June 1, 2009
My body has regained its size small splendour. Remarkable what a combination of forced sleep deprivation and skipped meals can achieve…
Then an invite arrived for the launch of Iron Maiden’s new boutique hotel in Soho. Champagne? Canapes? Paparazzi? Hallelujiah! Finally, a reason to resurrect the glamour stakes to their original high standards.
I slipped off to the hairdresser. A lovely Spanish gal, who can talk for England. Darling, I said, I have two hours; make me beautiful again.
She set to work with gusto. Clicked her tongue at the disgrace that used to be my lustrous locks. Sat me under an over-sized chrome dryer. Handed over the month’s latest fashion and gossip magazines and said: “You have 40 minutes”.
40 minutes? Forget getting my hair done. I could have slept!
I spent the time bringing myself up to date with the season’s latest fashion trends. Safari. 80s body con. Bright colours. Do they make playsuits for babies?
I came home fabulous, wore a shower cap and cooked Paneer Capsicum, a light and breezy Indian cheese and bell pepper sir fry.
Life is slowly returning back to normal. Or some version of it at least. Just in time for summer.
Puree or chop finely the ginger and garlic. Slice the paneer into half-centimetre pieces width-wise and cut the peppers into long strips, discarding the middle.
Heat the oil in a medium wok on high. When it’s hot, stir in the ginger and garlic. As they turn pale brown in a few seconds roughly chop and add the tomato, turmeric and chilli powders.
Fry this for two minutes until the aroma becomes less pungent and then stir in the peppers.
Cook the peppers for five minutes, stirring regularly, until they start going soft. Then mix in the paneer pieces taking care not to break them and half a cup of hot water.
Let this all simmer together for five minutes. Finally, stir in the garam masala, the chopped coriander and add salt to your taste. Serve with warm buttered rotis for maximum pleasure.