Father’s Day

A bumper haul of presents from A this year, that couldn’t help but make me feel I take my own Dad for granted somewhat. Almost all of A’s presents were homemade, though I suspect some he may want back soon, such as the wooden skewers made safe I’d given him for drum sticks which he then asked S to sellotape together into a sort of aeroplane. He also did a number of pictures for me and, pretty thoughtfully for a six-year old, got me an Amazon voucher, for which I’m already looking forward to window shopping (screen shopping?).

I had thought a day of rest would be nice. But it wasn’t going to happen this year. Chores multiplied and it didn’t help that I decided to cook a curry. I scrimped a little, but not much, on some of the preparation (toiri kora) but even so it always takes a couple of hours to do properly, which is why I only cook Indian food at the weekends. So we had my mother-in-law’s version of murgir malai, and one of the few Indian dishes I no longer need the recipe for. There was also kumro chenchki that used swede and carrot for the main vegetables rather than pumpkin.

I had a minor panic cooking this when I realised I’d run out of panch phoran (a mix of cumin, fennel, onion, mustard and fenugreek seeds) and had to make some more up just as it was meant to go into the oil. I also did some dhal, though I’m the only one in our house that eats it. Unlike my rice, which will never be as good as my mother-in-law’s, the dhal’s not bad, aided by some culinary detective work every time she cooks it – I’ve not seen a recipe that says to put in tomato segments but they do seem to add flavour.

The kumro chenchki recipe comes from The Calcutta Kitchen, a great cookery book for authentic Bengali food. I love that the publishers have added a Bengali subheading too – rannabanna, kōlkatar khabar. Great pictures inside of Park Street restaurants in one of the book’s various sections, and I’m sure I walked past the temple of the front cover one day when trying in vain to find Tagore’s house in Kolkata and instead getting more and more lost.

Anyway, next year’s Father’s Day promises to be even busier, actually next year in general is shaping up to be pretty busy, as A will have a brother or sister in two months time.

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