The Spice Spoon

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Kulfi Popsicles

Shayma launched her blog, The Spice Spoon, when she moved from Rome to Canada. She didn't crave the Italian food that she'd just left behind. Rather, she yearned for the food (and memories) of her family and heritage -- an intoxicating mix of Pakistani, Afghan and Persian cuisines.

When she moved to Canada "for love and marriage," she says, she felt isolated and a bit lonely. She began cooking the foods that reminded her of childhood, like the kulfi popsicles she would eat for a “snackette” after school in Lagos, Nigeria and the Cardamom Almond Cake she baked in 7th grade -- her first ever. There is also a thick, creamy kheer, or Pakistani rice pudding, that seems to have a kind of transportive effect on Shayma.

Cardamom Almond Cake

Though she didn't grow up cooking from them, Shayma shows a talent for writing straightforward and easy-to-read recipes. She learned to cook with her grandmothers and mother who, she says, “cook intuitively, by method of loose estimation—andaaza in Urdu. In our part of the world, cooking techniques and recipes are passed on through an oral tradition.” This is how Shayma still cooks today, except when she needs to record a recipe to preserve and share on her blog.

The Spice Spoon is really as much a memoir as it is a blog. Shayma lovingly recounts all of the foods of her heritage, and pays true homage to her mother and father with beautiful old photographs. It is almost as fun to read as it is to cook from.


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Comments (16)


about 5 years ago merrygourmet

Yay, Shayma! What a lovely feature.


about 5 years ago lastnightsdinner

Yet another gifted cook and inspiring person I'm happy to have "found" through foo52 - brava, Shayma!


about 5 years ago Lizthechef

Lovely - so happy to see you featured!


about 5 years ago PhoebeLapine

Congrats Shyma! So happy for you!


about 5 years ago WinnieAb

I love beautiful Shayma and her stunning blog!!! Her stories and recipes are fantastic. Congrats Shayma!


about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hi Shayma--so nice to see you and your lovely blog featured.


about 5 years ago TasteFood

Congratulations Shayma! I love your blog and cooking style.


about 5 years ago shayma

I am utterly grateful to Food52 for this recognition- many thanks; it is humbling. And a huge thanks to all of my fellow Food52'ers. Muah Muah, shayma


about 5 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

I'm so glad to see my 'Nigerian sister' being profiled :-). I love Shayma's story-telling and recipes and I'm actually thankful to food52 for connecting us. Way to go girl


about 5 years ago Jennifer Ann

This is such a lovely blog - the stories and recipes are all wonderful (we have been particularly hooked on Shayma's kati rolls for a while now)


about 5 years ago minimarster

Bravo to food52 for profiling one of the best food blogs out there! Congratulations to the Spice Spoon - here's to reading many many more of your wonderful recipes!!!


about 5 years ago Sagegreen

Stunning! So engaging. Thank you for all this inspiration.


about 5 years ago dymnyno

One of my favorite deserve the recognition!


about 5 years ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

Congrats on the shout out Shayma....much deserved!


about 5 years ago Foodieinberlin

It so wonderful reading about far away places when the writer takes a familiar tone with her readers.


about 5 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Beautiful blog and beautiful cake. Shayma is amazing and gorgeous ... as are her recipes