More than Masala

More than Masala

Join Chef Keith Sarasin and Ragini Kashyap of Third Culture Cooks to walk through the world of spices. Every month they chat about the interesting, bizarre and sometimes sordid story of how a spice came to be. It's safe to say that cloves have caused land grabs, that counterfeit cinnamon is a thing, and that salt and pepper have done a lot more than flavour our food. See you once a month!

Episodes

April 20, 2022 36 min

Ragini and Chef Keith in conversation with Alak Nanda, the founder of Podi Life. Learn about the incredible story of Alak and her mom and their passion to preserve the deeply and rich history of podi. 


Find them on Instagram @podi.life 

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Coriander, one of the world's most used spices. Seed, stalk and leaf are all incredible flavours - fascinatingly, very different from one another! Join Ragini and Chef Keith as they uncover the history and some of the curious stories behind this beloved spice. Including a Roman penchant for candied coriander seed! 

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Ragini and Chef Keith in conversation with Charulata Moorjani, the founder of Junyali Spice Blends. Charu takes us through her fascinating journey and life in haute couture fashion, which unexpectedly but ultimately led her to Junyali. Junyali is the celebration of home, of women who are flavour geniuses, and a tapestry of unique stories from across India. From Sawantwadi Garam Masala, to a Lucknowi Lazzat-Ul-Tam, Coorgi Pandi Masa...

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Join Ragini and Chef Keith in conversation with our favourite food guru, Dr. Kurush Dalal. Dr. Dalal is an archaeologist, historian, food anthropologist and raconteur. He was an Assistant Professor of the Archeology Department at the University of Mumbai and the co-director of the Salcette Explorations Project, which documented the archaeology of Mumbai. He currently teaches Archaeology and its allied disciplines at the INSTUCEN Tr...

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January 25, 2022 34 min

Pepper, pepper, pepper. It'll make you sneeze, but you will keep coming back for more! Did you know we trade more pepper than any other spice in the world? Did you know that the Roman empire fell to a whopping demand for black pepper? Or that they did not permit pepper plantation workers to wear cuffed trousers, for fear that they'd steal the black gold? Chef Keith and Ragini unravel the tales of pepper's past. 


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December 10, 2021 47 min

This month, Ragini and Chef Keith dive straight into a favourite holiday spice: nutmeg. Encased in its equally gorgeous counterpart, mace, the nutmeg seed is both potent and beautiful. A little goes a long way, and in fact, too much nutmeg may make you mildly hallucinogenic. But what is Christmas without nutmeg? How did that come to be? As always, the history is part fascinating, part surprising, and in this case, part gruesome. Gr...

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November 8, 2021 47 min

Spicy, piquant, zesty - mustard has it all. One of the world's most widely loved spices, mustard is prized for its leaves and multiple seed varieties. From the depths of China, through South Asia, Europe, and North America, mustard most definitely... cuts the mustard! Join Ragini and Chef Keith as they do deep dive into the spice. The history, the religious significance, the varieties, and the origin - they talk about it all. G...

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Meet the duo behind this podcast. Who are Ragini and Chef Keith? What makes them tick? What are their thoughts on the history of spices? What perplexes them? What would they be doing if it weren't for food? What excites them? Join us for a chat about this, that, and the other through this unscripted episode.

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August 11, 2021 36 min

Turmeric, turmeric, turmeric. From religious symbolism to counterfeit saffron, to the mainstay of curry powder. Turmeric is perhaps one of the most easily recognizable spices in the world. Its brilliant yellow hue has captivated cooks and doctors alike. An old superfood in the East, a more recent superfood in the West. Ragini and Keith explore the journey, the symbolism, the colonial impact on curry, and everything in between. Grab...

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June 21, 2021 34 min

Ah Cumin. Cumin is that spice, you know, the one that is almost everywhere? It's used pretty ubiquitously across the subcontinent, from the southern tip of India, all the way north, and well into Central Asia. It goes to the east into China, and in the other direction across the Mediterranean and the Middle East. We also see it in North and East Africa, and then over the oceans into Mexico. Later in history, we see cumin show u...

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April 28, 2021 34 min

The hero of masala chai, cardamom. Flavourful and delicate, but also pungent and astringent. From the ancient texts of Ayurvedic and Unani medicine, to the Arab spice trade - cardamom is the official queen of spices. Join food researcher Ragini and Chef Keith as they talk about eating, understanding and contextualising this beautiful spice. Why is it used in so many of the subcontinents' desserts? How much cardamom does India r...

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April 1, 2021 34 min

Ah Saffron. Flavourful, delicate, and very very fragrant saffron. From La Mancha in Spain, to Morocco, to Iran, to Afghanistan, to the Indian subcontinent - saffron is the queen spice. Join Ragini and Chef Keith as they talk about eating, understanding and contextualizing this beautiful spice. Why is it used in so many of the subcontinents' desserts? Why does Iran consume so much? Why do we talk about the chickens of the Mughal...

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March 6, 2021 28 sec

Our first episode to whet your appetite for spices! The history of spices is complex and loaded with stories, folklore, warfare and cultural connections. Join Chef Keith Sarasin and Ragini Kashyap of Third Culture Cooks as they explore spices of the Indian subcontinent. Spices have the potential to flavour, to heal, to become tea, to become food - in olden times they were even salary! It's safe to say they've been a pretty ...

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Our first episode! The history of spices is complex and loaded with stories, folklore, warfare and cultural connections. Spices have the potential to flavour, to heal, to become tea or food - in olden times they were even used as salary! It's safe to say they've been a pretty important part of human history. Join Chef Keith Sarasin and Ragini Kashyap of Third Culture Cooks, as they explore spices of the Indian subcontinent....

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