Food glorious food

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

Food glorious food Loading

Girls, don’t pick up your cudgels just yet, I mean this for the guys as well. I’ll tell you what it is about and then you can decide your next course of action. Whether you want to bop me or hug me.

Just the other day, I had taken a friend out for lunch. We ate nothing too exotic but the bill was a whopper! I nearly fell off my chair. There was some strange thing called GST on it (I swear I never ordered that) and some other thing called SGST. I weakly told the owner I had not meant to buy his café. I just wanted to pay for lunch.

He gave me a smirk and told me to take it up with Mr. Modi. I don’t think the PM will see little old me and sort out my problems. That’s when I thought I should help out my nieces and nephews of India and prevent them from wasting their cash on hotels and restaurants.

Now, you pick up your brooms. But think, the bomb you save can be spent on clothes, holidays, a cook; yes, I know you like to eat but you hate to cook. But nowadays everything is already powdered, ground, cut, all you have to do is to cook it. It’s a snap!

For instance, what do you have for breakfast? (Don’t say you have never heard of it .That’s the thing that prevents you from reaching for that samosa at eleven o’clock). Cereals? No, no, no. I don’t know about healthy but anything packed, sugared with added vitamins A to Z cannot be tasty. Healthful too, I doubt.

Now, buy a pack of dosa/idly batter. First day, prepare idlis. (Leave it out the pack overnight in cooler weather and for a few hours in hotter). Grease your katories if you don’t have an idly stand, drop a good dollop of the batter in each oiled katori and steam. Max for ten minutes. You will have hot, tasty idlis in no time.

It’s easy enough to make a dry chutney. Grind equal quantities of peanuts (unflavored ones), roasted chana and ‘til’ sesame (white) with as many dry chillies as you like. Add salt and whip it in your dry grinder. Use it with your idlis (and other stuff) with a gob of curds to liquefy it or with a spoonful of sesame oil instead. It is delicious, nutritious and quick.

Next day use the batter to make dosas. If you want them extra crisp, add a tablespoon of sooji/rava into it and go for it.

The third day, you can add tempered mustard, cumin, curry leaves, split urad dal and a few grains of chana dal, minced coriander leaves, green chillies, onions, some dill leaves, curry leaves or oregano. Make smaller but fatter dosas out of it. Yummy! Or, you leave out the onion, add cracked pepper corns instead and steam in your greased katories for Conjeevaram idlis.  Or fry ‘em up in your ‘paddu’ pan. Ask your friendly neighborhood utensil seller to get you a nonstick one.

All too Southie for you? You are a Punjab da Putar/ Putri? Fine. You get ready made kabobs, parathas, chapatis and kubba – all half cooked.  Heat them on a pan, heat last night’s left over veg, put raw onions, some green chillies, chaat masala, imli chutney and roll ’em up. Voila, the brekker’s ready!

For the fancy pants, put tomato sauce, green onions and cheese slices or gratings and my favorite dill leaves, dhania or oregano.  Or mashed potatoes with salt, chaat masala, chili flakes, some green stuff. Just as good.

After this breakfast with a fruit – a banana is a good choice (just ask your dietician, it’s good for you) you will sail through till lunch with no desire to stretch your hand out for a fistful of chips. Pack a small bag of raisins and nuts for those snack pangs. Carry home- made lassi or rasam or soup in a flask and just wait for the compliments to roll in for your figure, hair, skin, etc.

So, I’m waiting for my hugs! If you like my suggestions, I will tell you more for your lunch.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

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