Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.
I had known her for almost a decade but I hadn’t ever met her in person. We connected through social media, much before good old Facebook was so cool and every laddie in the house had an instagram or a twitter. We discussed things of importance, disagreed on serious topics, fought over online games and stayed in touch online. More importantly, we stayed friends. Then last year, when I was visiting India, I finally had the opportunity to meet her in person. Though it was for a short time and it was with a big group of people, I finally was able to meet her. I ended up annoying my in laws who wanted to know what was so important in Mumbai that I was keen to take a cab at 5 am and make the road trip to Mumbai. It was almost an impossible task to explain to someone why I would want to make that trip to meet a few friends whom I had never met. But it was my only chance to make it happen as my trip had been cut short most dramatically due to work related issues. So I took the grueling road trip, in a non air conditioned car, in the middle of an Indian Summer when it is 110*F at 9 am. And when I met my friend and did not even for a moment feel that it was the first time meeting her.
We were meeting with a bunch of other people and it was a potluck event. She and her very very very loving hubby had made a special prawn (shrimp) dish for me. They didn’t have to. They had already made and brought a big dish of Kaju Kid Gos – Kid mutton in Cashew, a phenomenal dish from the Parsi Cuisine. But since I was on a pescatarian diet, they had packed me a delicious Malai Prawns for dinner. To say that I was bowled over would be an understatement and I am not talking only about the taste of the dish.
Rhea, the friend in discussion, writes a heartfelt blog aptly named EuphoRHEA. Her rich Bengali cultural heritage and the rich Parsi culture she married into give her a unique food perspective. Today’s recipe is inspired by Rhea’s dish of Alu Phulkopi diye Macher Jhol – a Bengali fish curry with potatoes and cauliflower. Minimalistic spices, very simple and mouthwatering. The moment I saw the dish, I wanted to make some.
The only problem was I had no fish. I had a head of cauliflower and some shrimp. And I was really keen to make the dish and eat so I decided to make it with shrimp and see what happened. The resulting dish was a fiery flavorful dish that Rhea would approve of. And do you see the pot? The beautiful copper pot? That was what she gave me as a present among other things when I met her. A beautiful reminder of a sweet friendship.
Shrimp with Cauliflower
- 1 pound Peeled tail on shrimp
- 1 Medium head cauliflower cut into florets
- 1- 2 thai Green chillies
- 1 Tbs Cilantro for garnish
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 Tbs Mustard oil
- Salt to taste
- Marinate the shrimp with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Allow to marinate for about 15 minutes.
- Heat the mustard oil in a pan allowing it come to a smoking point, add the cumin, reduce the heat and then add the cauliflower. Saute until cauliflower starts to brown a bit on the edges.
- Add in the chillies, the chilli powder, the nigella seeds, and a little water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender ( as tender as you like it - I like mine with a little bite to it)
- Add in the shrimp, cook until the shrimp is done.. about 4 minutes.
- Top with the cilantro and serve hot with rice.