Recipe for music by Speech Debelle

One of the highlights of the Sound System 17 stage at the WOMAD Festival this summer was seeing Speech Debelle perform tracks from her third album tantil before i breathe. The album is an exploration of self-discovery set within a sonically ambitious framework, and the current release on Society of Sound, was also conceived as a cookbook and memoir. “Music and food are art”, says Speech, “they heal and inspire.” Here, a Bowers & Wilkins blog first, is a recipe from Speech’s tantil before i breathe – cookbook and memoir, a dish to accompany a track from the album entitled Terms and Conditions.

Terms and Conditions – Chickpea Curry and Calais Jungle Rice
So late 2014 I fell in love. Well, a kind of love. I believed it was with someone else, but as reflections and projections would have it, it was the start of me falling in love with myself. Cliché! Like divine timing would have it, I collided with one of the most enchanting women I’ve met; she, came to teach me all the places the love needed to go. The cracks were already there, the light had started to creep in, but nothing helps shake the foundation of your ego like, being dumped. Some people come into your life and bring out your worst behaviour. All the insecurity, jealousy, attachment issues and lack of self-love. Whether they know it or not, they’re showing you where you need to put your attention. Places the work should begin. When you are lucky enough to fall dearly and deeply, put down your weapons. Let them teach you what they have come to teach, even if those lessons are to help make you better for someone else, or more importantly, for yourself. Now although this song wasn’t written about that experience, this particular love stood out as the first time I could act on changing the pattern by being more present. We’re so finely nuanced it’s funny. At first I started to see a pattern in being most attracted (falling head over heels for) to those that are clearly emotionally unavailable to me. Where I’m currently standing, I now see that the emotionally unavailable one was actually me. I’m working on that. It may take a while, but now I know how important my own terms and conditions are, things should be way less of a storm. We’ll see.

Chickpea Curry & Calais Rice
Serves 2

1 tin of chickpeas
2 tsp. Minced garlic
2 tsp. Garam masala powder
1 tsp. Coriander powder/seeds
1 tsp of chilli powder
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp of honey
1 bay leaf
2 tsp of lime juice
800 mls of water
Salt to taste
1 small potato, diced.
1 tbs of coconut oil
Coriander to garnish

Calais Rice
1 cup of rice
1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
Drizzle of olive oil
1 tsp of salt
Handful of chopped parsley
1/2 grated carrot
Handful of chopped (deseeded) dates

Add the turmeric, garam, coriander seeds, cumin and chilli to the heated oil in a non-stick medium pot and stir for about 30 seconds releasing the flavours. Be careful not to let the seasonings burn. Add all other ingredients. Bring to the boil and then let simmer with the lid on medium to low heat for about 1 hour. Give it a stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the lid and let simmer for another 10 minutes or until liquid is to preferred thickness.

Once the chickpeas are about 30 minutes into cooking, wash the rice to remove starch and put on a high heat with water. Once boiling add salt and reduce heat to the lowest setting, and cook with the lid on for 10 minutes. Once the rice is cooked (check rice grains are soft) let cool for about 15 minutes. Add your parsley, carrots, dates and olive oil and stir just before storing. Serve with chickpeas on the top. Garnish with spring onion and nigella seeds. (optional)

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