Thursday, September 14, 2006

tarla dalal, make way

now mom worries sick about me falling sick thanks to my reliance on company mess and the neighbourhood restaurant. it were the food bills that had me worried sick. potent reason to get down to the basics and take charge in your hands.

lets start from the beginning. get yourself a gas connection. theres an energy crisis it looks like; no new connections are doled out anymore. am ready to pay i say, "no saar. ille." hmm. should i buy a microwave now? naah... too much of an investment. hey! theres that electric rice cooker lying at home, that should do some good :) so off i go home & pick it up with fantasies of penning down the next cookbook bestseller. tarla dalal, make way.

so i arm the kitchen with MTR pulliogare (just add rice!) powder, lemon rice paste, pulao powder, veggies, the works... er dude... pulao works differently am told. it needs the cashews to be sauted, onions to be shallow fried... it wont work in a rice cooker. why? thats the pulao you normally know. have you tried without the rigmarole? the truth is, am already kicking myself for picking up this stuff. but; theres always a first time for everything. then again, am reminded of the immensely learned Sir Humphreys... "you should always do new things, but never for the first time"...

all said and done, it was an experiment i wanted to indulge myself in. measured the rice, chopped the veggies, laid out the spices (read: OTC masala powder.) felt like the druid with the cauldron. yeah, post menhir crash. knife for sickle, veggies for herbs. i had my roman soldier marked out too. good friend & roomie c. "oooo! this is so much funnnn!" and in they all went piece by piece into the pot... and look for the plug. ah! its all there in the kitchen itself! now why doesnt this damn switch come on? wont budge come what may. ooo... the switch's stuck with grime. damn the previous tenant! hmm... need another plug... now you know why one shouldnt watch TV while cooking!? and aglow came the lamp... impatiently looking at the clock as the minutes tickted by, me fuming and fretting in sync with the lid. and finally... thack! there. its all ready. but the roman had already hit the bed.

it was necessary for him to wake up. as noted earlier, it was c's turn to taste it first. not that his verdict mattered much, i wanted to see if he changed colours and started flying. he did neither. life is boring i tell you. soon out of a slumber, he's a man of limited vocabulary - no salt. ah! well now, where did i put that lump of white powder? nowhere. it was still in the container. out you come... pulverized and sprinkled all over... there! tarla dalal, make way.

now this being a family space, i'll spare you the gory details. day two was just as uneventful. only this time i had to look for the lump of masala. strangely enough, the onions i had put in seemed to have disappeared while inside the cooker. not a trace of them roots! c still doesnt fly. i think rice was too pasty and made him heavy. next time, lesser water. tarla dalal, make way.

day three, c isnt sleepy, wide awake. i ask his choice. home food or eat out? boss, am feeling healthy today... lets eat out.