Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oh No! Not Aaloo Again!!

YF : Yours Faithfully
MS: Mr. Smarty
BW: Book Worm
PR: Parasite Roomie

[Scene: All four friends staying together as pay-guests. A usual evening, dinner time. YF just returning from a nearby Irani Restaurant. BW is busy with Suketu Mehta's "Maximum City". MS and mirror are quite busy - he's got lucky tonight with a date. And hungry PR is just about to open his mess-tiffin]

PR: Hey man! I'm starving! Aren't you guys having food?
YF: I had a bun-omelette at the Irani's. And these guys don't seem to have any plans for food yet. Why don't you go ahead!

[All look at him with a wicked smile]

PR: What??
MS: Nothing yaar. The mess-wali aunty seems to be fultoo-fida on you. Special tiffin tonight just for you dude!! (same wicked smile continues to linger on his face)

 [PR hesitantly opens the tiffin. And slaps his face after seeing the contents!]

PR: Oh NO! Not aaloo again!!
BW: (who is deeply engrossed in the book reacts momentarily) Bombay is the city of wada-pav eating people, my dear friend. And what is wada-pav without aaloo!!

YF: Thank God! I don't have to endure this torture any longer. Aaloo-variants 5 days a week, cabbage on 6th and moong on 7th. Bun-omelette at the Irani's is the best. I miss Hyderabad. Man! That chicken-biryani, haleem and harees (eyes closed, sniffing the non-existent delicacies) You guys should come to Hyderabad once in your life to enjoy these dishes!

MS: What about our BW!?! (trying to pull BW in the discussion. Winks YF) He's allergic to eggs leave aside the chicken!
BW: (slams book on the bed and in a very pissed-off tone) Hell with your chicken! The south was never influenced by the Mogulai food! It's the authentic vegetarian Indian food. Just imagine life without idli, dosa and sambar! Half the India would go crazy!
PR: That's true man. Those sambar and rasam are so good you simply can't resist them. (pacifying BW a bit). But, southies also make great fish. In fact, all along the coast you'll get awesome fish with unique local flavors. Even Bongs make good fish.
YF: But nothing beats the Hyderabadi and Mogulai dishes when it comes to non-veg cuisine.

BW: Do you guys know what's so special about Indian Cuisine?
MS: Its HOT, just like me.
PR: No man... it's not hot, its spicy.

BW: Eggzactly (Salam-Namaste Jaffery tone) Alls the British, Frenchs, Dutches, Portuguese cames to Indias for the exotic spices and condiments. Ands that ees hows it alls started!
PR: Lets leave aside the foreigners and the freedom struggle stories - I'd had enough of RDB and 'exactly' stuff! Please talk about good food yaar. Will at least help me gulp down this quota of aaloos.

YF: The North has a strong influence if the Moguls. For example, the biryaanis - rich with exotic spices. Or the tandoors, which BTW originated in Punjab - be it murg-mussalam or naans or kebabs. Hey that reminds me, if you guys go to Bombay try out the kebabs at Bade Miyaan's near Gateway.
MS: Simply awesome man, I know! And during the month of fasting, you should go to that place, yaar, what is it called? (scratching his head)
YF: Mohammed Ali Road during Ramadan
MS: Yep, that's it! Nothing less than Heaven!

PR: Guys! Nothing comes closer to the Goan feni and vindaloos. Add to that the fresh fish straight out of the sea. Perfect recipe for a great holiday!

BW: (with a disgusting look on his face) Don't you guys ever feel anything about the poor creatures? Look at the Gujarati food. Pure veg and yet so delicious. Dhoklas and the sweets. Or if you want something more hot and spicy go a bit further to Rajasthan. Real good food, without disturbing the Nature. You guys are just chicken-graveyards!!
MS: Hey, better our graveyards than the bird-flu!

YF: There are so many variations in our Indian food. Many regional flavors, influences of religion, people, history and evolution of the methods of preparation. All these things impart distinctness to each of them.
PR: Theek hai! Theek hai! Now don't go overboard! Today's done, lekin aunty ko bolna padega. Else I'll die of potato-flu!!!

... Dedicated to my roomies Sagar, Amol, Mahesh and our mess-wale kaka and maushi

Was again written long back (days of RDB, bird-flu, etc) for newsletter which was based on Indian Cuisine. That time I used to stay with room-mates and this was typical scene every now and then. Found old printout and posted here in continuation of a conversation here  . 
Most of the Indian readers will know the dishes - I have tried to find out the most appropriate links for my other friends, who don't know much about Indian Food.
 Things have changed now a days. Lucky to have Farheen as my wife, who loves to cook and I, of course, love to eat :D These days its "Oh no, not kheema again" ;)    


  1. Thanks Abu for an inkling of how complex Indian food is and how many regions contribute their own specialties! Now I am hungry to try them all. :)

    1. I'm not a food-expert but you don't need any expertise to enjoy good food :)
      You should visit India Don, I promise to make your stay more spicy ;)