UNDER THE SHADE OF A TAMARIND TREE

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By Elisa Cirene

Sitting under the tamarind tree with childhood friends and listening to his grandparents sharing wise tales, while snacking on the sticky fruit mixed with salt, sugar and chili, is one of John Ger’s fondest memories of India. Decades later and living down under in Melbourne, John still carries the stories of the tamarind tree with him.

Food has always been central to family life at home in India. Surrounded by the aromatic and fragrant spices of traditional Indian cuisine, John has strong memories of his grandfather cooking up a storm in the kitchen and inspiring the family with amazing dishes and recipe ideas. This influence from an early age saw the entire family involved in the food business with John’s dad and brothers running bakeries across Mumbai.

Inspired by his family and culture, John travelled the world to become an accomplished chef. Firstly, he qualified as a chef in Bombay and commenced work at the famous Taj Mahal Hotel and soon afterwards he was sent to London to work. The experience was amazing although John never managed to adapt to the colder climate!

John’s award-winning curry pastes, chutneys and tandoori marinades are made from freshly roasted spices and the best Australian produce, lovingly combined in small batches in Melbourne, so others can experience the rich, aromatic flavours that defined his childhood. John says, “I’ve developed the recipes influenced by the family meals enjoyed in my childhood in India. The Indian spices are very important in my curries, tandoori marinades, chutneys and pickles. I roast and grind them myself, to get the freshest flavours.”

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