two curries and a sambal


One day when we no longer live in this apartment I will think back to how its kitchen was slightly too small for two people to both cook at the same time, until we figured out that if we strip all cupboards of their doors and have a kitchen of open shelves instead, we were freeing up just enough space to allow J and I to cook at the same time. This is a kitchen in which only partners used to cooking together can do so, it requires an understanding of the other’s rhythm and a knowledge of how to move your body while you’re prepping so they can reach a utensil on that shelf or an ingredient in that drawer. The close quarters in which we work means cooking is inevitably touching, grazing past one another as we move from fridge to sink to counter to stove.




Last night we made two types of curry and a sambal, while I awkwardly danced to a bunch of 90s songs from a sweet playlist I found online. The first couple of songs were from the Dawson’s Creek soundtrack and THERE WERE SO MANY MEMORIES COMING BACK TO ME, to be honest mostly about being fourteen and really, really badly wanting a boyfriend. The first curry was a mashup of a Seychelles spice mix we got as a Christmas gift from friends who had visited the island, heady with fenugreek and large shards of cassia, and other curry-ish ingredients from the fridge, including a big lump of tamarind. The second was a cashew nut curry of Sri Lankan origin, on our radar because it contains Maldive fish chips, another pantry item we’d been gifted at Christmas. It turned out delicious – the cashews are cooked with onion and garlic in coconut milk, along with cumin, cinnamon and a few other spices, into a rich, creamy curry. The sambal, also Sri Lankan, featured large flakes of coconut, onion and parsley, turmeric and chilli and some more Maldive fish chips, all quickly whipped together in a pan so that the coconut gets a chance to toast. We ate on the couch. The playlist was still in full swing. A Perfect Circle. I told J how conflicted I’d been over this band at age fourteen, liking their music but secretly suspecting they were Satanists. I had also felt the same about Madonna’s Frozen, which I felt drawn to even though the music video made it clear that she was into witchcraft. Is the Frozen video the one where she turns into a crow, J asked. Yes, I said. Darling, he answered. That’s not witchcraft. That’s CGI.

We had seconds.


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