My parents were anxious and zealous to instill the values and cultures of our Indian traditions and roots to their two children, who spent their entire lives living outside of the homeland. As young and new parents of a first-born girl, they decided never to force the rituals on me. Both my brother and I were given plenty of room to grow and develop our personalities without being harangued to live by very conservative rules.
It was a double-edged sword for them: on one side they had to be open-minded to allow the influence from the “western” environment and on the other, how to pass on the important values, morals and traditions they grew up with, without confining their children from their peers or making them stand out.
They did it with curry and stories!
Looking back at our mealtimes at home with my parents while growing up, one of the most prominent dishes on the dinner table was always a curry or a dal. This was served with other dishes and condiments and always accompanied with stories from my mum’s and dad’s childhood. My dad’s stories would be exciting and funny of him growing under simple circumstances in Lahore and my mother would weave stories about living in the plush lifestyle of the capital, Delhi with a very strict father. The stories always touched on typical traditions and rituals and covered much of our heritage painted in colorful tales.
As I moved away from home and arrived here in Germany several years ago, mealtimes were often incomplete and strangely morbid. The pastas, pizzas and potatoes were insipid and people never talked while they ate here! It drove me crazy.
And so, I began cooking curries and invited my friends over, sharing with them the great stories I was told by my parents.
I am still cooking curries and telling those stories mostly to my son - and we enjoy our meal times. Yes, he usually asks for pasta and pizza but he soon finds out the stories are more interesting when the curry is on the table.
My vegetable curry is inspired by the South Indian curry called Sambar, a spicy yet simple dish made of pigeon peas and vegetables using a special spice mix called sambar powder. Sambar carries long and broad ancient traditions of lentil-based stews and is very popular in southern India. A typical Sambar is based on legumes and vegetables and typically served with steamed rice.
With my Sambar Vegetable Curry I am satisfying the palate of a North Indian with flavors of South India. Enjoy!
This South Indian inspired vegetable curry can be made in a hurry and that’s what I love about it. It is perfect for a weeknight dinner, satisfying and soothing. Soon you’ll be telling stories of your own! Biting into the silky paneer will come as a surprise but it complements the crunchy and bolder vegetables, soaking up the delightful flavors of the spices.
Food Styling and Photography Workshop News
While the Amsterdam Workshop in September sold out fairly quickly I am glad to announce that the Dubai workshop still has a few slots open. We are filling up nicely and I am thrilled that Simone of Junglefrog Cooking has registered. Not only will I be hosting the Amsterdam workshop with her but I will be looking forward to seeing her again. Also great to see other familiar faces registering for the Dubai workshop.
For more details and and to register for the Dubai Workshop please visit the announcement page. Hope to see you there!
More curry comfort from WFLH:
|Egg Curry in a Creamy Coconut Gravy||Creamy Butter Chicken||Kaali Maa Di Dal - Mum's Creamy Black Lentils|
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2012 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First