We’re taking a trip along a special spice route… from India to California, via the Caribbean.

You might remember Yonette Alleyne’s Caribbean Gourmet stand that anchored the south end of the Atwater Farmers Market for over 6 years. Well Mel, missing that scratch made soul food, followed her craving to Yonette’s new brick and mortar cafe at Blossom Market Hall in San Gabriel. You can make the trek to SGV for her jerk chicken, vegan curries and oxtail stew, but we’re bringing her tasty Guyanese patties to you. These traditional hand pies are packed with either spiced ground beef or vegetables in a flaky pastry dough, come frozen and simply need to be reheated at home.

We’re making chicken tikka masala (organic chicken breast meat in a rich and creamy spiced tomato sauce) and saag paneer (creamed spinach with cubes of fresh cheese.) These can be reheated in minutes or frozen for another time. Just get yourself some basmati rice for whenever you indulge.

The dosa kit is back. This meal in the making comes from Jordan Maseng, a Chez Panisse alum and devoted student of world cuisines. His curiosity has led to extensive traveling and tinkering. The resulting dosa project is one of our favorite offerings. Dosas are thin pancakes made from fermented rice and lentil batter originally from Southern India. This kit comes with enough batter for you to make 4 large crepes and plenty of rich masala potatoes and tomato-roasted peanut chutney to fill them with.

There’s also fresh mint chutney and raita, which are delicious on lamb chops, free range chicken breasts or branzino filets over rice. The mint chutney could also brighten roast carrots, cauliflower or other vegetables in the produce box.

Yogurt provides a cool layer to this richness, so we are offering our favorite local kefir-style yogurt from Aris Natural Food in Inglewood. This strained yogurt is dense and creamy. The plain yogurt can be layered with other flavors and sweetened to your liking. A spoonful of mango or lemon yogurt can finish a meal on a sweet note. 

We also stocked up on more Santa Barbara pistachio kernels and K&K Ranch’s plumpest golden raisins. These are great for snacking or adding to salads (maybe a curried chicken salad.) There are also recipes on the site for saffron rice pudding (delicious garnished with golden raisins and chopped pistachios), pickled golden raisins with chili and mustard seeds (terrific on grilled lamb chops), and pistachio aillade (delicious on branzino.)

For something sweet, our friend Adel Aschenbrener is making logs of pistachio shortbread with a whisper of rose, for you to slice and bake and enjoy with a cup of tea (maybe darjeeling) on a cool fall afternoon.