Monday 10 November 2014

Something a little different: Nostalgia.

Do you ever feel nostalgic about food? about a specific smell? Or even a lip gloss you used to use when you were in high school? Does it bring memories of your childhood or teenage years flooding back?

Or do you simply crave those memories and create that smell yourself?

Thats what I did tonight. Having a quarter life crisis at the moment and having a down day I wanted something that was home cooked that brought back memories of my mum's cooking when I was younger and had not a care in the world. It wasn't quite the same or even as good as her's but it filled our tiny apartment with the smell of my mum's cooking and it has given me a satisfied full tummy like when I was little. And I'm sure ever mum has their own version of chicken curry but nothing does it like your own mum's.

I remember asking for this curry for my birthday dinner one year catching my mum by surprise, normally I wanted to go out to the little Italian restaurant at the end of our street which served sizzling garlic prawns in little black pots. But I wanted mum's chicken curry.

So I thought tonight instead of sharing a recipe I've cooked from a book, I'd share my mum's chicken curry which always makes me feel like I'm home again. Given that I didn't have chicken and only turkey mince and no eggplant, only carrots and broccoli the photo looks a little different but the recipe is right. I know this won't bring the childhood memories back like it does for me but it's still a pretty damn good dinner, nostalgic or not.

What smell or home cooked meal takes you back to a place where it feels all warm and fuzzy?

My Mum's Chicken Curry.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
500g chicken thighs, cut into rough pieces
2 tsp Keen's traditional curry powder (if it's not Keen's it wont taste the same)
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
400ml coconut cream
1 eggplant, roughly cubed

- Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry garlic and onion till golden and soft.

- Add eggplant and cook for a few minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned.

- Add curry powder, soy sauce, fish sauce,sesame oil, lemon juice and coconut milk. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes on low.

- Serve with steamed rice, tomato salsa (recipe below), cucumber cooler (recipe below) and poppadoms.

Tomato Salsa.

2 tomatoes, diced into 1cm cubes (roughly)
1/2 red onion, finely diced
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- Mix everything together and serve.

Cucumber Cooler.

1/2 cup light sour cream (or greek yoghurt)
1/2 continental cucumber, diced in 1cm pieces (roughly)
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried dill tips

- Mix everything together and serve.

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