Recipe for Life: Amrita Darjee

  14 May, 2020  ·    Astrid Murray

Welcome to Recipe for Life! This week Mahima Darjee share's her mum Amrita's story as well as her recipe for Roti and Curry.

Last year Centacare Multicultural Services worked closely with students from Trinity Bay High School on a story writing project called “Recipe for Life.”

The aim of the project was to strengthen intergenerational relationships and celebrate culture through the sharing of stories and recipes. 

At the end of the project we were able to create a recipe book which we have had printed. You can view the whole recipe book here – we are sure you will find plenty of colour and inspiration in its pages.

We would like to thank Wendy Chiu from Trinity Bay High School, musician Emmaline Anderson and our bicultural workers who were such an important part of this project.

Over the coming weeks we will share a story with it's recipe.

Amrita Darjee
by Mahima Darjee (Bhutan)

My mum’s name is Amrita Darjee and she was born in Bhutan in 1981. She and many others were forced to leave Bhutan in the early 1990s as she is Lhotshampa, one of Bhutan’s three main ethnic groups (originally from Nepal). My mum and over 105,000 Bhutanese have spent 15 to 20 years living in UNHCR- run refugee camps in Nepal. Bhutanese refugees now live all over the world. Yet the story is largely unknown.

My mum was a clever and thoughtful girl who married at the age of 17. Her life there was hard and lonely. My father remarried when I was a child, leaving mum with me and my brother Manish. We moved to Australia with my mum in 2017.

Now my mum is studying at TAFE. She likes to help other people. Her favourite meal from her childhood was Roti and Curry. She used to prepare it on the weekends. My mum hopes that my brother and I will get a good education and have a good future in Australia.


1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tsp. fish masala
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. chilli flakes
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
400g lightly smoked salmon or
chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 Tbsp. crème fraiche
Rotis: white flour or whole wheat


  1. Toast all the spices in a dry pan until aromatic.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, then add the onion, fry until soft and lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the spice mix. Cook, stirring for a couple of minutes, until you can smell the spices and add the crème fraiche. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
  4. Add the salmon or chicken and cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with Rotis (heat rotis prior to serving).
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Recipe for Life: Amrita Darjee
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