Ask my father what he wants to eat on any fasting day and the answer will always be the same.
“A simple pot of potatoe curry.”
I take bets with my mother every time that when I ask my father the question, his answer will be the same. She ALWAYS loses to me, her faith in his appetite at his old age is too high.
I of course never listen to him and make things that I feel like making, although I don’t fast and 99% of the time, whatever I make on the fasting days goes down very very hard.
If someone were to pop around for a meal on a Tuesday or a Friday and ask me what my secret was to super clean kitchen floors, the answer would be paneer. Why paneer one would ask? Simple, because if I dish up paneer for my father, his lips hang and boy do they hang, so who needs to clean the floors when those lips sweep it clean for me.
I am not that evil, I make other food, but once a month I make a pot of paneer curry and he cries and sulks like I make paneer every day of the week for him. Seriously paneer is an Indian food item and he hates it with a passion, not sure what kind of Indian this man in.
But if I want my floors polished as well, I just have to serve soya alongside paneer and the entire house will be cleaned. Again, he only fasts two days a week and I don’t cook soya every meal for him but he goes on like all I ever make is soya and paneer.
He sulks so much that my mother feels sorry for him and will make him a baked potatoe behind my back or make me order him a pizza, talk about cry baby.
So come a fasting day, I have no room for creativity, no room for trying out new things, it is the same menu, potatoe, greenbeans, dhal and wither rice or roti depending how early I wake up. I of course will go along with this menu until I get fed up or my father throws another tantrum for some or other reason and then I will dish him a plate full of soya chunks curry and see how he likes it.
When it comes to potatoes, the options are very very limited. It’s either potatoe curry, or masala fried chips. Let there be peas or cauliflower in the potatoe curry and my father will not touch it oh and it can’t be too strong, otherwise he won’t eat it either.
The other day I made potato curry and he bit into a dry chilli, he couldn’t talk for a few hours and he kept walking a few steps stopping to take a sip of water and fanning his lips. Dramatic much?
I came across the Heritage cooking cook book via a watsapp that went around. I immediately went online and bought me a copy. A week later it arrived. My dad took one look at the book and threw his hands up in the air, complaining that I would be forcing him to eat paneer again. Geez if someone didn’t know me that well, they would think I am neglecting this old timer of a man.
Anyway, once the book was unpacked and I paged through it, I loved it. For the first time in a long time, I have come across a recipe book that contains food that I actually make, no funny spices, no funny methods, no funny cooking utensils, just pure home comforts. Okay it does contain fish roe and I am not making that.
My late Uncle had friends who owned chokka boats and they would always bring him a parcel of fish roe when they returned from the harbor and once he asked me to collect the parcel for him and I didn’t think twice. I wish I had. I had no idea fish roe smelt like that, I drove with all the windows down and I am sure that after so many years I still get a whiff of that fish roe in the car. If the smell wasn’t off putting, he told me that fish roe was fish eggs and my mind went to the movie Species and I kept picturing the alien heads and eyes and tentacles and I just refused to even look at fish roe ever since. I have no idea how they taste and I don’t plan on finding out either.
Sorry I am going a bit off topic, as you can imagine I am very passionate about not eating fish roe.
Anyway in the book I came across a recipe for yellow potatoe curry and you know me, I just had to try it out, well because it was a fasting day and also it didn’t contain masala so there would be no excuse for my father to say that this dish was too strong for his taste buds. I didn’t want to break his heart by telling him that the original recipe stated that I needed 5 green chillies. For his sake I omitted that ingredient.
The dish was super easy to make, it is sort of similar to my version of jeera potatoes.
The verdict, my father enjoyed it for once he didn’t complain. My mother loved it but apparently she would have loved it more had I served it with roti and not rice. Hey what can I say, you can’t please them all.
- 500g x potatoes, peeled and cubed,
- 1 x onion, finely chopped.
- A sprig of curry leaves.
- 1 x tsp turmeric powder.
- Salt to taste.
- ½ x tsp jeera seeds.
- Heat the oil in a pot.
- Add the onions, jeera seeds, curry leaves and salt.
- Give it a stir and allow the onions to sauté till the edges start to brown.
- Add the potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes.
- Allow the water to start boiling before adding the turmeric.
- Stir and cover, cook till the potatoes are soft and all the water has cooked off.