Kerala Chicken Curry


My mother’s first question after ‘Ah, hello’ is ‘Have you eaten?’. And if you have, it’s of no consequence, you will be be fed again. If we so much as sniffled, she’d bring out her version of Indian Penicillin. When we’re upset, she makes our favourite food. When my sister and I were pregnant, she went for us like pigs that needed fattening, nutritiously of course. Then when babies came along, ayurvedic principles defined our platefuls. My mother, in the midst of a family argument over dinner, might roar angrily at us in one breath and suddenly, worriedly ask if the dosa was crisp enough with the next. It’s hilarious; which do you reply to, how to keep up? It’s enough reason to indian head roll a ‘yes’ and keep your mouth occupied, unless you want the indian-upside-the-head smack for impertinence. For all the follies, inconsistencies and joys of life riding like cars on a rollercoaster, her food was the heartwarming constant. As is her love. Read More

Meanwhile in the kitchen…

Lunchbox bakes3

Every few months I get the urge to re-arrange my folders and icons on my beloved Mac. Pity that enthusiasm for organisation doesn’t spill over to the rest of my life. The cleanup had refreshed my memory of food that I had made, loved, made again and photographed.


Keralan Stew

Kerala Stew - The Patterned Plate

If ever there was an internationally recognised doyenne of Indian food, it’s Madhur Jaffery. As a teenager, I stumbled across her programmes when satellite TV finally reached Abu Dhabi air space. I remember feeling like I was caught off-guard, blind sided and utterly mesmerized by this well-spoken, articulate, classy Indian ‘Aunty’. It was the first time I had seen an Indian woman, complete with sari and bindhi, represented so gracefully on the international screen and I admired her. She was straight spoken, but never condescending, her tone was that of an enthusiastic clever teacher, charming the viewer with her wit and her cooking. Her confidence and knowledge engaged your trust.


Allspice Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

All Spice Chicken FG2

Melanie, my sister, wails with annoyance when yet another reminiscence of our rambunctious adventures in childhood draws a clear, straight forward blank in my mind. I sit, blinking dumbly at her, trying to rattle the chest of memories; nowt, nada. It’s an unfortunate quirk, for lack of a better word, that seems to have followed me through life. I am infamous for my lack of memory, at once a blessing and a curse. The hard parts stay, the difficult fades, the good remain on the fringes but I consider it fortunate that she is the gatekeeper of our good times. The older you get, the more you need to be with those who knew you when you were young.


Everyday Chicken Curry

Everyday Chicken Curry 1

It hit me.

Moved country, emptied boxes, bought furniture, planted the garden. Uniforms ready, school bags packed, shoes polished and lunchboxes made. School timetable is on the fridge, cupboards stocked. Laundry is getting easier, navigating a new city is still a work in progress. Pantry organised, toys arranged and clothes are labelled. Met old friends, made new ones, trying to bridge the distance with those I left behind. Fridge is full, freezer is cramped, wine is chilling on the rack – regular life is all set to start again.


Kids & Cutlets

Beef Cutlets_0082

Young kids have absolutely no filter, they are born food critics. If it sucks, they will let you know in no uncertain terms. It’s even more potent in non-verbal format – the nose wrinkling, the suspicious sniffing, flared nostrils, the corners of their sweet, puckered lips twisting downwards. Each reaction is a stab to my pride. All that effort!