Spinach & Paneer Curry

Name: Imran Mustafa
Scran: Spinach & Paneer Curry, Paratha and Yoghurt
Mother language: British Sign Language

With many thanks to Anita Kanji – WAITE Wellbeing Leader for Manchester Deaf Centre – for organising and facilitating all aspects of the Sounds Like Scran sessions for MDC.

BSL Interpretation: Spoken English

“Hello! my name is Imran Mustafa. I’ve been cooking Indian Curry, Spinach and Paneer. Paneer translates to Cheese, so it’s a Spinach and Cheese Curry. Also, I’ve been cooking Paratha and Yoghurt. As I was growing up, I didn’t know how to cook curry, or any other traditional dishes. My Mother didn’t teach me. She got on with the cooking herself, and I never learnt. However, it’s strange, as I actually learned how to cook basic English food: Sausage, Baked Potatoes, and vegetables… But, I learnt this from attending Deaf School in Derby College. So, it’s quite strange really.

However, as an adult, I visited my friend’s house. We were chatting away and we realised we were hungry. So, my friend offered me a curry, and ahhh it tasted great! So, I said to my friend, “This is lovely!” and he told me he cooked it himself. So I said, “How have you learnt it?” He said, “I’ve learnt from a recipe book!” I was amazed that this man had learnt how to cook curry himself. When I got home, I didn’t learn how to cook a curry straight away. I took the time to watch my Mum and learn from her. I also bought a recipe book on Indian recipes. So, I thought that book would have been the same as my Mother’s cooking, but my sister said, “No! There’s a great variety in curries, so they might not be the same as Mum’s home-cooked curry.

Anyway, as I grew up and went to live on my own, I realised I needed to start cooking curries by myself. So, I got out this Indian cookbook, and I also asked my Mother for her advice on her tips on her traditional ways of making curries. So, with that onboard, I had go myself. I used the ingredients and started cooking it! I mean, my curries tasted alright, but it isn’t the same as my Mother’s home-cooked curry! But, it tasted good, so it was certainly worth cooking myself. I was amazed, I felt quite lucky that I could cook curry myself. Because, curries are part of my identity, of my own Asian culture. So, I was really pleased to have been able to master that! Thank you for sharing my story! Thank you!”