Peanut seller on Indian bus
My hosts near Uzes have both travelled extensively in India and have adoptive Indian families. This affords the rare privilege of watching the Indian housewife cook...The secret to a decent curry is not only in grinding your own spices...a couple of cloves, cardamon pods, coriander seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, cumin, but also in grinding the onions. Don't slice or chop...grind. This way you get that fantastic brown sauce. I also pop the mustard seeds in the oil prior to everything else. I like to add yoghurt or coconut milk or creamed coconut. Sometimes I put in peanut butter. I always add fresh coriander at the end.
I once knew a guy that put Mars bars in his curries.
I also ate a proper pesto alla genovese at their lovely house in the woods. Along with the classic pesto sauce; basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan you add small boiled potatoes and slice green beans to the top of your spaghetti. It really makes a complete meal.