I love the thrill of travels. I wish I could live my life between airports, going from a destination to another, just walking through different cities and countrysides, discovering other cultures and traditions. I have just come back from a few days in India and am still amazed by the colours, the fragrant spices, the skills of their crafters, the hundreds of small jobs glimpsed in the street from mattress maker to snake charmers…
Recently, the luxury holidays specialist Cox & King sent me a little foodie challenge. They do, of course, cover the whole world – Argentina, Arcantica, Egypt, Albania, Syria… you name it, they can plan your dream tailor-made holidays there. Looking at their ideas for India and having recently been on the British Pullman, I was amazed at the equivalent: the Maharaja’s Express. What a dream! They have also introduced art tours all around the world for history fans.
And so, from their exotic travels, they sent me fish spice from Morocco to inspire me. Just opening the packet was wonderful: paprika and cumin just filled the air. Friends were coming over for a glass of wine and a chat so I quickly put together nibbles. Very easy but a guaranteed wow effect. Mix the spices, ginger and lime juice and marinade gambas in this sauce for an hour. Fry lightly in a frying pan – the lemon juice will have started cooking the meat already so a couple minutes are enough. I used the tiniest pastry cutters I could find to make shapes in slices of mango and cucumber. Arrange all those on skewers, serve with sweet chilly sauce et voilà! You could serve this as a main meal as well: the fish spice will go well with fragrant Basmati rice.
Spices, like perfumes, take you elsewhere. They wrap you in an exotic atmosphere, project images of tropical landscapes around you, of colourful markets. The tastes linger on your tastebuds. A concentrate of travels, a kind of get-me-through-winter survival kit.
What would be tour dream destination for a luxury travel? Mine would be taking the kids back to India on a private tailor made holiday – just look at those! How about you?