Curry Nights-Tribute to an Indian Mother in true sense

Jessica Lobo

I have the authority to say so because my very own mum is Indian! While at times this has been a disadvantage for my street credibility, being called a million times when out with friends or a cute guy, my taste buds and general good health have found it to be quite advantageous.

Indian food is really healthy, having its basis in many super foods like whole wheat, lentils, rice and chick peas and using spices that have almost medicinal qualities. I am grateful to mum because cooking authentic Indian food is also an insanely laborious process from stocking your garam masala, chilli powder, turmeric and thousand other spice cupboard basics, to spending hours marinating, frying, baking and grinding your ingredients.

Sorry, making curried egg sandwiches doesn’t count because I don’t think any Indian even owns curry powder!

For her, food is one of the key ingredients to life and a solution to most problems. If I am feeling emotional, she says, try some fried samosas or greasy onion bhaji. If I’m having difficulty studying, then a creamy korma or butter chicken is good for the brain, apparently.

For many Indians, food is the music inside the body. It is filled with bursting flavours and a certain scrumptious warmth.

Mum always comments on how “Indians are the Italians of Asia” after she visited me on exchange in Italy. It’s so true when you look at the role that food plays in family life in both cultures. Often our whole dinner conversation will revolve around critiquing the food or complimenting the chef and then arguing about something – like whether my dad has lost weight and is not eating enough!

Within an Indian community, your cooking skills may be the talk of the town or centre of malicious gossip. Essentially, food is political – your reputation may be on the line.
Now, while aspects of this article are exaggerated and I will probably get into trouble for not mentioning that mum is a totally cool Aussie Sheila who has lived in Australia for most of her life – honestly you can get an Indian out of the country but you can’t get the curry out of the Indian!

I think a large part of my life revolves around food and my mum’s generosity and love in preparing it is an important part of our close bond. I hope I can be half as good a cook for my kids and want to thank her so much for it.

And for the record this is kinda like a birthday present so – Happy Birthday MUM!

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