A journey with a hint of spice!

We all have a great passion in life and cooking (along with gardening) has to be up there for me. Allowing me to share my joy of cooking with others really drove me to  completing the two year project of #currysaturday.

One Autumnal evening in 2018 I sampled a curry at a friend’s house. It was a good curry. Up until this point I had been a lover of curry – but more the takeaway or restaurant kind. We locally have some good suppliers so there was never a need to make your own. Deep down I was always worried about the time commitment of making a curry and also the repetitive nature of sauce & meat. It turns out that this concept of indian cuisine was completely wrong and in fact there is a whole adventure of flavours to enjoy. I was introduced to Rick Stein’s India cookbook. 

For Christmas 2018 I received the book. I have many many cookbooks. This one was different. I set myself the challenge of cooking each and every recipe. A journey that would take me two years to complete – seeing my cook with new ingredients like goat and making my own naans.  

Do I have a favourite? No. There are too many to really single out just one. I have a few that bring back really fond memories:

  • Tibetan Steamed Dumplings: A favourite of me and Finley. Something therapeutic about making the dumpling dough with your eldest and then the small amount of time to steam them. 
  • Kati Rolls with Pickled Onion and Green Chilli salad: I mean anything that includes Sirloin Steak is going to feature high. Making wraps from scratch, searing the steak and then assembling at the table all together made these a family favourite. 
  • Keralan Seafood Biryani: I saved this for last for one reason. I love seafood and this is full of it. Can’t say much more. The flavour works well and can easily see in a post Covid world of having friends and/or family around the table digging in.
  • Cashew and Jaggery Kulfi: Never associated puddings with India (maybe as I always filled up on the main) but these were a great way to end the meal off with something light and scented with cardamon. 

Finding the right ingredients has provided a challenge some weeks. There is not an ingredient I have not been able to source but some require a bit more looking than Tesco! Spice Kitchen (Spice Shop) has been a good source but also Barnsley, Sheffield and Leeds markets. I do really need to learn the difference between kilogram and gram though – I have enough spice to last 2021 I think (honestly I’m not stockpiling). The cupboard though now has a great aroma with spices like mango powder, plenty of that “staining spice” turmeric and even my homemade garam masala. 

Many a weekend I have thought I just don’t have time but unless we had a special occasion I have got on with it. I’ve realised that there is probably never the time handed to you on a plate, you just need to make the time to do what you love sometime. More so I have been thrilled that the boys have got involved. They haven’t always liked the end result – usually due to the heat of the curry but it’s been good to have them involved.

As I look back over the two years I realise at the start I had lost my passion for cooking. I personally was not in a good place, and although I’m still not completely in the right place some focus has really allowed me some time. 

Life is too short. The year of 2020 has shown us this. Following my passion has given me a sense of purpose. Following my passion in life has made me happier overall. Whether people actually read my blogs, watch my videos or see my photos doesn’t matter – what matters is that it has given me a greater piece of mind.

So much so that #CurrySaturday will return following the recipes of: Indian Kitchen by Maunika Gowardhan. 

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