Vegetable curry and family memories.

Spinach and chickpea curry served with simple couscousWhat might lighten the misery of sitting alongside your terminally-ill mother?  Emma and I shared recipes and tips to give us some respite.  She was a newly discovered family member (brother’s wife’s sister’s daughter) working, by absolute chance, at the local hospital caring for Mummy.    She took her lunch breaks at the bedside: encouraging my mother to eat, chat and laugh before the rest of our afternoon visits.  AS the smallest of thank-yous and in memory of our cooking conversations, we presented Emma with the cast-iron casserole she craved – and which is now named “Christine” in honour of Mummy.

Emma and Penny ready to cookNearly two years after those dreadful dying days, Emma and I have at last been able to cook together and share memories softened by time.  She came bearing the special Isle of Wight garlic for a delicious spinach and chickpea curry – Martin the house painter certainly enjoyed it for lunch.  We used the unusual asafoetida spice. (Try saying “ass-a-fetid-a” quickly!)

This is an easy vegetable curry that is a meal in itself or could be part of an Indian feast.  Use a tall pan with a lid.  Drop a single mustard seed in to the oil – if you hear it pop, the oil is hot enough.  Put on the lid as soon as you add the rest of the seeds: they pop and jump like mad.  The spinach mainly reduces to create a thick spicy sauce with the chickpeas providing a different texture.Penny, Martin and Emma tucking in to spinach and chickpea curry lunch

Watch me make them on You Tube or download the recipes at

Penny Melville-Brown OBE

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

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