Her parents travelled often because of her father's work, and her mother developed an appreciation for food from different cultures around the world.
"Equally, as my mother was making mutton pulao, dosas, she was making fried chicken wings and cheesecakes and chocolate chip cookies because it was what she'd seen or something she'd had at a restaurant," O'Brady told North By Northwest's Sheryl MacKay.
"She never really said, 'This is our food,' or 'This is other people's food.' It was all just, 'This is dinner.'"
As a result, O'Brady also learned to combine the best tastes from around the world into dishes featured in her blog Seven Spoons. Many of those recipes are now part of her new cookbook, Seven Spoons: My Favourite Recipes for Any and Every Day.
O'Brady shared her recipe for a chia pudding with fruit and golden honey elixir.
Ingredients- ¼ cup (60 ml) Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chia seeds, depending on desired firmness
- ¾ cup (180 ml) unsweetened milk (dairy or nondairy both work)
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
- Generous ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Fine-grain sea salt
Serving Options- 1 cup (240 ml) Greek-style plain or vanilla yogurt
- 2 to 4 tablespoons Golden Honey Elixir (recipe follows)
- Pinch of fine-grain sea salt
- Fresh fruit, such as sliced peaches, strawberries or red currants
- Chopped nuts, such as pistachios or almonds
Method- To make the pudding, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt and chia seeds until smooth.
- Slowly add the milk, followed by the sweetener, vanilla and a pinch of salt, stirring all the while.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir again before serving.
- When ready to serve, stir the pudding, then fold in the 1 cup yogurt once or twice.
- Drizzle the Golden Honey Elixir and salt on top, then fold once more. Divide between plates, along with your toppings of choice. Eat straight away.
Golden Honey Elixir
(Makes about 1 cup (240 ml))
Ingredients- ¾ cup (180 ml) honey, preferably raw
- 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, preferably raw and unfiltered
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- About 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Method- Stir all the ingredients together in a jar until smooth.
- Let stand for at least 30 minutes before using, or cover and refrigerate. Use within 1 week.
Note: Chia pudding made with whole seeds has a texture similar to that of tapioca pudding — that is to say, gelatinous spheres suspended in weighty liquid. Use ground chia for a smoother consistency, if desired.
If you happen to have frozen raspberries, they're pretty spectacular as an addition. Bash them in a sealed storage bag with the bottom of a sturdy glass, so they're in bits but not pulverized. The icy nubs burst like pomegranate seeds when eaten and streak the yogurt in fuchsia ripples.