“If you need a photo for the day, I can send you what I took in the park” – this is what Jess offered me a few moments ago. We’re in dire straits people. Not because Jess takes bad photos (she actually takes pretty good ones) but because I tried to outsource the task today. This, after being cocky about February and writing in the morning. How the mighty have fallen on the 2nd. Here I am, again, writing after bedtime. Today was quite uneventful: No Clifton; no Beta; no De Waal Park plaque.

After work Jess took Kit to the park so that I could rest (I was hitting a wall). I spent the time making lentils and nachos because we finally had our neighbors over for a glass of wine.

With little else to offer today, I’m going to be so bold as to share a recipe with you. You should know that I probably won’t be sharing any other recipes here because I’m a one-dish-wonder. This is all I’ve got to offer. Okay, that’s not entirely true, I can make a good spinach pie (thanks, Mom) and a lovely and quick roast potato but my only go-to… my go-to is lentils.

This recipe is a version of Buffalo Horn Curry.

Strange name, yes – here’s the back story: My folks have a piece of art depicting a buffalo’s horns that is made from the Axel of a car. A few years ago my dad and uncle decided to mount it on the wall. It is seriously heavy though. Due to its weight, they took them a long time to get right. While they were trying, my mom cooked lentils. Moira was not following a recipe. Moira was winging it (my mom is a very good cook – justifying winging it). My dad and uncle took so long to hang said art work in the garden that the dish reduced and reduced. The potatoes and cumin (a topping that does not feature in the recipe below so don’t get too excited) started to burn; so did the curry. My mom about had it.

“For fuck sake’s,” she said, dragging the pot across the hob, away from the heat.

It was around 9pm – way past appropriate dinner time; way past the time she would usually have left the curry cooking.

To this day, there has never been a buffalo horn curry that tasted that good.

Here’s the recipe. It won’t be laid out like a regular recipe, I’ll just tell you what to do:

Cut up on an onion in smallish pieces (smallish because I don’t have the skill to cut it very finely, nor a knife sharp enough. Also, why is it that some onions make your eyes tear up and others don’t?). Get a big pot. Pour some olive oil in. Fry the onions until the pieces are a bit translucent. Crush one glove of garlic. Put that in too. Reduce the heat a little as apparently garlic can burn easily and get bitter (my mom told me this). Pour a tin of coconut milk in the pot. Stir a bit. Then add some medium curry powder – a heaped teaspoon will do. Let that simmer a while (your heat is lower now).


Add a can of tinned chopped tomatoes (my mom says that someone told her that whole tomatoes are much tastier but then you have to chase them around the pot a bit, cutting them into smaller pieces. No one wants to do that. Get the sliced and diced ones). Then you drain a can of lentils (by that I mean you open the can and then pour the liquid out) and throw them in there too. Salt will help now – a pinch or three.




Keep stirring. Keep stirring.

Oh, you needed the bathroom and then came back to your pot? Sorry, the bottom is burnt. Oh, you quickly looked at your phone to answer a WhatsApp. The bottom is burnt now.

All is not lost. Keep stirring.

Reduce it until there’s hardly any liquid left. By now you should’ve probably cooked some rice, too. Sorry that I missed that step but I don’t really know how to cook rice properly. It’s a bit of a hit and miss. Google it – there are some ratios that they advise.

If you miss with the rice, not to worry, you can just eat the lentils on their own – so delicious. Avo is pretty mandatory as a topping – a squeeze of lemons helps – and feta works well, too.

If there is a trick (which there isn’t), it’s to reduce it more than you think you should. It gets taster and taster. Put it in a taco or a wrap. This will feed two people (depending on which people). Yesterday I came home from the park with Kit, and Jess had cooked dinner. I looked in the oven and then went to the courtyard and said, as graciously as I could, “In future, I will need more potatoes”.

Photograph of the day: Not Kit in the Park, by Jess, but a building near Home Affairs in the centre of town. I took this on my cellphone out of my car window after lodging a few marriages. I’ve admired this building’s colours for a while now.




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