One thing I do love about being a proper grown up is that you can wake up on a Saturday morning and decide you're going to have a curry for breakfast. Which is probably marginally less fun than eating a curry late on a Friday night and sleeping through Saturday morning, which comprised of most of my early twenties, but makes me feel slightly less resentful about not being able to sleep the clock around any more.
While my favourite Sri Lankan place is just down the road and makes superlative chole bhature (fried bread and chickpea curry), I fancied something a bit different. Somehow I also managed to persuade the Ewing that she also wanted something a bit different That something starting with driving around the M25 while listening to me singing along to my 90s indie playlist and ending up at the veritable New Asian Tandoori Restaurant - aka Roxy's - in Southall for some traditional Punjabi food.
From the list of chaats (small, savoury snacks) we started with pani puri, or, as it's known in the Punjab, golgappa. A dish that's fun to say, and even more fun to eat.
To do so you take a crisp, hollow puri, carefully make a hole in the top and stuff it with a mixture of chilli, chutney, potato, onion and chickpeas. To finish, top it off with a glug of tamarind water (known as imli pani), and quickly pop the whole thing in your mouth with as much decorum as you can manage. In my case, not much.
While I like to think there are few curry dishes I haven't tried (I've certainly eaten enough curries), in reality I'm a mere pretender when it comes to the cuisine of the Indian sub-continent. In reality this is only a good thing as it means I still get to discover new dishes, even if I'm only twenty miles from home.
Today's new dishes were sarson ka saag, or mustard greens, traditionally served with makki ki roti, an unleavened grilled corn bread topped with lashings of butter. Mustard greens are traditionally eaten in winter and spring, so we were bang in season to enjoy their rich earthiness. Perfect when scooped up with pieces of the sweet, smoky grilled roti, which resembled a giant Mexican tortilla and was none the worse for it.
Another Punjabi favourite, only available here at the weekends, is dal makhani, or 'buttery lentils'. Made from whole black lentils (urad) and red kidney beans the dish gets its richness from lashings of butter and cream.
As it's tomato-based, the sauce resembled a spiced version of Heinz tomato soup. Which, everybody knows, is the best soup. I'd try to fool myself by saying the lentils made this healthy, but we all know this contained more glorious dairy than the EU butter mountain.
We tried to order a Punjabi chicken curry but that wasn't ready, so settled for chilli chicken instead. An admirable substantiation, this was excellent - a sweet, rich, almost sticky sauce full of juicy chunks of chicken. I didn't even mind the odd piece of green pepper, a vegetable that normally conspires to ruin any dish they get near.
To finish we could have gone down the Broadway for chunks of burfi - a dense milky fudge, often studded with nuts - or some gulab jamun - curls of fried batter soaked in a sweet sugar syrup that are freshly fried out on the busy street - but I'm still eschewing the sugar.
Instead we nibbled on a handful of breath-freshening fennel seed, paid the, very modest, bill and went down the road to see the house where the Ewing's mum grew up. Even with our impromptu tour the advantage of being up and out so early meant we were still back home in good time for lunch.