When you decide to share parts of your life online, albeit mostly the things that go in your mouth, there are certain events you can’t get out of mentioning. Like, getting married, for instance. Because WE GOT MARRIED. Sort of. In the legal sense of the word we’re not married (yet). Although we did have to sit through an interview to give notice of our intention to become legally wed. And even though I knew it was more just a formality than anything else, and I’ve known Conors birthday before I’d even known the colour of his eyes, I still found myself slightly nervous.
But in every other sense of the word, we are married. There was a religious leader, and a contract, and everything. What was supposed to be a very (very) low key event (it was at home, and I was planning on wearing something I already owned, and very little make up) suddently turned into something much bigger when my Mother decided to invite everyone we know. At some point between going shopping for Conors shoes for the third time, and ordering 3 different outfits online because I couldn’t decide which would fit/look good, it hit me – this WAS a big deal. Because although the walking down the aisle, and exchanging of rings – all the things most people associate with weddings – isn’t happening till August, it didn’t take away from the fact this religious ritual was just as important, if not more.
Even though we still insisted on no fuss, Conor suddenly found himself trying on 4 different suits. I spent most of my time running between rails and waiting nervously outside the changing rooms. We decided on a grey number, and Conor found a cavity (but that’s a different story). Our parents met for the first time and it wasn’t a complete disaster, and my sister took care of the cake.
It’s tradition for families and friends to make thaals – decorative platters of food – for wedding related events. But as I’ve opted out of the usual cultural festivities – because no fuss (
one two special days are enough) – I had asked my family not to go to any trouble. Thankfully none of my family listen to me anyway and I ended up with lots of thaals to share.
The ceremony was memorable for lots of reasons, not least of all because it was conducted by my unsuspecting cousin’s husband, and I got to watch my family shove a lot of cake (which was more cream than cake) into Conor’s mouth. We were spoiled with prayers, good wishes, and presents. And the next day we were two married people, sitting on his couch, marathon watching Prison Break, and eating Chinese take out. Which has become one of my top ten favourite things to do.
My Mother had ordered enough food to literally feed the entire neighbourhood, and then some. As proven by the amount of filled tupperware distributed that same evening. The food came in pots large enough to bathe in, and I ate daal for breakfast the next day.
I’m supposed to be learning to cook like Mum, except we’ve kind of stopped spending Sunday mornings in the kitchen. I’ve got 4 dishes under my belt, and this chicken bhuna curry is one of my favourites. Mum has so many different chicken currys, all with a slight variation, that she’s not actually sure of the technical name for each. But she’s sort of certain this is a bhuna. In any case, it’s one of her specialties I’ll probably be recreating a lot. I just need to convince Conor we need a deep freezer so I can bulk buy chicken.
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 medium onions
- 4 large green chillis
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 green cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick, snapped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 whole black peppers
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1½ tbsp ground coriander
- ¾ tbsp ground cumin
- 2½ tbsp mixed curry powder
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 2 large chicken breasts
- ¾ cup chicken tikka masala paste
- 1 cup boiling water
- Handful of fresh coriander
- Over a low heat, add the vegetable oil to a medium pot.
- Chop the garlic, onions, and chilli, and add to the pan. Add the salt and mix everything together. Turn up to a medium heat, cover the pan and leave for 5 minutes or until onions have gone brown.
- Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and black peppers, and stir.
- Add the turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, mixed curry powder, chilli powder, and garam masala. Mix everything together.
- Chop the chicken breasts into cubes. Add to the pot and stir. Cover the pot with a lid, place over medium heat, and allow to cook for 13-15 minutes. Stir occassionally.
- Add the chicken tikka masala paste, followed by the boiling water, and stir. Turn the heat up to high and leave to boil for 3 minutes with the lid on. Then turn the heat down to low and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. To finish, garnish with a handful of chopped fresh coriander. Serve with rice.