A year ago I set myself the challenge to cook the recipes my mother had created and compiled when she was teaching cookery in the late 80’s, early 90’s. I started with chicken biryani and dhal which was a labour of love in so many ways. Firstly a good bowl of dhal is the ultimate comfort food – warming, earthy, a little spicy and filling yet healthy and packed with goodness such as ginger and turmeric. My mother would eat this at least once a week and there was always a portion in the freezer. Secondly, rather than winging it and trying to remember how she cooked, I actually took the time to read the recipe and follow it word by word… I could almost hear her talking to the class and adding her anecdotes along the way. Lastly, it took me 4 hours to prepare…and it was wolfed down in minutes! My boys told me that not only was it delicious, but the house smelt like Granny’s when she was cooking. There was no higher compliment than that.
Over the 12 months I’ve tried to make the time not only to cook but to write… there have been weeks where the photos are piling up on my phone, but i didn’t have the time to sit down and write. I’ve really enjoyed not only discovering how to cook some of these dishes ‘properly’, but also adapting them to suit the busy life we lead today. I’ve also created my own recipes, based on the dishes my family enjoy, using good ingredients and packed with flavour. My hungry teens are my best critics… a big thank you to them for putting up with me making them wait until I photograph the dish!
In keeping with tradition, on New Years Day I cooked noodles for dinner. We were all a little jaded and I was in need of a spicy gingery hit! I cooked my basic fried egg noodle recipe, but with vegetables only – onions, garlic, mushrooms, spring greens and beansprouts. Once this was on a serving plate, I wiped out the wok and cooked my mother’s Pork with Ginger (recipe in the images). I then placed this tender spicy pork over the noodles so they soaked up all that spicy gingery goodness! It was a perfect antidote to the richness of the past week of Christmas goodies.
Thank you all for your feedback and enthusiasm – it means a lot to me to see your words of encouragement. Please share with your friends, and if you do cook the recipes, send me a photo of your end result!