Reads, Writes, Eats and Cooks
Last weekend my newly braced child, not in pain, and asked for “deshi” or “home food.” I was only too happy to oblige and enjoy a day of savored chewing with her. It took two hours to slow roast the lamb shank in the oven. While that was cooking in a glaze of ginger, caramelized onions, spices, raisins and nuts, Jim and I cooked Dal (the thick kind my father likes), a spicy shrimp curry and a light vegetable curry.
In my chopped and blended family, Jim can now identify spices, stir until the oil separates from the roasted spices ( a strange and specific Asian cooking technique) and even anticipate when I’ll ask for another onion. Very impressive. He is officially trained in the deshi kitchen (he’s already quite a chef during Steak and Burgers, Southern, Italian and Mexican kitchen nights). Jim not only helps me cook but has also graduated from eating modified Bengali food to keeping up with my confessedly inauthentic taste. No coconut milk or cream was added, no heat removed, no vegetables or spices were denied yesterday.
It was reassuring to be able to share a meal that reminds me of my parents and larger family, with Jim. Cooking may have taken two hours but considering going to the stores and washing dishes afterwards, it was a whole day event. It was time well spent together. What a true luxury to have an open day to make something that invites thoughts of family whether present or not (you are missed and loved).
Here are loose directions for each of the dishes for Amani, my eldest at college (one of many missed yesterday) and you my patient readers:
This a super easy way to make a light vegetable curry.
We enjoyed these dishes with Pulao (Rice pilaf) and store bought naan. Left-overs are even better! I had a fantastic and fulfilling lunch of vegetables and rice today. Oreo, the dog, who turned 3 yesterday, is chewing on a lamb bone as I write. He is so happy.
That’s my food story for now.
Wishing all of you random days of shared cooking, eating and remembering,