It’s publication day and the nutty nose of ghee was alive in my kitchen at 7am. In between frying bread in clarified butter for that morning’s indulgent breakfast – saffron bread pudding – I danced along to the sizzle of ghee with the cookbook containing that recipe among a hundred others along with over 75 food photographs taken by me. Sumayya Usmani‘s first recipe book & memoir, Summers Under the Tamarind Tree, on Pakistan’s cuisine was finally released for sale worldwide on April 7th 2016.
What some people might not tell you when one of their wildest dreams has just been realized is that it never fully sinks in. Partly it’s because there is the worry that you’ll wake up from the splendid dream and mostly it’s for fear you’ll scare away the luck that got you there in the first place. But on publication day I ate up that last morsel of self-ingrained modesty baked within the bread pudding and allowed myself to celebrate; that morning with dessert as breakfast and later in the evening with bubbly surrounded by the most supportive of friends & the Brit. I feel I haven’t said it enough but thank you so much for being supportive and following along on my adventures. I continue to be humbled by the messages and words of support I’ve received over the last year.
Summers Under the Tamarind Tree cookbook
Here I wanted to share some of the images & outtakes from the book. Get a copy of Summers Under the Tamarind Tree for not just wonderful recipes – I would know, I was the lucky one eating everything Sumayya made for our shoots – but to get a better understanding of a cuisine and culture that is often misunderstood. If you have a copy of the cookbook I highly recommend trying the saffron bread pudding, the inclusion of rose petals and pistachios really adds to the dish.
Lastly, I am SO EXCITED to announce I’ll be photographing & styling Sumayya’s 2nd book to be published by Frances Lincoln and due out in 2017. We have some work cut out for us but it’s the kind of challenge we relish.