Monday, 11 May 2009

Kitchen Trouble

One of the things I like about my husband’s job is some of the surprises he brings us home from his job. I still tease him that he will never ever be a rich man, but in reality I don’t mind because the odd assortment of things he brings home is still a treat. The other day he turned up with 12 packets each of Achar Ghost (tangy lamb) masala and Bombay Biryani masala.

Of course, I immediately decided to treat everyone to a yummy biryani and threw myself into washing, chopping and stirring. I ended up with a humungous pot of gooey rice that stuck together (that’s actually a crime in a desi kitchen) and wasn’t very spicey with potatoes that were rock hard and the toughest chicken ever.

Not to be deterred, I tried Chinese egg fried rice with vegetables and chicken. After some adjustments (throwing chilli and garam masala in the stir fry) I got another batch of sticky rice. Everyone looked at it aghast, so I tried to eat the whole (big) pot myself to prove a point (don’t ask me which one) – It was actually very tasty. In the end my sweetie-pie of a husband took pity and said he would have some for his dinner too. I will be trying this again because it was so tasty, I just have to get the rice right.

Things didn’t get any better the next day when I tried to prevent people chopping more chilli’s into my food by spicing it up myself. The result was mixed veg and potato curry that had everyone huffing and puffing and grabbing the yoghurt.

Then on Sunday we were expecting guests for dinner. By this time I was fed-up of spending so much time in the kitchen and of the sight of my own food. So I put together the traditional guest menu of pilau rice, boneless chicken curry with potatoes, lamb kebabs with mint and chilli chutney, jelly and fruit salad. I made just enough so that if it was no good it wouldn't sit in the fridge all week. Of course because I made so little, it came out absolutely perfect. Everyone enjoyed the food, and the rice was the best I have ever made.

I would take a picture, but there was none left at all. I had to scrape the left-overs from the various babies into a box for my lunch the next day. Next time I'll try a double portion of the same recipe and the whole thing will turn out terrible. Not that I am about to give up, I'm trying the Chinese rice again this week as the kids like it, it has a bit of everything and it's perfect for taking to work the next day. I think I might start working through the Delia Smith books I have on my shelf insh'Allah. Oh and Sis Rainbow is good for inspiration.

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