Perzen is happiest when she is at the intersection of cooking food, eating and telling a good story. When she's not working, she is shining a light on New Zealand's diverse food scene through her podcast, Kiwi Foodcast and, thanks to the support of Panuku's The Kitchen Project, Perzen has been working on the launch of her latest venture Dolly Mumma. Named for her grandmother, it's a range of ready-to-cook pastes based on family recipes handed down through generations. Here Perzen shares her at-home kitchen essentials with Eat Well, New Zealand Herald.
My kitchen at home is... the place you will always find me. It is my happy space and I am always experimenting with a new recipe or ingredient or cooking in bulk so that my three boys have enough for the week. My one pet peeve is an unorganised pantry so I'm always going on to my family about putting things back where they found it because I can't cook if my pantry is a mess.
If I could change anything... I would have a bigger kitchen with more counter space and buy a deep freezer. I love to meal plan and cook things in bulk so it would be great to have more freezer space so I don't have to worry about not having enough meals.
Items that are always in my fridge are... curry leaves and coriander because they are my go-to herbs for just about any kind of food I make. I always have a stock of carrots because I hide them in all the meals I make for my kids and broccoli because my son likes to open the fridge and nibble on it raw. Aside from that, there's always cheese. We are a cheese-loving family.
My pantry is full of... all kinds of sauces and spices. I have storage baskets for different kinds of cuisine so my south-east Asian ingredients like fish sauce, oyster sauce etc stay there and I have another basket for all my pastas and couscous and then shelves for my Indian spices. Now that I have a Thermomix at home I also make sauces and spice blends myself at home. I do that when the mood gets me once in a couple of months and that leaves me with plenty of flavours I can experiment with.