Columns | Half Recipes

Feed Yourself Like Someone You Love: A Recipe for Summer Vegetable Tuna Curry

The trick to a good nostalgic curry rice is to finish it with honey. Just a drizzle at first.

This is Half Recipes, a narrative recipe column by Nina Coomes on what it means to feed and care for yourself and those you love.


– two ears of corn

– four tomatoes

– one large eggplant

– one can of tuna in water, drained

– hot, fresh white rice, enough for you and whoever you are feeding

– other optional summer vegetables: zucchini or summer squash, sliced into coins; sliced okra; handfuls of greens that wilt easily, like spinach or Swiss chard


When I returned home to the city, I was hungry. I have always hated this about myself, the way I always seem to need three square meals even in times of duress. I feel it would be more elegant or simply more convenient to lose my appetite, to prioritize my emotions over a meal. But my stomach is insistent. My body always insists on being fed. That night, feeling unsure and afraid, I wanted something to eat with a bowl and a spoon, something warm and solid to fill my mouth my throat my belly. I needed a meal that required no effort and wouldn’t need my watchfulness at the stove, something I could leave alone while I stood in a scalding shower, trying to become soaked enough to feel solid again.

When I came back to my big orange pot, the gently simmering curry inside was savory, ready to eat. I couldn’t be bothered with the kitchen table; instead I sat on the couch in my bathrobe, spooning it into my mouth, my hair still wet. Slowly, I felt myself drifting back into the balls of my feet, occupying my body again. I felt the beginnings of determination or at least endurance, looking at the many dangers the world presented for a body like mine and taking a deep breath, fueling my flesh, ready for whatever was next.

You’re amazing. You just made yourself this gorgeous meal in less than thirty minutes.