From yore

The three and a half regular readers of this blog (in many of its earlier avatars) know two things about me – one that I take my hormones too seriously, and two, I detest cooking.

The irony of my life is that for someone who hates cooking, I cook a lot. I usually make three fresh meals every day (today, for example was Pongal-sambar for B/F, rice-spinach-avarakkai-lemon rasam for lunch and probably roti-dal for dinner). My family knows better than to bother me when I am in the kitchen because they wouldn’t know what hit them.

The second irony is that I co-wrote a cookery blog with my friend G a few years ago.  G is a kitchen diva.  I, a kitchen devil. So, we made a fairly potent combination.  The blog continues to exist in cybersphere, albeit in a dormant form and I refer to G’s recipes now and then.

The reasons I bring this up are these.  I am (a) backlogged with work, and am unable to find time to come up with an original post (b) actually, only (a).  So, when I am not sharing my world, I will probably repost some of my gems from cookalogue here, without G’s permission.  I guess G won’t mind because my posts didn’t add any functional value to her marvellous recipes and I doubt, were even read by people other than G and me.

So, today’s repost is a true story of sorts.  Remember, it was posted first in 2011, six years more immature.  The only change since then has been that I am a marginally better cook now than I was when I wrote this up.

The Paste

Lord Brahma sat in deep thought.  He had a piece of human clay (Let’s call it “G” for convenience).  What to mould?  Madame Curie had been done already.  Sarojini Naidu, over.  Agatha Christie, over.  Jhansi Rani, finished.  Simran, Jyothica, Madhuri Dixit – still around.

Suddenly, another piece of  clay (“L” for convenience) disturbed his reverie.  “What do YOU want” asked the Lord.  “Oh Lord”, said L,  “I need a special gift when I am born”.  Fast losing His patience, the Lord thundered “What is it?”.  The timid clay whispered “Lord, anything I cook must be tasty”.  Her question gave Brahma an idea – “why don’t I make G a fabulous cook?” he thought to himself.  In his excitement and in haste to get back to moulding G, He granted L her wish – “Alright alright…I grant you the boon that anything you cook on earth will be pasty”.

Years passed.  G grew up to make Gobi Manchurian and Chinese fried rice when she was not in the mood to cook.  L grew up in another town, making pastes in her kitchen, as blessed. As destiny would have it, G and L met in their third decade of existence and became friends.  Like the crow who got stoned by passers-by for trying to mimic her friend the cuckoo, L hoped to be inspired by G  in the kitchen.  Despite the boon.

So one day, G posted a recipe for Cabbage Rice.  Not knowing what else to make, L decided to get adventurous, despite her established history of pastifying food that were not meant to be pastified.  G assured her that “soaking the rice for half an hour and fry nicely along with the vegetables” will make it un-mushy, forgetting that it was L she is talking to.

L, the recipient of the special boon from Lord Brahma.

So, with that promise, L followed the recipe, word for word. After two whistles, the cooker opened to exhibit rice, uncooked and separate from its water, like the water on a lotus leaf.  Feeling sorry for the family, L let it cook for four more whistles.

Brahma had the last laugh.


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