Curry with risotto

Mallika Basu - Curry with risotto

Posted 15th September 2008

I went around the supermarket with a serious mission. This was Italian countryside. I was as far away from an Indian spice shop as an Eskimo in the Sahara desert.

Before I left I stuffed the desert island essentials of chilli powder, turmeric powder and asafoetida into my suitcase, mentally reminding myself never to make fun of travelling aunties again.

Four days I baked by the pool. Contemplating my big Tuscan curry effort, while our friends took it in turns to cook meals.

Soon it was mine. I found fennel seeds, cumin seeds, garlic and a pack plastered with the word “organic lentils” on it. So far so good. But no ginger.

This was a serious blow. But I ploughed ahead anyway. Hubby was tasked with chopping, washing and creating innovative implements to grind spices. Friends were banished from the kitchen unless collecting wine. I focused on making Moong dal-esque dal, Aubergine Raita and Pepper Chicken Curry.

In the stress of it all, I forgot rice. Sure enough, there was a large jar supplied in the villa. Of the well known Risotto family. Did I mention I was in Italy?

The meal was a success, despite the missing ginger and soggy rice. Which goes to show that if you care enough, you can always have a curry.

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