The spice must flow

I am reading The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, a beautiful hypnagogic dream of prose poetry heady with scents and spices, as though Joanne Harris had written The Famished Road, only with more curry recipes. I like the idea that each spice is a power and a spell, cinnamon friend-maker, chilli lanka fire-child, cleanser of evil, wild ginger the gnarled root of wisdom, asafoetida hing the antidote to love. The Mistress of Spices sees into people’s hearts and is gifted to know the spice that will help them, like the confectionery witch Vianne in Chocolat with less bonking. Except she starts to get too closely involved with her customers’ lives and the spices turn nasty on her.

I have got another cold at the moment so need a Spice Mistress to make me delicious biryanis and vindaloos ekcetera, curry boosts the immune system. There is no real evidence for it, but it is a scientifick fact.

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