.co.uk).

Dave and Duncan at York Publishing (www.yps-publishing.co.uk)

Pamela Hartshorne for the copy editing (www.pamelahartshorne.co.uk).

Franco and Gordon at Gutenberg Press (www.gutenberg.com.mt).

Finally a massive thank you to all the Spicebox team and our families for their constant support, encouragement and for eating all the test recipes!