I’m Amal. A mum, activist, a 2019 Masterchef contestant and, I’ll admit, a bit of a feeder. I love inviting people to my table, to eat, talk and share.
For me, food is a welcome, an invitation. Too often we walk our paths alone, separated by our differences, when there’s so much we have in common.
The simple act of feeding has the power to break down walls, so I thought, what if sauce could be more than just sauce? Maybe, by inviting people to share with me, I could change the world… one sauce at a time.
My childhood in Somalia was idyllic and magical. My days were carefree, much of them spent playing with my friends and basking in the beautiful warm sunshine. I spent these early years with my wonderful, caring grandmother Khadra, who was the centre of our family. She was a fierce, strong, yet beautiful woman and the best cook I have ever known.
Mealtimes were always special, everyone in the home ate together. My grandmother Khadra believed that food that was shared became blessed and was more nourishing. Cooking was central to our home. So central in fact that my grandmother built her cooking oven right in the centre of the courtyard!
My grandmother prepared her Basbas sauces with love. They were always bursting with flavour, and they were the perfect accompaniment to her dishes. She used an amazing blend of exotic spices, chillies, lemons and a variety of fruits to create tantalising sauces that had the perfect balance of spice, tanginess, sweetness and heat. Without Basbas, a meal was simply incomplete!
Although I was separated from my grandmother following the Somali civil war, I carried my beautiful memories of her, and of her amazing food, in my heart.
I’ve made a wonderful life for myself in the UK as a British Somali and I have been blessed to find an amazing husband and to have two fantastic children, with whom I now share my memories and tales of old Somalia.
I hope you will enjoy my Basbas sauces as much as I enjoyed making them for you. So, from me to you, these are my gift of love.