Cooking for Momma

I knew my mom's plane had landed at Heathrow yesterday because the clouds parted and the sun was so bright! Even though her flight was slightly delayed, even though it was drizzling and grey outside on my journey out to the airport, and even though I had no idea when she'd be walking into the international arrivals area, I was so excited to see her. Best visitor ever! It's great to have her here in London with me. We've already gone grocery shopping for Thanksgiving together, and have printed out our boarding passes for our flight to Spain tomorrow. Yes, we will be soaking up the southern Spanish sun for a few days in marbella. Cannot WAIT. I'll continue to blog as best I can while we're away. I figure that some readers may be interested in how it is for an allergic girl in a foreign country. My mom is also gluten-free, so between the two of us, things could get tricky. So far, I know: sin huevos, por favor. Not bad, eh?

Anyway, back to yesterday. She arrived and stayed up until 8:30pm, like a trooper. After a 12 hour journey, I'm sure the first thing she wanted to do was fall asleep, but I made her stay up to get on UK time. I think it helped... she slept for 12 hours last night!

Once Phil got home from work, I got cooking. Dinner was from a new cookbook I picked up the other day (and all of the books in this series are awesome), 101 best ever curries from BBC's good food series.

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas

This is adapted from the bbc good food recipe -- I refused to buy ready-made curry paste (plus I couldn't find a yellow variety), and made up my own concoction. The amounts yielded plenty for 4 people (we had some left over). And check out the table -- momma MADE those oilcloth placemats! Aren't they perfect for my logo??? They are reversible with the yellow/white checkered pattern on one side, and the beautiful blue and white design on the other. Thanks momma!

The particulars:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped ginger root
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 lemongrass sticks, bashed
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 1 can low fat coconut milk
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 limes
  • handful of fresh mint leaves
  • mini naan bread, to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a deep pan, then gently fry the onion, lemongrass, cardamom pods, mustard seeds, garlic, ginger, and spices for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the squash for a few minutes, then pour in the stock and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, then add the chickpeas for another 10 minutes until the squash is tender.
  2. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the curry, then cut the other into wedges. Tear over the mint leaves, then serve with lime wedges and naan bread.

Lesson learned: Never buy pre-made curry paste or sauce (but yes, i'm guilty of doing this). It's so much nicer to put together your own, and super easy when you have the right ingredients.