Making Chapattis

Mattar paneer

Since doing an Indian cooking course and having a gander at the beautiful Prashad cook book, my home curry-making has definitely gone up a notch. In particular, Prashad’s mattar paneer is sure to become a weekday dinner staple: it’s so quick and easy yet authentic-tasting, uses storecupboard/freezer ingredients (did you know paneer freezes?!) and feels pretty healthy despite the main ingredient being um, fried cheese. Must be better than a takeaway at least. I like making more interesting rice dishes as an accompaniment too: the lemon, mustard seed and curry leaf rice we made on the course is perfect with a mild, creamy curry, and Prashad’s tumeric dal rice does great with the mattar paneer.


My absolute favourite thing to make however is chapattis, the little wholewheat puffed flatbreads that are so perfect at scooping up handfuls of curry to convey it to the mouth. I use the Fabulous Baker Brothers’ recipe and method, which involves the pretty fun task of toasting the chapattis over an open gas flame to get that wonderful airy texture and charred outside. I even videoed myself doing it, at immense personal risk – you’re welcome. Ignore my filthy hob please.

Finished with a dash of butter, they’re the perfect finishing touch to a homemade curry.


Japan videos

I forgot until quite recently that I took a load of video footage on my E-P1 when we were in Japan last year. Josh is editing it all into a music video at the moment as he’s much more au fait with this kind of thing than me – my ‘skillz’ extend to a tiny bit of levels/colour tweaking in iMovie. I’ll post the finished video when he’s done, but here are a few clips. Watching them again makes me miss Japan a whole lot :(

Playing with a sweet kitty in one of the many cat cafes we visited – Cha Ma Mo in Harajuku

Sunrise from the shinkansen bullet train as we sped back to the airport from Kyoto (nearly missing our flight in the process)

Metro train in Tokyo – I miss the robot-voice lady.

Beautiful city even blurry in the rain.

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Fantastic Mr Fox

I saw Fantastic Mr Fox at the weekend, a special gala as part of the BFI Film Festival. I’m not usually a big fan of ‘kids’ films but being directed by my favourite, Wes Anderson, I thought it was worth seeing.

It most definitely is; it’s full of Wes’s charm, humour and idiosyncratic design (love the ‘chapter’ headings) and dialogue. It’s full of little details that Wes fans will appreciate, like the Team Zissou-esque bandit masks and the ubiquitous loser-athlete character (Foxy’s son Ash, voiced by Jason Schwartzman). I wonder how the actual kids in the audience found it as it’s packed with adult jokes and references (the chararcters even swear in code: ‘cluster-cuss’, ‘cuss with his head’, etc), but I guess the rowdy action fun appealed to them as well as me. It’s perfectly cast and the stop-motion characters and their world are totally charming. Go and see it!

Love the design of these posters, too – sharp and colourful.

Images: Rotten Tomatoes

Hello Kitty’s 35th birthday

Aww, everyone’s favourite cute little white no-mouthed cat turns 35 this year! Check out this sweet animated video of her evolution (she hasn’t changed much, apart from the outfits). I’m still trying to convince Josh it’d be a great idea to visit her theme park Sanrio Puroland while we’re in Tokyo, although I guess a visit to Kiddyland to stock up on plush goodies might suffice.

Sanrio Plushies by Bento Business

via designrelated

Japan – booked!

Photo: Eric Testroete

I’m sooo excited. We just booked a two-week trip to Japan! We’ll have 9 days in Tokyo, then 6 in Kyoto, with a day trip to Osaka hopefully. In Tokyo, we’re staying in a great-looking serviced apartment in Shinjuku, and we’re going traditional in Kyoto and staying in a ryokan guesthouse. Sooooo excited as I’ve wanted to go to Japan for ages, so I’ve started gathering resources and must-see places together.

I bought the cute little zine and travel guide above from Asking for Trouble a little while ago, and I’m making my traditional holiday Google map – feel free to add your suggestions! I’m also excitedly watching this video over & over – might even try to make my own version over there.

Marina and the Diamonds

I’m really loving the sound of new UK artist Marina and the Diamonds. There’s whiffs of influence from Kate Bush and Regina Spektor, but plenty of uniqueness to set her apart. This video above for her new single I Am Not a Robot is pretty rad too, co-directed by photographer Rankin. Listen to more on her myspace page, and her rant-filled blog is quite interesting reading, too.