Ma's Kitchen: Kalamari Pilafi

A couple of weekends ago, we popped around to Ma and Ba's for a Sunday lunch. It was an unusually cold winters day for Sydney. It had been preceded by a constant week of the most torrential rain seen in 60 years.

Ma had her gas heater cranked up on high and at the cosy dinner table she placed before us two (very large) piping hot bowls of Kalamari Pilafi. It was a revelation. The rich tomato flavour and sea-saltiness of the squid was like a bright burst of summer, taverna on the beach style, on a grey winters day. The rice was also deliciously filling. Its food comma effect was certainly welcome to ward off the winter's day chills.

In the days following lunch, the summery flavours of Ma's kalamari pilafi have been playing on my mind, like the words of a song that you just can't get out of your head. This combined with increasingly sunnier Sydney days had me in the kitchen to re-create the “taverna on the beach” flavors. If there is a warm summer breeze coming through the kitchen window in your part of the world this weekend, or you are wishing there was, then this might just be the dish for you! 

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Maira Gall