I always think of my friend Agneshwar on New Year's eve. That's the day I venture nervously into the kitchen with my fingers crossed and a tattered copy of his recipe for mutton biryani: a particularly fragrant concoction laced with mace, nutmeg, saffron and kewra (pandanus odoratissimus) water- along with the usual suspects: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper corns and bay leaves. And none of that taste befuddling ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree and cilantro! It's scrum! Have prepared it a day in advance and ooh, the aroma!
I shall think of him and his lucky, lucky wife with even more affection this year because they gave me an interesting hamper packed with chorizo, pate, olives, smoked salmon and sun-dried tomatoes among other things to bring 2009 in. I can't wait to say goodbye and good riddance to a paricularly lousy year!