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Why I decided to write a cookbook with my mum

Nadia Arab from Portsmouth has co-authored The Road From Karachi: Indian and Pakistani Cookery Made Easy with her mum Khalida.

The idea to do The Road From Karachi was inspired by an Indian cookbook my mum wrote 30 years ago. She sold it in WHSmith and it did pretty well.

Over the years mum would try and look for a copy of her book, but no such luck. She did find pages but not a physical book that she and dad had created.

So 30 years later, by having a random conversation with a work colleague, I must have mentioned food and curry. My colleague said her dad was on an Indian cookery course, and the next day I got the book!! I showed mum and dad and then we decided to recreate it.

Working on the cookbook

I have learned so much and the time spent with mum is priceless.

It took four years to put it together. I work full-time and part-time as well so it was tough doing this project.

I managed to get a friend, now business partner Paul Parsons from Paul Urban Gallery, to team up and do the graphics. The design took ages but finally, we got there.

Most of the recipes are from the original book. I am also a fitness teacher so included some healthy foods.

What surprised me about creating a cookbook

I didn’t realise how long it takes to design a book. Proofreading over and over takes time. And I didn’t realise how quickly you can make a sauce. I thought it took ages!

It’s also very difficult it is to photo food. Steam was an issue! Paul did the photos for us.

It was awesome to hold the final book in my hands. A massive thank you to Paul Urban Gallery.

My advice

If you have a dream. Just do it.

You can buy the book from Waterstones or www.theroadfromkarachi.com 

Some proceeds go to clean water in India, Africa and Pakistan.

Charlotte Harding
Charlotte Harding
Charlotte is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.
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