meet in your kitchen | Mimi’s spicy Bulgur with Basil and Mint
by eat in my kitchen
Mimi and KD’s apartment is a creative laboratory, an exciting place where music, fashion, painting and design come together, created by two wonderful people. Mimi, the musician, painter and designer grew up in London, while musician and producer KD lived in Haifa in Israel before he moved to Berlin. Here in the city, the two created a space where all of their ideas can come alive, the studio where they write their music and where Mimi works on her paintings and tailoring. The rooms overlooking a picturesque river, dense trees and Berlin’s famous TV tower are packed with guitars, audio equipment, a piano, beautiful fabrics, boxes of wool and Mimi’s paintings. On the shelves and window sills, the two have arranged a collection of little figures and old toys, hats and post cards, souvenirs from their tours, gifts from friends and memories. It’s a truly magical place.
For our meet in your kitchen feature, Mimi decided to take over the kitchen as she’s the cook in the house. She likes her food spicy, like the curries that she used to have in London made with exotic spice mixtures that she often can’t find in Berlin. When we met she cooked a delicious bulgur salad made with tomatoes, bell pepper, basil and mint. It was hot and spicy but not painfully. She used the chili pepper’s seeds as well and although I was a bit worried that it would be too hot for me (I’m quite a baby when it comes to spiciness) I loved it! It wasn’t the kind of growing spiciness that you still feel minutes later, it was present the moment it hit my taste buds!
A telling indication of Mimi’s English upbringing is a cup of tea that follows her no matter what she does! During our lunch we spoke a lot about food, culinary memories and habits and cooking with our mothers. After we shared a bowl of her spicy bulgur, Mimi showed me her beautiful prints and designs for the silk jackets and pyjamas that she will soon present on Etsy. She only works with very fine silk, printed by two young artists in Scotland. Many of the designs show her animal characters, another great passion of hers. Mimi used to work on a farm on the weekends when she lived in England, although at the moment, the only animal in her life is Gomez, the cutest and fluffiest grey cat I’ve ever seen, roaming around the rooms of the flat.
Both musicians are working on various projects at the moment. Mimi is currently working on new songs for her next album and she contributed her song ‘Get Me Back’ to the ‘Love, Rosie’ movie starring Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse and Jaime Winstone:
In February, she’ll be supporting the artist Nessi:
18.02.15 Kleiner Donner, Hamburg
19.02.15 MTC, Köln
20.02.15 Ampere, München
21.02.15 Comet Club, Berlin
KD will release a new album with his band NÖRD on the 30th January 2015 but there are a couple live dates coming up soon (30.10.14: Privat Club / Berlin and 27.11.14: Kleiner Donner / Hamburg). The video for the first single, Drogen has already been released:
Mimi’s spicy Bulgur with Basil and Mint
For 4 people you need
bulgur 1 cup
water 2 cups
sweet vine tomatoes, chopped, a handful
bell pepper, chopped, 1
garlic, very finely chopped, 1 small clove
shallots, finely chopped, 2
fresh basil, chopped, the leaves of a large bunch
mint, chopped, the leaves of a large bunch
fresh chillies, chopped, to taste
the juice of 1 lime
yoghurt 4 generous tablespoons (more if you like!)
salt to taste
Boil the water and add the bulgar. Cook for 7-10 minutes depending on the bulgur you use, some coarser kinds can take longer.
Put the garlic, shallots, bell pepper, tomatoes, herbs and bulgur in a big bowl. Add the lime juice, yoghurt and the chillies, mix thoroughly and season with a little salt.
Mimi, you grew up in England and KD, you spent your childhood in Israel, what are your food memories of those days?
Mimi: In England we have the most wonderful Indian food. When I was tiny, my mum’s friend, Chris, would bring late-night super hot curries and beer. I miss that and I’m still completely hooked on chillies. They feature in pretty much everything I make.
KD: My favorite as a child was schnitzel and mashed potatoes! Great comfort food. Later on I became quite addicted to hummus.
Why did you choose Berlin as the place to live and work?
Mimi: I loved Berlin the first time I came here. It was so exciting to find a place that felt alive and like it was still growing. I felt I had space here to create and grow too.
KD: I grew up in Haifa, Israel, but my mum is coming from a German family and I have a German passport. When I had to choose between moving to the nearest big city, Tel Aviv or moving further to an even bigger city with more opportunities for musicians, I decided to give Berlin a shot. I was 23 then and I’m still here now!
What effect did the move to Berlin have on your cooking and eating habits?
Mimi: I found it really hard at first because most of the ingredients I used back home were Indian spices or very hot chillies, which you can get everywhere. Over here I had to seek them out. I discovered new things because of that and started making more Italian-style dishes like risotto and baking my own bread.
KD: I like to eat simply and you can get great ingredients here. I’m mainly cooking fast as I work and forget I’m hungry so pasta is generally a good choice.
What are your favourite places to buy and enjoy food in Berlin, London and Haifa?
Mimi: In London I’m always headed to Brick Lane for a phial curry, or the Naz in Church Street, Twickenham for their special prawn curry. I also love Belgo in Camden for a massive pot of mussels and amazing beer. I miss pub Sunday lunch too. In Berlin we cook at home a lot but we love the tapas place round the corner from us, Gastón and we love our local Kalle Klein.
KD: In Haifa there is a really nice bourekas place in the Carmel Mountains that I always visit when I go back. In Berlin, as Mimi says, but also the hummus at Azzam, Sonnenallee is great.
What was the first dish you cooked on your own, what is your first cooking memory?
Mimi: I used to make breakfast in bed for my mum sometimes with scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and little bits of charred toast but my favorite memory (or more like the one mum always tells) is when I was 9, I read the flour packet in the cupboard and made the recipe for bread, that was printed on the back, one Saturday morning … My mum loved it despite it not looking very elegant.
KD: I don’t remember!
What or who inspired you to become musicians?
Mimi: My mum inherited a piano from her grandmother and I started by just enjoying tinkling around on that when I was a very small child.
KD: My older brother!
KD, your band NÖRD will release their first album ‘Na Und? Wir kennen euch doch auch nicht’ in the beginning of next year and soon you will be on tour with the band after months in the studio. How did you experience the time in the studio? What do you like about working in the studio and being on tour as a keyboard player?
We had a lot of fun in the studio. We were recording in Hamburg mainly which also allowed us to focus on the music away from home. I joined the band just a few months before we went into the studio so the time there was very important and we bonded a lot musically and personally. I’m really proud of the album and looking forward to sharing it with people live!
Mimi, you released your second album ‘Nothing but Everything’ together with your band The Mad Noise Factory in March which you presented on tour this year. You’re also a visual artist and responsible for the band’s artwork. What’s the difference between working visually and as a musician? Is there a different creative approach?
My music is like a release of emotion. I need it as an emotional output. It’s honest and it doesn’t seem like I have much control on what happens to come out! The artwork is creating a dreamland that I see in my head and takes a long process filled with tiny detail.
What are your upcoming projects and plans for the next months?
Mimi: I have a song coming out with a fantastic new movie called ‘Love Rosie’ (the song is ‘Get Me Back’) and I am working on new songs hoping to have something ready for next year. I will also be starting a new Etsy shop selling clothes that I make using fabrics printed with my drawings. The shop will be called ‘MiMi says I’m Special’ and should be up and running soon!
KD: I have a new album out with a project called Hamlet. It’s just me playing piano and my friend, Fran singing. I will be producing a few artists in the near future, and, of course, touring with NÖRD.
Mimi and KD, what did you choose to share on eat in my kitchen?
If you could choose one person to cook a meal for you, who and what would it be?
Mimi: I’d have my mum make me what she makes when she has just a few things left in the fridge. I don’t know how she does it but she can make a few eggs, some random vegetables and rice into an amazing feast.
KD: The Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show to come and make me singing vegetables! That would be awesome.
You’re going to have ten friends over for a spontaneous dinner, what will be on the table?
Mimi: A big mushroom and spinach risotto with tons of parmesan.
KD: Whatever Mimi cooks (laughs).
What was your childhood’s culinary favourite and what is it now?
Mimi: Curry and still is!
KD: Schnitzel and mashed potatoes and now it’s a big bowl of mussels!
Do you prefer to cook on your own or together with others?
Mimi: On my own but with someone to chat to.
KD: On my own.
Which meals do you prefer, improvised or planned?
Which meal would you never cook again?
Mimi: I used to make Sunday roast back in England… way too much washing up!
KD: I never cooked anything that was too horrible … yet!
Thank you Mimi and KD!