Coronavirus: The start of my live cook along series (Lesson 1: Chicken Karahi)
2020. The year history will forever remember as the year Coronavirus hit. In the wake of the sadness, anxiety and despair this pandemic brought, I decided it was on me to shine a light of hope in a world shrouded in darkness. I would bring my Indian home cooking to people all around the world, allowing them to follow along from the comfort of their own homes. Staying connected, holding on to hope. And so it began, the Sunday cook along series. What will come of it - I am honestly not sure. My only hope is that it brings families together, around a dinner table, laughing, smiling, eating, and being normal in a world which seems anything but - even if only for an hour.
It would seem almost wrong to start that series with anything other than the nation's favourite - the Chicken Karahi. I've always been skeptical of social media but I think, for the first time, I saw how much it can help us to stay connected, to feel present. My heart was warmed by pictures of parents and their children bickering around the stove and families gathered at the dinner table with a selection of oddly shaped chappatis. Our favourite Indian restaurants may be missed, but on that day they were not. On that first Sunday, we brought people's favourite Indian restaurants into their own homes. On that day, at 2pm, we cooked and laughed like times gone by where 'social distancing' didn't exist and people didn't cross the road when they saw another person. On that day we remembered what it was like to be care-free.