Funky Pretty – cauliflower and aubergine curry

"Need some help?" enquired one of the two charming students sitting opposite us for the 'all you can eat' thali. The hotel on MG road had seen grander days (Winston Churchill once stayed there) but now was a very popular lunch destination serving delicious food. Friendly staff brought us a couple of teaspoons, but I had been to South India before and had no need of these.

No meat paella

Put the oil in a pan on a medium heat with the chopped marjoram, sliced fennel, garlic, chilli, salt, pepper and the halloumi cut into 1cm cubes. Stir this around for a few minutes, then empty out on a plate, leaving most of the oil in the pan. Now add the sliced onion and when it has gone translucent, the rice. You can put in a few strands of saffron now too.