The fella hit a bit of an emotional slump this week, with lots of work cancelled or put on hold for an unspecified period of time.
He was by his own admission thoroughly “corona miserable”, as he jokingly named it, and as a result, the entire family came down with a dose of the coronavirus blues in sympathy with him.
I made an attempt to lift the mood with a rousing rendition of My Favourite Things from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound Of Music.
I like to think our usual familial good humour was restored entirely by this performance, but perhaps not.
The lyrics might say…
When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.
But en masse, we sensibly decided more direct action was required to sort us out.
We quickly ditched the notion of forming a lockdown family singing group, the Von Trapp Thomsons, as I’m clearly no Julie Andrews.
Instead, we made a firm resolution to comfort eat our way out of the current crisis, as we all universally agreed that food makes us happy.
As everyone in the household is a fan of a cheeky wee Ruby Murray, there were no dissenting voices to be heard when I suggested we place a curry order.
The toughest part was deciding where to choose. Eventually I spied that Masti in Morningside had converted to provide both delivery and collection with a hefty 20 per cent discount when you ordered from them directly, as opposed to via Deliveroo.
An essential trip into town to give blood gave me the perfect cover story/excuse to place our order.
Just to reassure you all, that regular donation appointments are still going ahead as normal, you just need to book your slot online.
I skillfully managed to book one timed to perfection with our pick-up, result. Masti also means to have fun or to mess around in Hindi, so I firmly believed that the owners would completely understand our essential desire to lift our spirits.
We ordered cream-coloured poppadoms with tubs full of pickles, yogurt and mango, and also spiced onion and the fella’s favourite lime.
I confess to enjoying the satisfying cracking sound they make when you poke them in their middles before dipping the crisp shards into the sauce of your choice. Who doesn’t love this treasured treat?
Never mind schnitzel with noodles, our starter order took the form of both versions of fish and chicken pakora and a portion of lamb seekh kebab.
I opted for an unknown dish for devilment, dahi kachori, which featured intensely hot spiced green peas encased in a sea urchin-shaped dough ball casing, which nestled on top of a bed of chickpeas.
The dish was decorated cheerfully with a sprinkling of chickpea noodles, the vermicelli type you normally find in Bombay mix.
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There was a tense moment when the fella polished off his starter dish, only discovering very much after the fact, that he’d wolfed the eldest’s much longed for fish pakora with chilli sauce.
He was grudgingly forgiven mainly because her much yearned for tarka daal main course was so tasty.
A much-maligned simple dish of yellow lentils, cumin, onions and garlic, this version was proclaimed “spicy but nicey” when paired with a robust-looking portion of pilau rice and, I’m embarrassed to say, a side order of chips.
I guess all types of fusion cuisine are welcomed in this household.
My main course selection of kadahi paneer didn’t disappoint: homemade cheese cubes cooked with caramelised onions, tomatoes, peppers, with hidden rings of hot green chillies which laid in wait for an unwary me.
However, mouthfuls of fresh coriander with a touch of cream helped cool the taste buds down again.
Our kitchen was alive with the sound of happy contentment, and the fella was heartily enthused by his choice of lamb kadhai, tender meat mouthfuls cooked with bell peppers, tomato and garlic and green chilli sauce mopped up by torn sections of flavoursome garlic nan.
He claimed that this dish “almost transported him to the moon”, also wistfully whispering, “It is true, a curry does make you happy”.
Any leftovers were scooped up into Tupperware dishes to be reprised to bring joy the next day.
So long Masti, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen and adieu, but hopefully not for too long as we would all happily come back, old friend.