The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Jan 28, 2011

Nordic Indian

Just when I was beginning to despair of ever seeing anything foodie in a Scandinavian novel, I came across the following passage in Pernille Rygg's The Butterfly Effect. Sure, it's not Norwegian food, but something is better than nothing, I always think.
I open a carton of coconut milk and pour it over the shiny slices of onion that have sizzled for a while with a generous amount of garlic. 
"Dear God," says Tom, looking sceptically at the coconut milk. 
"You can use grated coconut, too," I say. "It's cheaper but not half so good." 
He takes a gulp of red wine and goes on chopping fresh coriander. 
He's done so many nights shifts at the hospital that he needs something with a bit of a kick to it. We decided on Indian, because he said he's tired of Mexican, and, as he's paying, I don't mind buying ingredients that cost twice the price they would be where I live. 
He puts on Bowie while we do the cooking, and seems rather grumpy because I've bought only vegetables. While I rinse the limp okra, which you can only buy in a tin, I miss Benny. Suddenly it feels obscene to be cooking dinner with another man - it's more intimate than when we were making love. 
Tomatoes, cauliflower, okra. Coriander. Curry paste dissolved in water. I draw the pan to the side while the rice is cooking. 
Tom opens another bottle of red wine. 
I taste the curry and wonder what's missing. 
A little ginger, Benny would have said. And you've used too much garlic as usual. 
I love you, I would have answered. 
Tom hasn't any ginger and nor will he notice the difference.


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