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29th March: Bari Rice with Tandoori Chicken

Is there anything more shameful than a sunburnt baby? Well, not quite burnt, but rosy at least. It screams parental neglect doesn’t it. Well, let me tell you something about this little missy. She is becoming the feistiest, most stubborn little madam I have ever encountered.

Everyone said it would happen. Ooh, those two big brothers, she’s going to have to stand up for herself. And how! I have never seen anything like it. Therefore I am abdicating all responsibility for my baby’s deep suntan. She screams and writhes and kicks if you try to apply lotion. She pulls her sunhat off every 10 seconds and lobs it on the floor. If I bring her inside then she stands at the back door yowling and wailing until I’m sure the neighbours are going to call Social Services. And if Social Services see that suntan…..

I like to think she’s going to be Prime Minister, or something where she can use her natural ‘influence’. We went out for an ice cream at the weekend. She insisted that she wanted His full-sized adult chocolate cone. He tried to explain that, no darling, this was daddy’s. She primal screamed in his face, grabbed it, and used her vicelike grip to ensure He never got that cone back. It was hilarious. And alarming.

It’s a good job my kids all have lovely olive skin. It can withstand a bit of maternal inefficacy. ‘Jungle Juice’ is the term, most probably hideously un-pc, used in His family. The Big One has the highest amount of JJ. I was asked all manner of inappropriate questions about his origins when he was first born. Quite the cosmopolitan town we live in!!

For the JJ, we have His maternal grandma to thank. Or Bari as she is affectionately known. Talking of feisty little missies, we need look no further! I have rarely been as petrified of any living human in all my born days. Bari was born and raised in British India. We have tried to piece together the family tree, but it’s a little bit hazy. We think there’s some Anglo-Burmese, some Irish. Whatever, she was simply stunning in her youth, and we have her to thank for all the stunning beings that have followed since.

Coming over from India post-war, Bari had to be more British than the British, to ‘fit in’. She is heavily into etiquette, hence the terrifying times for me. “Not that spoon Susan” she’d shriek at a 17year old me. You’ve never known stress quite like trying to put some marmite on your toast at breakfast. A three step, three utensil process. I kid you not.

All this affectionately told, I hope you understand. A formidable woman, but formidably sweet at the same time. Some of my very best meals have been eaten at Bari’s. She was a fantastic cook. We used to starve ourselves on the way down to see her so that we’d have room for her homemade curries and trimmings.

Bari Rice is a staple in the family. It goes with everything, is delicious hot and cold. Sweat chopped onion in some oil, add some washed basmati rice and coat with the oil. Add stock, garam masala and turmeric. Add whatever herb or veggies take your fancy, I usually throw in some frozen peas. Bring to the boil then bake for 15 minutes in a low oven. Fail safe.

Today I serve it with a homemade tandoori chicken. Chopped chicken breast marinaded in yoghurt, garlic, ginger, paprika, garam masala and turmeric. Baked in the oven for 25 minutes.

It goes down a treat with my little brown berries. Must be the genes. Thanks Bari 🙂 9/10.





3 responses »

  1. Tell me more about this rice! Sounds yummy – how much stock and spices if you are allowed to disclose the family recipe?

  2. It’s basically a homemade pilau, but very delicious. For us (2 adults and 3 sprogs), I use half a large (or a whole small) onion, a large mug full of basmati rice, a mug and a half of stock, half teaspoon Garam masala, pinch turmeric. Handful of peas or fresh coriander or whatever you’re using. Chopped tomatoes are nice too. Bring to the boil and into the oven at 150degC for 15mins. Basic rule is 1 part rice to 1.5 parts stock. Enjoy 🙂

  3. Thanks Sarah, It’s on my meal plan for next week!

    Keep up the good work xxx


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