I love garlic, and I think it is often overlooked as an ingredient.  The Garlic Story is a cookbook that’s a veritable encyclopaedia of this allium. 

Written by Kumud Gandhi, it’s divided into chapters inspired by the cuisines of different continents – Asian, European, North African and Persian – as well as a chapter dedicated to sauces and condiments. 

Kumud’s recipes showcase the many types and flavour profiles, teaching readers how to make the most of its pungent potential. Alongside an inspiring collection of over 60 recipes, The Garlic Story also contains plenty of information about the fascinating background of its star ingredient, including how to forage and grow the most delicious garlic and the endless health benefits.

Kumud aims to encourage her readers to embrace every dimension of garlic, the common denominator of endlessly diverse flavours and cooking techniques.

From sweet confit cloves spread on toasted sourdough to grilled harissa sea bass with smoked garlic butter, the yummy dishes in this book explore global food for every occasion.

Recipes such as Wild Garlic & Red Onion Tart and Black Garlic, Lemon & Crème Fraiche Pappardelle demonstrate the versatility of this flavour enhancer. 

The Garlic Story is a 192-page hardback and retails at £20. It is available from www.mezepublishing.co.uk and bookshops including Waterstones, and Amazon.

About the Author

Kumud Gandhi is a food writer, critic and author, broadcaster, food scientist, and professional speaker.

She is also the founder of an award-winning cookery school, The Cooking Academy, and in 2018 wrote her first cookery book, the best-selling A Cupboard Full of Spices after which Kumud was hailed as ‘The Spice Queen’ by BBC food journalist Nick Coffer.

Kumud loves to educate others about her specialist subjects and is a renowned public speaker on ‘The Alchemy of Food’ and ‘Eating for Immunity & Gut Health’.

She is also a regular contributor to BBC 1’s Rip Off Britain and BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme as a food expert, as well as writing for The Times, The Telegraph, and Health Magazine amongst other publications.

Since forging her career in food, Kumud has been a keynote speaker at numerous high-profile events like the IOD and works with corporate clients that include Barclays, Karl Storz, Hilton, Hiscox Insurance, Porsche, Jaguar and Meta.

Here are a few of her recipes to encourage you to order a copy of this lovely book:


“There’s very little preparation required for this dish yet the flavours are sensational. If you want to turn it into a showstopper, serve the lamb on a large platter and anoint it with pomegranate seeds, charred lemon halves, and coriander leaves. Smile sweetly as your guests gasp with admiration and remember, never ever tell them just how easy it is!”



2 tsp black mustard seeds

5 tbsp Greek yoghurt

4 tbsp rose harissa

3 tsp finely minced garlic

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 unwaxed lime, zested and juiced

2kg leg of lamb, or shoulder if preferred

6-8 large garlic cloves

2 tbsp salted butter, melted

1-2 lemons, quartered

Pomegranate seeds

Coriander leaves

Cook’s Tip: If you prefer the meat  pink, reduce the overall cooking time by 1 hour and cook at 200 degC/180 fan/gas mark 6 without the foil balloon for the entire cooking time.


1. Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Coarsely grind the mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle. Combine the ground mustard seeds with the yoghurt, harissa, minced garlic, turmeric, salt, pepper, lime zest, and lime juice. Mix to a smooth paste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

2. Make incisions across the top and bottom of the lamb leg or shoulder, then insert the garlic cloves as deeply as possible. Massage the yoghurt marinade all over the lamb, then transfer to the baking tray and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours if possible, or refrigerate overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 180 deg c/160c fan/gas mark

4. When you’re ready to cook the lamb, cover the tray with tin foil while leaving space around the lamb to create a balloon shape, then seal the edges tightly. Cook in the oven for about 2 hours 30 minutes until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, basting the lamb with the melted butter after 2 hours.

4. After 2 hours 30 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, drain off some of the liquid and reserve for later. Turn the oven temperature up to 200 degC/180 fan/gas mark

6. Baste the lamb with butter once again, place the quartered lemons in the tray, then return it to the oven and cook uncovered for a further 30-40 minutes at the higher temperature.

5. Remove the tray from the oven, leave in a warm place and cover once more to let the joint rest before serving. Baste the lamb with the butter again for a final glaze.

6. While the lamb is resting, reheat the reserved juices and serve as a jus for the lamb. To dress the lamb, scatter some pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander over the platter


My fish stew, while headlining Tunisian inspiration, could appear on any Mediterranean or Persian plate. It’s a simple yet elegant dish with a little twist, providing a generous helping of goodness from fish, fresh herbs and spices that make it flavoursome without being overly complicated. I would recommend any white fish such as haddock, hake, cod or coley.”



200g ripe tomatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

4 large garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 tsp harissa paste

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

½  tsp cayenne pepper

250g new potatoes

500ml light fish stock or water

500g white fish fillets, skin on and cut into 2.5cm chunks

Handful of flat leaf parsley or coriander, chopped

3-4 sprigs of mint, destalked and chopped

½ a lemon, juiced

1 tsp sea salt


1. Start by blanching the tomatoes: plunge them into boiling water for 2 minutes, then transfer to a sealable bag. Leave to rest for a few minutes and the skin should easily peel off. Once peeled, cut the tomatoes into 1cm cubes.

2. Heat the oil in a wide heavy-based pan, add the garlic and saut. for 2-3 minutes on a very low temperature to ensure it doesn’t burn. Now add the diced tomatoes and cook for 7-8 minutes on a gentle heat.

3. Add the harissa paste and dry spices, stir through, then cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to release and meld into the tomatoes.

4. Add the potatoes and cook for 10 minutes on a gentle heat to enable them to absorb all the flavours before adding the fish stock or water. Give the mixture a stir and increase the heat to a rapid simmer. Turn the heat back down and simmer on a low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

5. Add the fish, stir through, and simmer for another 4-5 minutes or until the fish is cooked. Fold in the fresh herbs, lemon juice and salt. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve.


If you’re not a fan of tofu this recipe may be a bit of a game changer. The sauce is sticky, spicy and garlicky (of course). Pressing and frying the tofu gives it a really pleasing texture. We teach this dish in our Korean class and it’s become a firm favourite with our students, tofu lovers and haters alike. Enjoy with an ice-cold beer, steamed rice and a generous drizzle of chilli sauce.”



400g firm tofu, pressed and drained

3 tbsp + 2 tsp cornflour

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp honey

2 tbsp soy sauce

11/2 tbsp gochujang

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp mirin

4 tbsp vegetable oil

100g red onion, finely diced

4 tsp finely minced garlic

½  tsp fresh red chilli

3 spring onions, finely sliced Asian style

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil


1. Cut the prepared block of tofu into bite-size cubes. Mix the salt and 3 tablespoons of cornflour in a bowl, add the tofu and toss to coat. Set aside.

2. To make the sauce, combine the honey, soy sauce, gochujang, rice wine vinegar, and mirin with 2 teaspoons of cornflour in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat half the vegetable oil in a large frying pan with deep sides. When the oil is hot, add the coated tofu pieces in one layer, making sure they are not touching each other. Cook the tofu pieces and flip them one by one until they are brown on all sides (approximately 7 minutes).

4. Remove the crispy tofu pieces from the pan and set them aside on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.

5. Using the same pan with the remaining oil, fry the red onion, garlic, chilli and spring onion (hold a few spring onions back for the garnish) until the garlic starts to brown.

6. Now add the sauce to the pan, stirring it until it thickens (approximately 30 seconds). Turn off the heat.

7. Add the fried tofu back to the pan and stir everything together, so that the tofu pieces are evenly coated in the sauce. Garnish with the sesame seeds, sesame oil and reserved spring onions. Serve with steamed rice or vegetables of your choice.