I've mentioned before the thing about Paul being a contractor and settling in by talking about food. Well, it's gone beyond him just coming home and asking me to make things. Last week, he came home and announced that he had bought me an idli steamer.
I was a bit horrified, because the whole fermenting-and-grinding process of making idli has always sounded way too complex. But he bought me a box of instant idli mix, as recommended by his co-workers, and then made sad labrador eyes at me until I tried it out.
Making the idli itself was a doddle. Literally just add water and a dash of oil and stir, then pour it into the steamer. And I got to use the idli scoop that one of my aunts gave me years ago, which has been tucked away in a drawer waiting for the right occasion.
To go with the idli, I made a sort of Punjabi lamb & spinach number, and a Sri Lankan mango and coconut curry. Both delicious, if not at all authentic.