The Curry Cook-up

I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that time has run away with me and before you know it weeks have passed by since I have added anything to this blog, certainly not intentional, but somehow I just haven’t had the time for any art: I had so wanted to illustrate another recipe for you. Since that hasn’t happened I thought I’d just tell you about a special afternoon I spent with friends last Sunday.

It started about a month ago when we invited a group around to spend an evening all together, with nibbles and drinks. There were twelve of us and we had a truly lovely time chatting and laughing and eating. Not an unusual event for most of you, but for a Nicaraguan it was very different. Their idea of a get-together is lots of loud music, so loud you can’t hear one another talk, therefore no conversation, and for those inclined, dancing. Often food is served and the universally-liked fizzy drink.

For our get-together I had bought large crispy tortillas (rather like enormous popadoms, but made with maize) and we used them to dip into various clay dishes that I filled with things like hummous, a herby cream cheese dip and various chutneys, along with homemade farmhouse cheddar cheese. Perfect to go with beer, wine and fresh juice.

What made this particular event inspiring was the way the conversation progressed. Our Nicaraguan friends were delighted to try something very different and the WAGs among the group wanted to learn how to prepare a meal they had never tried before…a curry. So, there and then we girls hatched a plan to cook together and the same group of twelve to eat the meal.

So, that’s what we did last Sunday afternoon…I taught them how to make a curry paste (page 99 in Jamie’s Ministry of Food/Jamie’s Food Revolution) for a Chicken Korma (page 74 Jamie’s Ministry of Food/Jamie’s Food Revolution) also Pineapple Chutney (a twist on my Mango Chutney recipe found here in 8020Living) Sambhar, using the ubiquitous Nicaraguan beans/frijoles (recipe in Chai, Chaat and Chutney by Chetna Makan), Vegetable Bhajis (page 92 Jamie’s Ministry of Food/Jamie’s Food Revolution) Coconut Bread (some we fried so that they looked like Pooris and the rest were cooked thicker and over dry heat, using the same recipe) also rice. All washed down with homemade ginger beer.

Five of us girls chopped and cooked our way through the afternoon, chatting away and stopping for tea at 4:00 (some English traditions haven’t stopped for me!) Then at 5:00 we all sat around the table outside under the Guava tree and enjoyed more time together and great food.

I think one of the joys of taking the time out to give our friends an experience of something very different is the fact that they were inspired by it and are still talking of the wonderful time we had together.

Here are a couple of photos that were snapped by Iris, they’re not super sharp, but they give you an idea…

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