My castaway today is Jasmine Hemsley 

Jasmine is a well being author and chef. She is one half of the hugely successful Hemlsey and Hemsley brand which she runs with her sister. Together they have amassed an army of loyal followers, they have a popular blog, a range of products, they’ve written 2 cookbooks, they have a café in Selfridges AND they even had their very own show on Channel 4.

Last week Jasmines first solo cookbook, East by West came out which is all about Eastern wisdom for western wellbeing and is packed full of delicious looking recipes which all follow the Ancient holistic healing system of Ayuverda.

I have to admit Ayuverda was all new to me but I definitely learnt some things and found some good food for thought in there which I hope you will too. 

There’s some really delicious food in today’s episode so I wouldn’t recommend listening on an empty stomach, but I mean, when is that a good idea?? I love the sound of the of the chicken soup for the soul. Chicken soup really is the remedy for everything. Whether you have a cold, you need a hug, or you just need some comfrt. I love the thought that countries all over the world have their own versions and I loved hearing about all the amazing food inspiredby Jasmine's Filipino heritage. The Filipino version of a chicken soup is called Tinolo and is chicken soup with lots of ginger, which sounds delicious.

I also fell in love with the sound of "Adobo" – the dish Jasmine described as chicken cooked in lemon juice, garlic and soy sauce. That sauce defitinitely sounds like something I need to have a go at as it's would be a very versatile sauce you could use on anything. A useful sauce to have up your sleeve, one might say. Though probably not in the literal sense, as that would just be plain silly.

The answer to the best dish she's ever eaten really sums up why I love doing this podcast so much and why I love asking these questions. Of course Jasmine's eaten more delicious things than egg on toast, of course she has. But in that moment, when you're ravenous and high on life, coming in from the cold and being made something warm and comforting to eat makes it taste like nectars from the god's. You can try to recreate it of course, but it will never taste quite the same as it did in that moment. We all have those dishes. The dishes that would be to anyone else completely inconsequential, but to us they mean so much more than the sum of their parts. And that's what makes them just a little bit magic. 

I am in love the idea of the Filipino spring rolls in sandwiches. I've been lucky enough to have had a friend at school who's mum was from the Philippines and she made the best spring rolls I've ever tasted. we used to eat dozens of them at a time, dip din sweet chilli sauce, hot from the oil and utterly utterly delicious. I curse my childish self for not having the idea to put these in a sandwich, for that sounds like something I would like. A lot.

We discovered that Jasmine's photographer fiancee makes the best left over turkey Christmas sandwiches, which completely explains why she is marrying him. No other reason required. (Although I met him and he was lovely, so that could be part of it too...). Now Jasmine chose Dahl as the dish she eats the most often, and it seems she is a collector of lentils. I am going to take her word for it that toasting the lentils before you make dahl is an excellent suggestion. I have done that with toasted buckwheat before and it really makes a difference to the flavour. Dahl is a really simple, but satisfying dish and it's packed full of protein so it is more filling than you think. I don't know if this is very Ayuverdic but I love mine with a dollop of yoghurt, a scoop of my mums chilli and Quince jam and a sprinkling of fresh coriander...just heavenly.

I'm sorry to say I did not actually discover the answer to bloating. But, the good news is that Jasmine says it's in the book so I am reading the book! Jasmine gave me a copy of her beautiful book and it looks stunning, plus she cooked me some of the banana bread from  the book which was really really good. We had it hot from the oven with lots of butter and toaste pecans….yup, it was pretty epice.

Desert Island Dish:

Filipino feast cooked by her mum
Luxury item:  a Swiss Army knife…and a silk pillow

Have a listen to Jasmine's episode of Desert Island Dishes here:


See you next time for more Desert Island Dishes and don't forget to have a look at the recipe inspired by Jasmine's Desert Island Dishes.



Margie x