Sunday, July 09, 2006

Far from the burning chillies!

 




















Our dinners and get togethers have often happened at the spur of the moment....there wouldnt be any planning...often I have been told just hours before.... and then I would be having my worst tremors...for I still consider myself quite amateurish to host dinners for others...My husband will then convince me, his usual 'maska',"I know you will do it....you are indeed a brilliant cook....Just make simple things...don't panic...."The next thing I would do is give a call to my mom....to ask her to pray for me that my dinner should be a success!!...Amma would be laughing and would say,"Don't worry,do what you know and the way you know,I know it will come out fine"...."That's it...off to Kitchen...'Guruvayoorappa! Help me'....the chemist in the kitchen is ready for new experiments...a pinch of this n pinch of that...Luckily,so far my dinners have been very successful....After serving the food, I try to read the body language of my guests!...positive...a big sigh of relief...when they start asking the recipe or the ingredients...I'm happy...yes, it has been successful!...

I was very apprehensive about yesterday's dinner...Guests from a different culture and culinary background...Indian food having the reputation of being 'hot n spicy',I wasnt really sure what to cook and what not to cook....My husband had already given me the warning that Richard cannot tolerate chillies, that he is very sensitive to it but loves chicken...God! an Indian food without chillies?... that too the theme of the dinner being chicken!....I had to cook something very Indian and with much less spices.Luckily Fran, his girl friend, was fine with the Indian food...But I should say that was indeed an experience....Cooking Indian food with less chillies and still retaining the authentic flavour....Garlic Parathas,Chicken-paneer kabab,Pastry rolled chicken fritters,Indianised Chicken Manchurian,Cilantro rice(Kothamiri annam),Lehsani Murg fry(Garlic Chicken fry),PaluposinaGudduKoora(Eggs in milk gravy),and Gaajar ka halwa...(shall share the recipes soon...)

Richard and Fran came at the knock of 7.30 and I started off with my Kababs...I could see all the fear on Richard's face looking at the green and orange peppers!!Six foot six inch tall and 23 stones heavy Richard looked more like a 3yr old kid for me apprehensively watching out his food before eating....and chewing every bit with doubt...Some convincing from Fan and Richard tried the orange peppers.......'Hmm, that's really tasty!'...a smile came on his face....A sigh of relief for me when I saw his expression changing gradually to that of confidence and trust!

It is all a matter of getting used to...People from the Indian subcontinent are used to the myriad spices and the ruddy chillies splashed in the dish, whereas the west use spices very sparingly and the chillies almost nill in most of the dishes...I have laughed at the caution on the chilli packet available in the local market which says 'use gloves and goggles' to cut it!!...For we have grown up seeing our mothers dexterously chopping it on their finger,no cutting boards and not even the finger gloves were needed for them.My husband was telling me that people in this part of the world are very sensitive to some spices and multiple food allergy is a common complaint that he came across with his patients....

As the dinner progressed both the guests and the hosts were at ease...rather enjoyed the dinner!...Richard's fear was gone, and my fears too....!Finally he rose up saying,'to be honest I was very apprehensive when I came....but I had decided I'll try, but if it is not of my kind that I'm not going to hesitate to say 'sorry'! But in fact ....I love u...u know what I mean!'he laughed boisterously in his usual syle!....He was very honest...and I liked it... My husband had his 'I know you will do it' kind of look!I felt very happy that at last I could alter to some extend Richard's prejudice about the Indian food...and I learnt that I can make very tasty Indian food even with less chillies....I think now I'm more confident to play host to both East and West!.....Every drop of experience adds to our perfection....Yes,I have miles to go....miles to go....

6 comments:

Sumitha said...

Oh so Shynee ma'am was busy entertaining guests at her home:)What a delicious looking spread that is Shynee,Well done!How I wish I was in Richards place:(waiting to have some delicious food cooked by someone apart from me!

shilpa said...

Oh my god. So many things..and what a beautiful arrangement. I feel same as Sumitha. Wish I was there....

Kitchenmate said...

Oh, shynee..yummy spread! Looks delicious:0 and i too believe in Robert Frost's "...miles to go before i sleep.."

Anonymous said...

Great, indeed. Native of Tropical America, chillies were introduced into India by the Portuguese during the 16th century so I guess before that Indian food didn't use to be as spicy hot as nowadays.

Inji Pennu said...

>when they start asking the recipe >or the ingredients

Thats how I too understand whether the dinner was succesful or not. :)

Very nice write up!

Hi anonymous, Indians has green chili peppers and the real black pepper long before portugese I think. Portugese introduced the red chili peppers. Indian food is infact not at all "hot".
It is actually spicy. In the sense, a whole lot of spices are used for cooking. Indian cooking should not be hot as per Ayurveda. Spicy and hot have been mixed and used I guess many times.

Mexican Tobasco suace is what I would say hurtfully hot.

indianadoc said...

>Yeah I was a bit busy with a chotu party...Thanx Sumi and Shilpa...you are more than welcome...do ping me if you ever happened to come to UK...I wd love to have u as my guest!!Sometimes I too get bored with the food that I cook and wish to eat somebody else's!!..
>Thanx Karthi, I love those lines...it has plenty of meaning and depth...
>Anonymous, I think my friend LG has already explained it...Indian food did used a splash of spices...bt the chillies definitely have added more to it...
>Thanx Lg...there's nothing happier a feeling than finding that your guests have enjoyed the food u prepared...and thanx for explaining to my anony. friend...I wd like to taste that hurtfully hot mexican sauce...for I love chillies!!....I like anything hot!!