Chef Asha Gomez’s Southern Spice

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Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee

Though you can easily see the European influence on Keralan cuisine with beef, pork, and even fish stew, one thing that didn’t stick was leavened, wheat-based breads. For anyone obsessed with focaccia, pain de mie, or pão di bico, it’s easy to dismiss Kerala’s bread culture. But you’d be overlooking the delicacy of appam, a lacy, crepe-like bread made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk. Or parotta, a layered flatbread made with maida flour and ghee. Or roti, the flat pliable disk known throughout the subcontinent.

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Photography by Andrew Thomas Lee

Asha, always the gracious host, regularly entertains friends and family. She’s quick to welcome visitors with her signature smile and a glass of warm chai. So we didn’t have to ask twice to get her to share one of her signature menus with us. Because, for Asha, the flavors of Kerala—much like her spice tin—are never too far away.

Get the Look Shop Star Provisions in westside Atlanta to find the plates, glasses, bowls, napkins, and serving pieces seen throughout this story.

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