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May 26, 2013

If you’re lucky enough to have a best friend like mine then count yourself among the privileged few.

From talking to other people over the years I realise friends like Brenda only come along very rarely – if ever.

We now live many miles apart and instead of being able to nip round on a Saturday for a shopping expedition round old mills or backstreet hidden away gems, or share a Friday night supper and a bottle of wine we have to plan our get togethers many weeks in advance.

We both share a commitment to our families and although Brenda and her lovely husband Charles have sadly lost the older generation in the family they devote a lot of time to doing DIY with/for children and being with grandchildren just the same as us while also enjoying short breaks in the UK and longer trips abroad.

Another shared passion is food and cooking. When we spend time staying together we invariably pinch each others new recipes and also head off to newly found sources of different ingredients. Sometimes we see each other more regularly, other times in can be months between but it really doesn’t matter – it’s like it was just yesterday.

This weekends stay in Yorkshire included a beautifully prepared Indian meal, me pinching the recipes and a visit to Pakeezah in Bradford for some required ingredients. It’s a fantastic place and well worth a trip to stock up on spices etc.



The base for a number of her indian recipes is below. my favourite were yummy spicy potatoes (Recipe for the potatoes themselves will follow!)


3 tbsps vegetable oil
2-3 medium onions, very finely chopped
1 1/2 tsps ginger paste and garlic paste
3 whole green chillies left whole or 1 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp salt
1 level tsp turmeric powder
2 tsps coriander powder
5 finely chopped medium tomatoes
2 tsp tomato purée
250 ml hot water
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 level tsp cumin powder


1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan.
2. Add the onions and fry slowly over a moderate heat until golden.
3. Add a little hot water when getting too dry.
4. Keeping the heat low add the ginger and garlic pastes and chillies and cook for a minute.
5. Add the salt, turmeric and coriander and stir. Follow with tomatoes and tomato purée.
6. Increase the heat, add the water and cook gently for 25 minutes. Add more water if required to prevent sticking.
7. Reduce until a thick purée, stir often.
8. Stir in black pepper, garam masala and cumin.
9. Cool and store in a sterilised jar in the fridge.


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