Published: 23/03/2014 17:00 - Updated: 21/03/2014 11:39

Ghillie is Moray's own Spice Girl!

Written byChris Saunderson

MORAY’S own Spice Girl is looking to add extra flavour to cooking for busy people on the go.

Spice up your life with Ghillie Basan. Photo by John Paul Photography.
Spice up your life with Ghillie Basan. Photo by John Paul Photography.

Ghillie Basan is the author of more than 30 cookery books, all on different culinary cultures, and is the ‘world food expert’ on Radio Scotland.

She runs international cookery workshops from her Glenlivet home and these attract people from all over the world.

Now she is adding weekday spice classes to her culinary menu.

She hopes the classes will appeal to busy mums in particular, who want to give their home cooking a boost but don’t have the time to attend one of her intensive courses.

“There are lots of different things you can do with spices. People would learn about different cultures and how spices are used,” she said.

“A lot of people are afraid to use anything other than curry powder in cooking.

“This is aimed at people who maybe only have a morning a week to spare and are busy with family and other things at the weekends. It will be very relaxed and informal.”

Ghillie’s passion for spices originated from a childhood growing up in East Africa, and her time spent as a freelance journalist in the Middle East, writing for the Daily Telegraph, BBC World Service and English language newspapers.

“I have always written articles about food, even although I was covering terrorism in the Middle East.”

Cordon bleu-trained Ghillie gained her degree in social anthropology and she brings elements of that into her books.

She has two new books which are out now, ‘Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous’ and ‘Flavours of the Middle East’, and is working on another three.

Ghillie did a spice series on Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Cafe and have since had many requests to run short workshops on spices so.

With her new workshops she will invite people into her house to learn about spices and spice pastes and to produce one dish that they could enjoy before heading home.

More information and places on a spice workshop can be booked through Ghillie’s website which can be found at

Look out on Friday March 28 in 'The Scot' print version for a chance to win a copy of ‘Flavours of the Middle East' by Ghillie Basan.

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