Weekends in our house tend to be a little hectic between managing the sporting and social commitments of the two teens, and catching up on mundane chores which I never get around to doing in the week. However, something I really enjoy is having the time to get together with friends. My friends are important to me and I consider myself lucky to have close friends from all parts of my life – from my childhood in Singapore through to ‘village’ life in the London suburbs. I was so pleased to see many of my oldest and dearest friends at my mothers celebration of life service last year, each with their own memories. Childhood friends who remembered her fried rice, 6th form friends who had memories of my mother in her kitten heels at home always enquiring if they wanted a glass of wine and some dinner; and a handful of my adult girlfriends to whom my mother had given words of wisdom on their love lives and not always wise choice of men!
I have inherited my mothers love of entertaining and more often than not, will have at least a couple of friends over for a meal at the weekend. I like to plan these meals, taking into account their likes, what their kids would eat (mine eat everything!) and how much I can do in advance, giving me time to relax and enjoy a G&T.
Last weekend I invited some family friends over for an impromptu Saturday night supper… the kids wanted to get together, and we hadn’t caught up in a while. I also wanted to cook a lamb curry! However, my eldest teen had other ideas and asked for a lamb biryani instead – based on the chicken biryani i made a few weeks ago. I used the same chicken biryani recipe, but substituted cubed leg of lamb for the chicken. I also added a little more water so the gravy was thinner, and i kept this aside to serve separately if people wanted more liquid on their rice. To accompany this, I made my version of Aubergine & Bhindi Bhaji and a south Indian style potato curry, along with Raita and Pickled Onions. As I piled the mound of Biryani into the serving dish, I thought about my leftovers for the next day… however, i hadn’t accounted for 4 hungry teenage boys, and as my mother would say ‘the platter was swept clean’!