Jac’s birthday lunch 2008

It was Jac’s birthday on the 13th of January, and we had an Indian-themed* lunch with her family to celebrate. Jac’s brother B and his partner and kids have returned from a year on the road, travelling around Australia in a caravan, and so Jac wasn’t the only one to get presents, as we also exchanged Christmas pressies.

On Sunday morning, Jac and I made raita to take along with us, which we garnished with pan-roasted cumin seeds.


My assigned task was cooking the pappadam. We’d bought two varieties of mini pappadam from Coles supermarket. The garlic pappadam cooked up kind of curly:

Garlic mini pappadam

The plain ones looked a little less *interesting*! I cooked the pappadam in the microwave, two at a time placed on opposite sides of a paper towel on a dish, on High for 45 seconds. I cooked a dozen of each type so there would be plenty for everyone. I thought both varieties tasted quite similar.

Mini pappadam

We arrived at Jac’s mum Pattycakes’ house to see a sheet of paper stuck on the door. This is what it said:

Happy Birthday Jac!
Lunch Specials

Mum’s specially made Potato Samosas

Main Course
Vegetable Biryani
Potatoes, peas cooked in mild sauce and spices topped with cashew nuts, fried onions and ginger

Beef Curry
Cooked in mild sauce

Chicken Tikka
Mild and dry

Potato, pumpkin and carrot cooked in mild spices with a hint of lemon juice


Tomato, mint, coriander, parsley and onions with lemon juice and sugar

Cucumber with mint and yoghurt

All home made. Enjoy!

Yummy Lemon Meringue Pie
Ice Cream Birthday Cake

Kids Menu
Sausage Rolls
Ham and Pineapple Pizza

We hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning, and after reading this, we were definitely starving!

Pattycakes’ friend E had come over the day before and helped cook up this feast. “But where is E?” we asked, expecting her to be here to share in the goodies she’d helped prepare. But E had told Pattycakes she wouldn’t come to lunch, she wanted to leave the family to celebrate together and she’d made other plans for her day. She’s such a sweetie, but really, she would’ve been most welcome to join in the fun and feasting.

As per the menu, we started off with the samosas, served warm.

Potato samosas

They were filled with a mixture of potato and sweet potato. We ended up taking half a dozen or so home with us that day, and I really enjoyed them cold, straight out of the fridge. It was difficult to not simply gorge myself on these as they were so yummy – I just love pastries with savoury fillings! But I knew there was so much more to come.

Potato samosa innards

Pattycakes brought out a dish of spicy lamb chops as well. These weren’t on the menu, but she thought they fitted in very well with our lunch. They were very spicy but I happily gnawed my way through a couple of chops, as I love lamb.

Spicy lamb chops

A short break for the exchange of pressies, and it was time for eating to recommence!

A fantastic spread, eh? In the square dish is mango chutney.

The feast

The tomato, mint, coriander, parsley and red onion was very refreshing.

Tomato, mint, coriander, parsley and red onions with lemon juice and sugar

E had also made raita, so we decided to eat hers and take ours home for later. The recipe we used was heavier on yoghurt than E’s, which was more cucumbery.




Beef curry:

Beef curry

Chicken tikka, my favourite of the meat dishes.

Chicken tikka

The potato, pumpkin and carrot dish:

Bugia (potato, pumpkin, carrot)

You know, cashew nuts, fried onions and ginger make a most delicious rice dish.


The kids had their ham and pineapple pizza. I secretly thought this looked really good too, and was quite tempted to ask if I could have a slice. Seriously though, with all the delicious things on offer, I really didn’t have any space to spare for pizza. :)

Ham and pineapple pizza

My plate, round one. Everything was tasty. Even though it was a hot day, our curryfest was a roaring success! I love curry on a scorching hot summer’s day almost as much as I love curry on a rainy, cold winter’s day. Thank you to everyone who helped cook up this fantastic meal.

My plate

Jac had requested an ice cream cake for her birthday cake. Unfortunately, due to a technical glitch, it wasn’t as frozen as it should’ve been, so we had to serve it out of the container it came in using a spoon rather than cutting it into slices. The kids thought this was pretty cool. :)

Ice cream birthday cake

Family and friends can log in to Flickr and see the whole photo set, including people photos.

*Note: we make no claim of authenticity as far as the Indian-ness of the meal goes. Let’s say it was a meal “in the style of” Indian cuisine! :)

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