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I, the chief chef

It wont be easy for many people to believe that I could cook, but last night I tried this adventure once again.

The story started out with some heavy snacks in the evening that made me and Sandy very full. So we both were not interested in having a proper dinner. I planned to make something like omelet to carry on the night and avoid going out to a regular hotel. Later on it came out that even Sreedhar Anna was not willing to go out and Pyadu had also came to our place. So plan for my personal omelet got canceled and Anna suggested rice and egg-curry. Since it was Tuesday Pyadu could not have egg due to his own rule to do so. So rice could not be made plain. It had to be something that can go alone. So the Khichadi/Masala Rice was the only option.

Since Anna cannot even make a tea(he can at least boil the water which my some other friend cannot), it had to be me to take the charge of kitchen. It wasn't my first attempt to Khichadi. I had learned a bit about Indian style cooking by observing mom in kitchen sometimes. So I continued the charge for making Khichadi with a great support from Sandy, Anna and Pyadu who helped in cutting onions, tomatoes, chillies and things like that.

Earlier to this, Anna had a strong objection toward using Basmati rice which he believed was meant for only Biryani and any other dish would get spoiled due to it. Yet, since quantity of regular rice was not enough for four of use (at least I believed that due to my knowledge about our appetites), we had to mix some amount of Basmati rice to the regular one.

Since it was already getting late and an egg-curry would have taken much longer, we decided to go for egg-bhurji, sort of smashed egg omelet, I find it much better in taste than an omelet. So finally our dinner of khichadi and egg-bhurji was ready without any hassles or failure. As usual, Sandy joined the dinner much later only after cleaning the entire kitchen. The way he is committed towards cleaning the kitchen even before finishing the dinner, I guess he gets more fun in doing that than having the food itself.

Btw, Pyadu praised a lot about khichadi and its smell while Anna who claimed to eat a lot of khichadi liked the bhurji. I believe khichadi would have been even better if we had some extra spices and stuff like potatoes available in kitchen. As per my expectation, although the amount of rice cooked appeared huge initially, not a single particle of food was left uneaten by the end.

In praise of my work, I got awarded a khitaab of 'Khaansaama', meaning 'the chief chef'.

Comments

  1. Your story makes me aware of a funny and modern irony.

    Many moons ago (1989 through 1995) I was a professional chef here in Santa Cruz, CA. One of the restaurants I worked at for many of those years was 'India Joze'. We were responsible for introducing many international cuisines to the local people. At that time, outside of ethnic enclaves in big cities (San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, etc.) you would not find many cuisines that are commonly found now in the US.

    In those days, we had a main menu with items found every day, such as dahl and rice. Always basmati! We also had a rotating specials menu for dinners. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nights (Greek, Persian, Spanish.) Thursday and Friday were Indian (North, South, Sri Lankan). Saturday and Sunday were Indonesian-Thai nights.

    Our owner/chef, Jozseph Shultz, traveled in all those countries, learning about the culture and cooking of the cuisines. We would get many praises from, for example, real Indians visiting from abroad; our food was "just like Mom's" and spicy enough for the most volcanic palate.

    So, I find it very interesting to read all these details specific to your experience growing up, watching Mom cook, and trying to learn the skills of being a cook yourself. I come with all those skills and a fair bit of experience in Indian cooking; I still make my own yogurt and masala dosa from scratch. But my knowledge is really only studied; it doesn't resonate with the quality of growing up inside of a cuisine.

    Someday I'm going to have to do something about growing a community of international open source hacking cooks. Got LinuxChefs.org all ready to go, too. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sometimes I find it fun to cook and pleasure to serve.. nice to know about 'India Joze'.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The funny thing is that here in Austria, we import lots of Basmati rice from India and it's often served with almost everything, even traditional Austrian dishes.

    ReplyDelete

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