IF MOSES SUPPOSES HIS TOESES ARE ROSES, then Moses supposes erroneously;
For nobody's toeses are posies of roses, as Moses supposes his toeses to be.*
Well, I don't know about poor old Moses, but MY toeses are roses - I've just had a pedicure!
*(old English tongue twister)
The Curry Mile is a first novel by Zahid Hussain. For non
Hussain has written a behind-the-scenes view of the cut-throat competition between the restaurant owners in this famous street, and a family story of the conflicting demands faced by the children of migrant parents.
The two main characters are Ajmal Butt, known as ‘The Curry King’, the aging head of a successful restaurant business that is going through hard times, and his twenty-something daughter Sorayah who has become estranged from her family as a result of moving to London and having a relationship with a young man. When she returns to
Hussain dishes up a tale of contemporary British Asian life that is just as spicy as the dishes served in an Indian restaurant, and I found it entertaining and informative – I feel sure that there is a sequel on the way, and that we haven’t heard the last of Sorayah Butt.
I do have one small niggle about the book. In what I am sure is a very accurate representation of the way many British Asians speak, Hussain has included many Pakistani, Urdu, and Arabic words, and a glossary would have been very useful. Publishers take note!
Amongst the jars of pickles, pesto, peppadews and anchovies in the fridge I found a jar of mincemeat left over from Christmas mince pies- ok, I realise I wouldn't win the housewife of the year award for leaving it there for so long, but what the heck. I used it up in this recipe which I usually make with dates or dried apricots. Everybody liked them, and they vanished in a flash.
OATY FRUIT SLICES
350g Dates or dried apricots or figs, chopped fairly small
Grated rind of ½ lemon
OR: ¾ jar of mincemeat
Two tablespoons icing sugar
Grease and line a baking tin (27cms x 18cms) with baking paper.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C
Prepare the filling, by placing the chopped dried fruit, water and lemon rind into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring occasionally until the mixture is soft. If using mincemeat you don’t have to do anything to it.
Combine the other ingredients and mix well together. Sprinkle half this mixture into the tin, spread out and press down well. Spread the dried fruit mix or mincemeat over the base, then sprinkle the remaining oat mix evenly over the filling and press down firmly.
Bake in the oven at 200°C for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
Leave to cool in the tin, when cool sift a little icing sugar over the top, turn out from the tin and cut into slices.
Makes 16 slices