Tuesday, 7 June 2011
The Curry cure. A tale of a head cold and curry.
I’m currently keeping Beechams and tissue manufactures in employment and last night I pulled together some ingredients to knock this wretched cold on the head and return to normal good health and clear breathing opportunities. Pass the Olbas oil.
So, in a moment or two of inspiration I ripped up the remains of a very tasty cooked 'Willow Farm' chicken and chopped up a pungent pot pourri of purification potential prepared for the curry pot. In went the generous amounts of ginger, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice and coriander. They all rested in a casserole dish and I mixed the lot up thoroughly and popped the lid on and stuck it in the fridge. Then I went to bed as I was too tired to cook it and eat it. Like you do.
I‘ve been doing two half days of overtime at work to help out and be a mentor of a new young man on our meat counter and on my return bus journey home today I actually fell asleep and nearly missed my stop. Thankfully the driver knew where I normally get off and woke me up. He shouldn’t have kissed me though, not without shaving first. Ahem, après slumber on le bus, I made my way home via the local Co-op supermarket and then went off to bed for a much needed afternoon kip. That was after I had staunched another sudden nosebleed with a dainty wad of toilet roll. I hate feeling ill!!!
Tonight I added made my own special Saag Masala cooking sauce prepared loving for hours in my cosy home kitchen. Saag, or palak, dishes are spiced purées of spinach or other greens common in northern India. The spinach leaves came direct from my one acre kitchen garden of herbs and seasonal vegetables. This is regulalry visited by culinary celebrities in search of inspiration and it is spoken that Madhur Jaffrey herself often has sleepless nights dreaming about the perfect kitchen garden that is mine, all mine. You can’t have it all Madhur luvvy.
So, dear salivating readers, I lovingly puréed the spinach leaves, thinking all the while of a nourishing curry to come, and I nonchalantly flicked in a good extra handful of garden fresh coriander leaves for herbal depth. A generous twist of freshly ground green pepper finished the dish magnificantly. The evening sun was shining romantically on my French style patio furniture as the heady aromas drifting from the kitchen began their miraculous healings. Food certainly can heal. For an apero I cracked open a chilled bottle of Cobra beer and listened to the soperific sound of the gentle waves lapping the idyllic shoreline nearby. Life can be beautiful even with a cold.
Back in the kitchen, for a bit of zing, I added the tangy juices of a bright green lime and a clean, sharp tasting lemon to the dish and dotingly placed the delicious ensemble into the Aga. A nearby wood pigeon cooed a contented evening coo as the rosy twilight turned to amber gold of late evening and cast its mellow warmth on the chateau next door. The curry dish was sublime and upon reflection I conceded that the spinach was indeed, done to perfection. Madhur would have been proud, so proud.
Confession: Actually I opened a jar of Sharwood’s Saag Masala and stirred it into the gorgeous mix of chicken, ginger and garlic and stuck it into a pre-heated oven, gas mark four, for half an hour. As simple as that. In the meantime I cooked some fragrant and delicate basmati rice (from my own private plot in the Himalayan foothills of course) and enjoyed a simple curry. Tomorrow I will über whiff of garlic but tomorrow is another day and I have a one acre kitchen garden to take care of now and that cooing wood pigeon will be splendid simply served with English pod fresh peas and perhaps a mèlange of spring greens. All washed done with a chilled flinty noted Chablis from my estate in Burgundy of course.