Doreen Cooke was my husband’s Aunt. She was known for her love of cooking. She loved to get busy in the kitchen and prepared certain favorites that family and friends expected when visiting her. Spare Ribs, Parsee Mince, Chicken Cacciatori, Shepherds Pie, Biryani and her infamous Hot Ball Curry were among her specialties. I remember her visit when we lived in Texas, our oldest was about 3 years old, Aunt Doreen showed us how to make pizza from scratch, complete with throwing the dough up in the air and splattering white flour all over herself much to the amusement of our 3 year old. Doreen had a passion for cooking and creating in the kitchen. When she passed away about 5 or so years ago, our family decided to gather her recipes from all the relatives and make up a “Cooke” book with all her favorite recipes. Her Hot Ball Curry was a dish she repeated again and again as we all enjoyed it immensely.
My husband’s mother and her sister Doreen were Anglo-Indian. Anglo-Indians were created by marriage between Europeans (mainly British) and Indians. They conducted administrative work for the British during their 100 year rule of the Subcontinent. In the late 1947, when India became Independent, many Anglo Indians were forced to emigrate, principally to England, but also Canada, and later Australia. As a sub-race they have disappeared within a few generations as they continued to marry outside their narrow group, but fondness for good social times and generosity seem to be traits that have stuck. The sisters left India with their husbands in 1947 when India became independent – they moved to England and then Canada.
We made several copies of the book and handed it to all the relatives as a Christmas gift a few years ago. I think everyone was pretty happy with the results. Here was Aunt Doreen’s special recipes all in one book instead of scraps of paper here and there. Some of the recipes are even written in her own handwriting and also typed by her.
My version of Aunt Doreen’s Hot Ball Curry served with a rice pea pilaf. I thought the folks over at our weekly Fiesta Fridays will enjoy this, so I’m bringing it over for you all. Click on the recipe page to get the ingredients. Thanks as always to our ever gracious Angie who hosts this weekly party. This week we welcome our co-hosts, Effie and Steffi, thanks ladies.