Tuesday, March 15, 2016

How to Cook Tasty Food : Taste Mantra

Foodie Musings

Long back  I had a maid who used to cook quite well.

One day  I invited some colleagues and their families (including my boss and his family) over for dinner  and I decided to ask the maid to cook the food.

Apart from the usual fare of Dal, Rice, Roti and a vegetable dish  I asked to her make chicken curry (which was her “signature dish”).

She used to cook delicious chicken curry for us every Sunday – and we really loved it.

At office  I often boasted about how lucky I was to get a good maid who cooked delicious food  and I especially praised her chicken curry. 

So everyone was quite keen to taste this much hyped inimitable chicken curry.

“These guests are very special  and they especially are looking forward to eating your chicken curry. So make it tasty. Please make the chicken curry really tasty...” I told the maid.

Now  I did not know one thing – the definition of “taste” and “tasty” in my maid’s dictionary.

As far as my maid was concerned  “taste” meant rich (oily) and spicy – and  cooking “tasty” food meant adding plenty of oil and lots of chilly powder

So – when she cooked the chicken curry – she made sure that she added generous amounts of oil and chilly powder. 

In fact  she had prepared the dish in copious amounts of oil and ensured that the chicken curry was “richly” spiced (especially chilly powder).

The guests arrived.

Everyone was eagerly waiting in anticipation for the chicken curry.

The dish arrived.

The chicken curry looked very appealing and mouthwatering.

Yes – the chicken curry looked sumptuous  succulent pieces of chicken floating in rich opulent gravy.

The moment we started eating the chicken curry  our tongues were instantly on fire. 

Yes  our tongues  our mouths  our whole insides were blazing  and we all broke out into a sweat. 

Never before had we ever tasted a dish so hot and fiery. 

The rich greasy gravy further added to the pungency and imparted a sharp “kick to our tongues.

Everyone kept drinking glass after glass of water to cool down their insides  which had been set on fire by the red-hot chicken curry.

Had it not been for the “bland” vegetable dish and plain Dal  which saved the day  the meal would have been a complete unmitigated disaster.

Next morning – surveying the leftovers  our maid was surprised to see that that there was plenty of chicken curry left over in the fridge  whereas the Dal and Vegetables were wiped out clean.

This was exactly the opposite of what she had expected.

I told her what had happened  and I asked her: “Why did you put so much oil and chilli powder in the chicken curry?”

She said: “Sir – you told me to make the chicken curry tasty. And  how can a dish be tasty unless it is rich and spicy...?”

“But what about the Vegetables and Dal – they were quite okay,” I said.

“You didn’t tell me to make the Vegetables and Dal tasty  so I made them normal...” she said.

Okay... I said to the maid, “From now on please make all the food dishes normal. Please don’t make anything ‘tasty...


A few days ago I ordered Biryani at a local restaurant in Wakad near Pune.

Now  to the best of my knowledge and experience  Biryani is supposed to be mildly spiced.

But the Biryani served to me was so highly spiced  so terribly red-hot  and so copiously greasy – that  it was impossible for me to eat.

So  I called the Manager  and told him not to make the Biryani so spicy and greasy  and that he should tell the cook to put less oil and chilly powder in the Biryani.

Do you know what the Restaurant Manager he said...?

He said: “Sir  how can food be tasty unless you put oil and chillies...? And  most of our customers like “tasty” food...”

I instantly remembered the words of my erstwhile maid.

Well  they were the culinary “experts” – and maybe I am out of sync.

Now  I know the meaning and definition of the terms “taste” and “tasty”:

“Taste” means rich (oily) and spicy  and making food “tasty” means adding plenty of oil and lots of chilli powder.

HAPPY EATING (and Happy Cooking)

May you always enjoy “Tasty” Food

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