Does everything have to be expressed in words ? There are many ways to express one’s anger, happiness, excitement, fear, grief or sorrow. As for love, India has its very traditional way, which is- Food 🙂
Yesterday was one of the successful days for me as a chef. Entering the kitchen with a vision of cooking, i hoped and prayed that the food would be delicious enough to be relished. Taking into consideration, the likes and dislikes of my father, who has a fairly traditional palate, on my list, i had Pav Bhaji. Originated in Mumbai, this delicacy is a mixture of numerous veggies with Indian spices to be eaten with bread.
To my delight, the two hours of hard work resulted into victory when i saw everybody fill their stomachs with pleasure. Dad stated in the end, “You must continue this good work in the kitchen, my child. I’d be glad to taste such lovely food daily. 😉 ” As usual i had my answer ready, ” Yes Thank you. But you know, i cant keep cooking all day, everyday. It takes two hours to just prepare one meal.”
He laughed and shared a 15 year old experience back at a dinner table in France. He was sitting with his Indian friends and their french host families in Paris. Dinner started at 7pm with some wine and cheese. Then came the soups and starters, followed by the main course with a desert at the end. The order of the courses of the meal seemed normal, but i was stunned when i heard that they ended at 12 midnight. They spoke on various topics as also on food.
“Indians take 3 hours to prepare and 3 minutes to eat. We take 3 minutes to prepare and 3 hours to eat!”
Those were the words of my dad’s host, as they laughed about this difference in their cultures. In agreement to this statement, i continued to tell dad, how i would be fine making simple Italian or Chinese cuisines (with an Indian touch to suit his taste). There have been a couple of incidents, when other cuisines were made but didn’t gain much appreciation from him, unless they were a little indianised.
Indianised coriander pasta with mushroom
Dad considered my points and concluded by saying, he has traveled enough to taste a lot of cuisines, of which, some became his favorite and others were good to fill the stomach. None the less, he would always want some ‘spice’ in life!
I got my answer. I have the freedom to make whatever i like. But the most important and secret ingredient would be that of love, love for my dad which would make me add the required spices he needs, to make it best suitable for him.