Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Chickpeas with Tomato and Spinach

Today's recipe didn't set my world on fire.  It was a pretty okay store cupboard recipe and would be a good side dish to something more substantial.  It's from BBC Good Food and having now read the reviews, I think it may well have been better made the night before to allow the flavours to develop. Of course if I'd not been a greedy cow and eaten it all, I could've tested this theory tomorrow (I did only make a half-recipe-worth).

I'd probably make it again when I was feeling guilty for not having eaten anything vaguely resembling a vegetable for a few days.  There had to be at least three of my five a day in this one meal.  And served with a Dan Lepard Frying Pan Naan, it's a really filling meal.

I also faced up to me reticence when it comes to fresh tomatoes and cooked and ate those.  Although I guess as they're cooked, they're not far different to using chopped, tinned tomatoes.  Nevertheless, I had to eyeball their slimy innards when I chopped them up - something which is normally enough for me to quietly shuffle them off into the dogs' bowls.

It has green stuff on the top - must be healthy
But it did bring back a memory.  Of making curry in the late eighties.  I can't remember where the recipe first came from, but what a performance it was to make.  In those days, you could only buy Indian spices from specialist shops.  My mum used to go to this tiny health food shop in some back street of Winchester and come home with little white plastic bags containing spoonfuls of turmeric, coriander, cumin and saffron.

They were then consigned to an old ice-cream tub in the back of the cupboard for fear of them making everything else smell of curry.  And when you took the lid off of the box, it immediately just smelled like of curry from the intermingled flavours.  That ice cream tub still lives in the back of the larder at my Grandad's house (I grew up living with my grandparents) and there are still random bags of spices in there.  The smell has dulled over time but it still brings back the memory.

These days, I have a spice rack that is jammed full of pretty much every herb or spice that my local supermarket cares to sell.  In fact, I have so many that they're also randomly scattered across work surfaces (much to the husband's eternal consternation) and stuffed in the back of random cupboards (the husband's reaction to me randomly scattering them across work surfaces).

Of course, the modern glass jars ensure that my kitchen only smells of damp dog (the worst thing about this infernal rain!) and not of curry spices waiting to be used.  But you only get that evocative smell on cooking.  There was something quite comforting about sneaking a sniff from that ice cream box.

Although my Grandma was about as Indian as Birds Custard Powder (now I've said that, someone will go and tell me it was invented in India), the smell of that box reminds me of her because it smells of her curry.  And there are times when I make something with spices that they come together and make that smell.  Sadly, today's recipe wasn't one of them.   I hope that one day when I'm old and decrepit, there will be some smell that Miss A will forever associate with the kitchen of her childhood.  I'm hoping it will be something lovely we've cooked together rather.  And not just the current pong of wet spaniel.

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...