Originally written: May 2007
Shajeda, a lovely Bangladeshi-British woman, is one of the finest cooks I know. She is remarkable in the kitchen and when I’m visiting with her, I always insist on offerinf myself as her cooking assistant. I learned much from her. The woman is an Iron cook! By herself she can whip three different dishes simultaneously, and that’s the first round. She usually has three cooking rounds. For the first two, she makes savoury dishes, and for the last she makes the dessert.
My mind should be focusing on my final examinations, instead my mind is wandering around planet curry, specifically Shajeda’s famous curry dishes. I yen for her cooking. What madness.
One mistake I make when I’m at her place is that I don’t take notes. Mental notes can be useful but not at times when I want to recall names of dishes. I remember her cooking methods but for the life of me can’t recall the names of the dishes she makes.
This curry obsession I’m having is not unlike the Chicken vindaloo curry obsession that Lister in Red Dwarf (a popular British comedy sci-fi series from the early 90’s) suffers from. I can empathize with the bloke. Except I draw the line at drinking curry juice.
There’s an Indian restaurant in the YMCA Indian Student Hostel near UCL. Sree brought me there once, and the place was jam packed. We were lucky to find seating. It’s a popular place for good reasons. The food is great and the price reasonable. For £5 I was able to get a bowl or basmati rice, three curry dishes, chapatti, and a bowl of pickled vegetables. Fantastic! Sree says the food reminds him of home. Surely that comparison is worth keeping in mind the next I feel like having Indian cuisine.
Yikes. Well, they won’t be open at this hour.