But It Just Aint Kosher

Saturday 25/3/2005

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Diary and Notes


There is a congruence in the stars between Venus (your ruler) and Capricorn rising. Many great events have come together to create a mystical intermingling of the forces which govern the Ying and the Yang of existence. The full moon today will bring about great feasting and there will be rebirth anew once the time of pennance has passed.

Anyone can write this bollocks and anyone who does is writing bollocks (I fear that statement was more of a tautology than the intended pleonasm - I do apologise to my more discerning readers).

It was a full moon today though, and it was Good Friday and curryday all at once. There is a gongruence after all and things must come together and be as one with the cosmos and the wheel of Samsara.

So - it's Good Friday, so no meat (I belive that's the tradition). People normally eat fish on Good Friday, but having been inspired by the old British Raj Indian Cookbook that I found on the web last week, I will be making a very old traditional Indian dish using prawns. I've of course adapted things a little, but the flavour of that great period in our history (robbing and stealing from the Indians to make the upper classes in Britain just a little richer than they were) has been maintained.

It's a shame that Jesus himself would never have eaten anything like this, He may have appreciated the subtle flavour. Sadly for Jesus, prawns are forbidden by the kosher laws as they have no scales, so no jingra kofta for Him. Why take offence at the lowly prawn? Aren't prawns God's creatures too? Did not a humble prawn guide Isiah's son Eshmaw across the Dead Sea with it's brightly coloured antenna?

The flavourings for today's kofta are in many respects quite biblical. If my knowledge of The Bible is correct, the Manna that God sent the Israelites when they were wandering in the desert, tasted of coriander seeds (Exodus 16:31 and Numbers 11:6-9) so I've given today's meal a 'holy twist' with a good flavouring of coriander all around. I've also (as recommended by the cookbook) fried the kofta in mustard oil instead of ghee and used mustard seeds in the curry. Mustard seeds appear quite a bit in The Bible, so I think I get a plus point with St. Peter on that score as well. All in all today's dinner was another rip roaring success and although it may not have been kosher, it tasted heavenly to me.

Cake Blog

Hot Cross Buns: It's Good Friday and what sort of an Englishman would I be if I didn't have these for breakfast today. I bought enough for everybody in my flat to have some, but nobody seemed to understand what was going on (being either Chinese or American) - my friend Stacey had heard the rhyme, but had no idea what a hot cross bun was - shame on you Americans, hang your heads in shame.


  • Prawn Kofta (Jingra Kofta)
  • Butternut Squash and Butter Bean Curry
  • Basmati Rice
  • Paratha
  • Lime Pickle and Mango Chutney


    Prawn Kofta
    100g Frozen Prawns
    2 green Chillis
    tsp Ground Coriander
    Fresh Coriander Leaves
    Salt & Pepper
    tsp Plain Flour
    1 Egg
    Tbsp Mustard Oil
    Butternut Squash and Butter Bean Curry
    100g Butternut Squash
    100g Butter Beans
    250ml Curry Sauce
    1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
    1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
    Pinch Fennel Seeds
    Tbsp Ghee
    Garam Masala
    Fresh Coriander


  • Mince the prawns (I used a good knife, but a food processor would be better), add the finely chopped chillis, chopped coriander, ground coriander, salt and pepper and sprinkle in the flour. Add a little beaten egg to bind the mixture then form into little walnut sized balls. Fry gently in the mustard oil until brown all over. If the oil is too hot the balls will taste of burned egg and not spicy prawns - be warned.
  • Curry: Toast the coriander seeds in a pan for a minute or two and then bash them with a mortar and pestle (but don't grind them to a powder). Peel and chop the squash into 1cm cubes and fry gently in the ghee with the coriander seeds, mustard and fennel seeds. When soft, add the beans and the curry sauce. Simmer for a few minutes then season and stir in loads of fresh coriander and some garam masala.


    *All quantities are very approximate and for a single person