A Dry Weekend

Mallika Basu - A Dry Weekend

Posted 25th September 2006











Normally, I would cook Indian on Sunday evening for dinner, freezing the leftovers for a rainy day. But Sunday night was a write off.

Seven of us ladies met in Soho for a friend’s hen night. It seemed like a good idea to do shots with her before Mr Gay Latin America UK turned up to do his striptease. When, oh when, will I learn that mixing B52s, mojitos and Vodka Limes is never worth the ravages of the next day.

It really hurt on Sunday. I dragged myself for dim sum lunch even when every inch of me desperately needed a curry.

I just couldn’t bear the thought of the pungent smell of masalas in my delicate state. See, I love Indian food. Just in case you had doubts. And I find every possible excuse to cook Indian. Dinner parties are a great excuse.

But the truth is that cooking Indian is a smelly affair. Your kitchen and even furniture and carpets will smell for days after your jhalfrezi. You also need to wash the smells off your hair and skin. So if like me you have frizzy wavy hair that needs to tamed, this is a long drawn out process.

Here is my five-step plan for beating the masalas at their own game:

  1. Close the kitchen door and turn the exhaust up on high
  2. Open any windows. If you live in an open plan space, this is even more important
  3. Wear a shower cap when cooking. You will look like an idiot. But you’ll save time and energy in the long-term
  4. When you finish cooking, cover the pots and clean the kitchen straightaway. Light fragrant candles in the living area and corridor
  5. Lastly, and most importantly, never ever use ready mixed masalas. They have really strong aromas that take weeks to get rid off.

Not all recipes are smelly. I’ll highlight the “low-smell” ones so you know.

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