Nadiya Hussain was born and brought up in Britain, but her family is from Bangladesh. In this new two-part series, she explores the people, places and food of Thailand and Cambodia - having made a surprise discovery about her DNA.
Nadiya’s search for connections in these countries takes her from the world-famous temples of Angkor Wat in the north of Cambodia, to a small island with a traditional Muslim culture in the deep south of Thailand.
She journeys deep into the waterways of the Tonle Sap, the biggest lake in South East Asia, to visit a floating community and make prahok, a fermented fish paste that is Cambodia’s staple food.
Nadiya heads to a bakery school in Cambodia that is training girls from poor backgrounds in the art of French Patisserie to help move them out of poverty and find jobs in tourist restaurants and hotels.
In a grove of sugar palm trees, Nadiya assists a grandfather in the labour intensive process of making the buttery, rich sugar that she has taken for granted as a cooking ingredient all her life.
In Bangkok, one of Thailand’s top chefs introduces Nadiya to a 21st century take on his country’s centuries old tradition of eating insects. Together, they create crisps, Nadiya’s favourite snack – although these are made from creepy crawlies.
Leaving the bustle of Thailand’s capital behind, Nadiya heads east to Chanthaburi, a town famous for its noodles, on the trail of one of the country’s best-known dishes to find out what makes a fantastic pad thai. Wanting to get more of a picture about where her ancestors might have come from, she ventures to the tiny island of Koh Sukhorn, and learns how to make a curry paste that is unique to the community there from a women only co-operative.
As her time in the Far East draws to a close, Nadiya reflects on the people, places and food of these countries and how far she has come in making such a journey without her family.
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