Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Peacemeal

Can 4 cooks spoil the broth? There is potential for a lot of tension but you can still manage to put together a decent meal.
It was supposed to be a relaxed Monday night dinner where A would show off his desi cooking talent to me and M. The menu was discussed and the ingredients were debated. We were told to show up anytime after work. When I turned up, I was informed that chilli powder – that essential ingredient for desi cooking – was missing from the pantry. I trudged to the store and sneaked a peek at the “list of stuff” A had made. It included ginger! garlic! cilantro! More do-or-die ingredients. Grrr. Would there be enough time for all the chopping and cooking? A is totally unperturbed - so what to make? Aargh. Did I get conned? Again?? This time M was coming to help, but she mentioned work delays – smart move. Oh, but K was visiting – he would definitely kick ass in the kitchen.
When K came, he let out a diatribe of four-letter words (in a good way) to describe his third honeymoon since his Dec. marriage.. but this was only an adventure trip to the Amazon. “I haven’t slept in 4 days man,” he says. “And it was because of the snakes and bugs.” We told him to chill out... help out in the kitchen... another spew of four-letter words (not in a good way) followed. Oh, the poor thing is missing his wife.
The menu was finally decided: okra, chhole, daal, chicken. Some leftover peas and mushroom and baingan ka bharta (spiced eggplant) which M claimed – “Don’t touch it! It’s ALL mine!!” Then the tamasha began. A’s chopped okras became a joke, I burnt the onions, K started swearing about chicken not being marinated properly. We finally simmered down over wine and Yanni. When it was time to chop chop, the boys did a good job. K marinated and cut the chicken in such loving fashion we didn’t know what to do with it next. M made noises about the lack of whole masalas (which were eventually found at the back of the cupboard) but salvaged the okra and chicken. I made my standard chhole (slightly low on salt) and A made the daal (slightly high on salt) but when we finally ate… at some 10:30 p.m. … and listened to the soundtrack from Fanaa, it was quite good, subhan’allah!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

a little bird told me that some of the wine found itself into the chicken curry... was that the salvation??

Sash said...

Yanni??!!!!

Ashish said...

This is ridiculous. This blog should be shut down for blasphemy. And anyone who doubts the existence of spices in my larder should come visit me - I have little bottles, all neatly labelled. Some of them still smell of the spices they once contained.
ALSO - it wasn't just YANNI - it was Aria - the British Airways theme... now go download it. Make it your ring tone.

Anonymous said...

Was it wine, or the whiskey that did it to you Batty? Are you sure you were the special one with the special curry and the rest only had saada chicken?

Anonymous said...

I think you should all be grateful to the host for putting up with your moods and excuses and demands. It is rare to find someone being so tolerant of a total kitchen invasion. Sounds like a coup to me, I tell you

Ashish said...

See, didn't I tell you. Well said "anonymous" Actually I wanted you to defend my larder not my patience.

Anonymous said...

Actually Ms B does a mean chicken curry. She treated a flat full of hungry girls in Delhi once. So next time get her to do the bird.

Sash said...

Tsk tsk. A protest too much, methinks. First, no spices and then a taste in hairy Greek music. Thought the boy was a good bong… sigh!

Shilpa said...

anonymous1: the fact that we finally managed to eat piping hot food was salvation in itself!
sash: lol.. ya the fake bong boy has a strange taste for many things.
ashish: don't bring out a fatwa on my blog! and you know your larder needs an urgent makeover. call British Airways. or Yanni :)
anonymous2: whiskey was missing from the equation, Fatty.. and thank god! whether it was saada or special curry, we were too drunk to care...
anonymous3: it was a democratic coup along the lines of Musharraf... the people said they wanted it and the military just came along to help.
ashish: how will anon defend your larder when there's nothing IN it to defend???
anonymous3: oh you remembered!! thank u thank u :) cluck cluck.

Ashish said...

Me, a GOOD BONG???? Does she even KNOW Me?????!!!

Shilpa said...

OK so you're a mixed up mongrel. be grateful you were referred to as good at least.