Saturday, October 02, 2010

Cullinary misadventures - Part II

" Its just salt & spices, no big deal. There's nothing to be afraid of ". Deep breath. Second deep breath.

Sambar rice. Tried it. Paneer butter masala. Tried it. Masala rice. Tried it. Palak paneer. Tried it. Pulao. Tried it. Dal fry. Tried it. Could it be possible that I had tried out all the ready to eat offerings? “There must be something else in some other shelf” I muttered to myself as I set off to find a store assistant. Have you ever noticed how it is impossible to find a store assistant who is free when you cant find something but they always seem to be loitering around when you know where everything on your shopping list is?
“Sir, this is all we have” the assistant said as he pointed out the same shelf I had been looking at for the last 5 minutes. Okay, I couldn’t keep eating the same stuff over and over again & I needed to take the next step if I wanted delicious home made cooking. No, I did not mean getting married. What I meant was, it was time to abandon Project Ready Made Foods & start cooking myself. There was just 1 small problem. I didn’t know how. And I didn’t know what I needed. Ok, make that a large problem.

4 days later I was in a supermarket feeling rather happy. I had convinced a friend of mine to help me pick up all the stuff necessary for cooking. I told her that salt, cooking oil and couple of essential spices was what I needed. "Don’t worry" she said "Ill pick up the essentials only". (Note to self: any time a girl says don’t worry, you need to worry. Even if you don’t know what you need to worry about, remember that you need to worry).

You will need this. And this. You definitely need this. How could you forget that you need this? Pepper. Do you think you need this? Hmmm, you better take it. Chilly powder. Look for the dal, you need the X type not the Y type. I hope you know the difference. Why didnt you take a trolley to put the stuff ? You definitely need one of this. Ok almost done. But where will you put all of these ? You need containers. Lots of them. Do you want the pink ones or the yellow ones? They both look gay so you might as well take both. Phew done !

I believe the above paragraph contains the gist of the rather one sided conversation at the supermarket. The thought of offering meek resistance to the oddly coloured containers crossed my mind but I remembered that you don’t argue with a woman who is shopping (from an earlier note to self). Especially one who is shopping for you.
“Ill email you the instructions on how to make the best curry ever” said my friend who was rather happy to have shopped so much. Never mind the fact that I would conveniently forget my promise of a dinner treat the moment I was out of sight & all the purchased food was going straight to my house.

" Its just salt & spices, no big deal. There's nothing to be afraid of ". Deep breath. Second deep breath. I walked back to my laptop to read (for the n-th time) the instructions on how to make dal that my friend had emailed me. Soak the dal for some time & add it to boiling water. Add 2 spoons of salt & other required spices. Cover it for a while & add coriander leaves for added taste. This shouldn’t be too difficult.
I had soaked the dal in water for half an hour. Waitasecond, the instructions didn’t tell me how long to soak it. I felt half an hour should be enough and put it into boiling water. The problem was I didn’t know how much of water was to be kept boiling. Time to add salt but then I realised I didn’t know whether I was to use a tea spoon or a table spoon. Blimey, this wasnt proving to be a walk in the park. That familiar lost feeling began to envelop me again. The phone!

I quickly dialled my friend's number hoping she wasn’t stuck in office again. (Un)fortunately she picked up. Below is our conversation (this time I managed to get in a few sentences, not that I did myself any favours with what I said)
Me : " Hey whats up ?"
Shopping Friend (SF): " Hey, I just got back. Ive had such a crappy day & my boss took out her frustration on me. Again. Im exhaus ...."
Me : " How much salt to I put ?"
SF : " ...ted. Did you just ask me how much salt to put ? Where ? On my wounds ? "
Me : " Wounds ? What wounds ? Listen woman, for making dal how much salt to I put? "
SF : " Wheres my dinner treat ?"
Me : " What treat ? "
SF : " Neil, are you trying to wriggle your way out of my treat ? Thats it, I want my dinner treat tonight."
Me : " But errr I dont errr tonight"
SF : " Half an hour, Neil, half an hour"
And that ladies and gentlemen is the story of how I started to make dal curry & ended up eating garlic chicken with mixed fried rice and vegetable balls in hunan sauce. As for my cooking, I have gone back to the simple days of scrambled eggs and noodles for dinner ....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have got NO treat till now!! Just to set the record straight! hmphhh

WARNING:I will ruin ur virtual (sad) blogger reputation if i dont get that this wknd.