Memories in a Dish

Being a foodie, this should have been an easy piece to write. I have what you can call an exploratory sense when it comes to food; always wanting to experiment with dishes and cuisines, trying something new all the time. There are so many weird things I have eaten which I shall not mention here to spoil your appetite and lose you as audience :-) 

Unfortunately being more of a fiction writer, this area has been rather unexplored for me... So I'll stick my core and walk you through a couple of amazing unforgettable memories when it comes to food.

Note: I have had a couple of amazing chefs in my family by way of my grandmothers. They could dream up new dishes on the fly basis what was available... Probably one of the reasons I am open to and always keep trying to eat new dishes...  But these stories, rather memories are not so perfect in terms of food and yet completely perfect for legends...

Veg Hakka Noodles

I was pretty young, I think about 12-13, when I got this weird obsession to be MasterChef for the day (this was the 90s... MasterChef and rather cable TV itself did not yet exist). 

On a lazy summer vacation Sunday at our home at Nasik, I made a royal proclamation to the family that the evening snacks would be taken care of by His Highness (me). Despite several protests by the Queen Mother (you will hurt yourself, you will burn yourself, you will burn down the house or worse you will make a mess of my kitchen), I took charge and headed to battle in the kitchen.

Youtube and Google were unheard of, so I had to instead turn to the most reliable source of information in those days - the steps at the back of the pack. Having read it more than 5 times, I finally was ready... This was the real deal...

Boil the noodles, saute the onions, veggies, etc... Working religiously to prove I had natural culinary skills in my genes... I worked tirelessly on the noodles, frying them finally in a hot pan... They looked just perfect when I laid out a small portion on a plate for my family... Time to taste.

Mom: Nice... This is very good, but what a mess you have made... Let me clear the kitchen 
Dad: Very good... I didn't we had a chef at home... 
Sister: What the hell is this crap!

It was terrible... It tasted like Maggi had dated Patanjali Ghee and cheated on it will rotten vegetables and had this dish as a child...

But then again, I was Masterchef, just to spite her... I ate it all... Crying and a little piece of me dying on the inside...

Egg Fried Rice

I was still in school and our parents were out that day (don't remember where). My elder sister volunteered to take up the dinner duty for us siblings that day. "I shall make egg fried rice".

My first question was "Have you even made an omelet ever?"

With a scornful look, she took out her diary which had a recipe from the newspaper copied over.

"I'm not stupid like you... I'm well prepared. You can go now, I'll let you know when it's ready"

Surprised, but happy I stepped aside (by then I had known some minute basics of cooking - I could make Maggi) and let her have the kitchen to herself. I went back happily to watching something on Television.

For quite a while, I could hear noises coming from the kitchen, but my sister was quiet, so I assumed all was well... An egg fried rice will land up in front of me real soon... Her confidence was pretty high.

After a few hungry minutes, my sister stepped out of the kitchen... The confidence seemed to have taken a major hit and was in fact close to a prayer for help... Without her having to say anything I shot back "What did you do?"

And came back a meek reply... "I followed the recipe but something went wrong" with a sad pout... All I could do was shake my head and head into the kitchen... It was indeed a scary sight... The fried rice currently looked like porridge in the making...

A long battle ensued... Tensions flying high as I worked frivolously to salvage the situation... And after a scary and sweat-inducing 20 minutes... We had saved our dinner... It was a half-decent Egg Pulao...

No comments

Powered by Blogger.