Friday 25 May 2012

The windows are open

I think I can say it now. It's summer.


It's summer because my toenails are blue.

All my socks are in the drawer.

Chotto-ma went to school in her pyjamas and bedroom slippers today (It's Pyjama Day)

Our clothes are drying on the clothesline instead of the radiators

Everyone's eating on pavements. And smiling at strangers.

Our room is all happysillysummery.

The evenings look like mornings.

We decided to move house. (Yeah, it's our summer thing)

D has a heat rash on his neck (A heat rash. Hear?)

We spent an hour at the V&A, and the cool felt good. (Cool? Good? In England?)

 We had ice-creams and beers by the Serpentine. That felt good too.

We're sleeping with the windows open at night.

There's jazz in the park, and hampers on the grass.

And the most that I have cooked lately, are things that cook by themselves.

Sujoc spiced chicken & summer vegetables

It's a one-dish, so all you do is put it in the oven and let it cook. You read a book. You watch the light outside go from four-o'clock-yellow to six-o'clock-white. And then you take it out. And you sit in the morning-like-evening, with a bottle of chilled Pinot. And you tuck in.

Summer makes me hungry for more. Of everything.

. . . . .

Ingredients ( I used vegetables I had in my kitchen. Feel free to add the ones you have in yours.)

4-6 chicken thighs
8-10 slices of chorizo
2 carrots, diced diagonally
2 potatoes, diced in circles
6-8 plum tomatoes, whole
6-8 shallots, whole
6 cloves garlic, crushed
A sprinkle of raisins
A drizzle of white wine (about 2 tbsp)
1 tsp sujoc (Or, soujok/soujoukh is available in most Middle Eastern shops. If not, the spice is a blend of fenugreek, cumin, garlic, black pepper, paprika, red chilli)
A few springs of basil (I used the fragrant, small-leafed Greek Basil)
Sea salt

Pre-heat your oven at 180 degrees C.
Put everything into an oven proof dish, and mix. Turn the chicken skin-side up. Tuck the chorizo under the vegetables.
Cover with foil, and put it into the oven for an hour-and-a-half.
Take off the foil, and put the dish back into the oven till the chicken is done, and the skin is crispy.


  1. I know this summer. I wish I could spend a day like that in the summer of England. Beautiful photos, great writing. Good to read you, as always

    1. Thanks Anita. Yes, I bet you know this summer well :) It's all the more precious after the greys, isn't it? I've never seen a bluer sky.

  2. Ah I have just had my fill of sweaty summer here... Everyday I gaze at the sky hoping to see some dark, grey, threatening clouds! But hey, I have had my summer nail polishes on for a month now :) Yellow, Orange, Blue, Green and Red! Though Red is pretty much an all-season color for me..
    The one-pot meal looks divine Pia! This is really what I need today. Pop something into the oven and relax for a couple of hours. Awesome!

    1. Haha - different continents, different perspectives. I remember the Mumbai heat well, and the first showers after. That's another kind of joy all together. Loving the colours your nails are ahouting out in, Swati :)
      The one-pot is highly recommemnded - i hope you like it if you try it! xx

  3. Beautiful pictures of one of my favourite cities (making me feel slightly homesick if I am honest!)... Moving house? Your house looks to lovely to move from! Love the look of that recipe too, wonder if I could adapt if for the slow cooker! :)

  4. well, our move's much less of a change than yours - just a few miles away. we're cramped for space!
    hmm - about the slow cooker: i have never used one, but i would think that you wouldn't get the crispy skinned chicken. but it should be wonderful if you removed the skin, and then added a tablesppon of olive oil to the recipe make up for the lack of fat.

  5. For the first picture, I almost thought you were high up in the air, and your blue-nailed feet were dangling!
    It is summer here in Bangalore, as well...but can't say its half as magical and beautiful as the summer you describe below. But summer foods are always special. I have just started a small herb-garden in my backyard, and the other day made a whole chicken summer roast, with rosemary ( from the garden),garlic and breadcrumb stuffing, served with boiled peas and red carrots some potato and bacon salad, flavored with chives( from the garden)!
    This one below, I will try for sure!

    1. ah, i wish i was - high in the air, that is :)
      the whole meal sounds VERY delicious, sambrita. i have a patch of hebs in the garden too, but that's as much as i dare to grow for the kitchen. my friends have allotments full of leek and squash and courgettes. i'm happy watering my dill and parsley, for now.

  6. Ah, lovely summery thoughts :) Sky has never been bluer, so true. That's an interesting spice mix, I want to try. Lately I have been a fan of panch phoron, you know :)

    - Soumya

    1. finally someone who says it like it is! thank you for calling it panch phoron, and not panch puran. you have been well, and truly, initiated into the bengali kitchen, soumya! xx
      sujoc is my current crush - i might even be overdoing it right now.

  7. so incredibly lovely! i gasped aloud when i saw the opened book on the bed! thank you for so much summer-y inspiration :)

  8. thank YOU, india! that room does make me smile when i walk in :)


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