For as long as I can remember, I have always craved my Mum's Murgh Methi.
It is a long tradition which begins with buying bunches of fresh fenugreek leaves with roots intact. I have always known Mum to spread the lot over a newspaper where she would then separate the leafy tips from the stalks, discarding any wilted or brown specimens.
It is a process that is quite time consuming and I would often help as a kid which also encourages long mother-daughter chats over some hot chai.
As I watch her repeat this over some 40 years, I realise that somethings have not changed. She painstainkingly seperates the leaves in preparation for lunch just as she always has. She may be a little slower and in her face I see remnants of the stunningly beautiful woman I remember as a kid. That woman has now given way to an older, graceful and elegant woman she is today.
We're very different in the kitchen - mum and I. She calls me a hurricane. My mum on the other hand never rushes. She does everything with care following the rituals she always has. Watching her cook makes me smile. It reminds me of simpler times when perhaps everything wasn't on a deadline and it was alright to spend a couple of hours slowly in preparation for lunch.
It seems as though in my life, multi-tasking has become second nature. My mother wouldn't dare, especially when it comes to her signature murgh methi.
Make no mistake, she is isn't the only one who makes murgh methi. In fact you'll often find this on restaurant menus and in homes where everything from heavy cream, tomato puree to half the spices from the pantry are emptied into the pot. And the result in my humble opinion, is far from gratifying.
Mum uses none of that. She is a purist and with just a handful of ingredients and her signature technique - slow-slow sauteing, she achieves what I believe is one of her finest contributions to chicken.