Close your eyes... 

Can you remember the last time you were hit with a scent that immediately transported you back to a time or place? Smells and flavours have a funny way of evoking a certain feeling of emotion or nostalgia. 

For The Bookshop’s Chef Tom Lynch, this has very much been the driving force behind his love for cooking Indian food.

Indian food was very much a staple in our household growing up. My biggest influence comes from my Dad’s partner, Helen. We used to visit my Dad on weekends and the smells she would create from the kitchen were just incredible. I couldn’t wait to be old enough (or lucky enough) to have dinner with Dad and Helen, so that I could eat what I had been smelling all day. 

Being a vegetarian Indian food works great for me, as it offers endless opportunities to replace meat with vegetables. As a matter of fact; large areas of India are vegetarian. My friends and Mum often wonder how I eat Indian food 4-5 times a week, and the answers simple… no two curries are the same, and the food is just so diverse. 

I’ve always been drawn to the different regions in India, there are so many exciting flavours, spices, heats to play with. Some parts of India don’t even use onions or garlic in their cooking, and as much as the smell of those two ingredients in a pan together is probably the best aroma ever, it can work quite well without them. 

I started cooking for myself when I moved out, as I found that I was eating too many takeaways. So, I bought a few of the cook books that we used to have in our home when I was a child, and eventually built a hell of a spice collection, making regular trips to Worcester to my favourite little Indian shop for harder ingredients to find.

I live with my son, Lucas, and every night he asks for curry and rice, and every night he devours it! He is already familiar with basic spices by colour, and loves helping Daddy stir the curry, add ingredients to the pan, and recreating those smells I loved so much as a child. 
- Tom Lynch

Tom will be taking over our kitchens on the 27th of June, guiding us on a journey of India with a number of dishes from various regions. 

Tickets to this event are super limited, so make sure to get them whilst you can HERE