Quotes from The Virago Book of Food: The Joy of Eating
They sat on the grass in St James's Park and Nazneen laid the picnic out on four tea towels. Chicken wings spread in a paste of yoghurt and spices and baked in the oven, onions sliced to the thickness of a fingernail, mixed with chillies, dipped in gram flour and egg and fried in bubbling oil, a dry concoction of chickpeas and tomatoes stewed with cumin and ginger, misshapen chapattis wrapped while still hot in tinfoil and sprinkled now with condensation, golden hard-boiled eggs glazed in a curry seal, Dairylea triangles in their cardboard box, bright orange packets containing shamelessly orange crisps, a cake with a list of ingredients too long to be printed in legible type. She arranged them all on paper plates and stacked up the plastic tubs inside the carrier bags.
'It's ready,' she cried, as though calling them to the table.
Shahana extricated a Dairy Lea and picked the foil apart. She rolled the cheese inside a chapatti. Bibi sat on her feet and chewed at a chicken wing. Chanu took his time loading a plate with each item, including three crisps and a slice of the cake. He balanced it on his knee. 'It's quite a spread,' he said in English. 'You know, when I married your mother, it was a stroke of luck.' He gestured at the tea towels as if his luck were plainly on display. Then he ate with a fervour that ruled out conversation.