Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Early Years 2010: No Food For Me

Originally Posted on July 22, 2010.

I have never been interested in cooking.  Though I learned some awesome dishes from my momma, those who know me, know that I only prepare my specialties once in a blue moon.  My lack of cooking abilities back home never caused a major problem as I was always able to conjure up something worthy of a meal.  Here it is another story.  While there are plenty of snacks to be had, India lacks the variety of small meals you can find in America simply because meal time is important here.  How anyone can keep up with the cooking is a mystery.  The typical Indian meal takes approximately an hour to make and another one to clean up the mess.  I successfully cooked my own specialty of American/Indian masala dosa.  Dosa is a crisp patty roughly the size of a pancake but it tastes buttery and spicy.  Masala dosa is prepared with potatoes, onions, chilies, and various spices.  My neighbor Rashmi taught me how to make it, and it is definitely a major work in progress where the dosa batter takes over a day to prepare. I managed to pull off the dosa and ate it with ketchup as a chetney (the side dip.)  It reminded me of the potatoes we make at home with farm eggs.
Yesterday I attempted to make aloo prathas, and when I say "attempt" I mean that it went horribly awry.  Aloo means potatoes, and prathas are wheat flour tortillas for the most part.  In prathas, the center is filled with a mixture of vegetables, in this case aloo, with onion and spices.  Prathas need to be flattened with a rolling pin to as thin as pie crust and then fried in a pan.  It sounds easy enough, but not if the aloo proceeds to ooze through every pratha lending it absolutely un-cookable.  One ended up thrown against the wall, half the aloo batter ended up smeared on the floor, and the wheat flour dough ended up everywhere else. I spent roughly and hour and a half in the kitchen conjuring up the abomination and cleaning up the aftermath.  Kudos to anyone who can cook good Indian food.  It's definitely one talent I do not possess.

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