Foodie Weekend

January 8, 2007

It started on Saturday with an omelette for breakfast (Amit’s culinary contribution for the weekend) followed by a mundane lunch of dal-rice, enlivened with fresh peas made with lots of oil and lots of onion. From then on, things just got better. An evening of extensive snacks (while watching Bridget Jones’s Diary) was followed by a dinner of meat loaf and topped off with bread pudding for dessert.

I awoke on Sunday feeling surprisingly virtuous, because the meat loaf was made without any added fat (and one can easily ignore the inherent fat in mutton, right?) and the bread pudding, which had a mere 100 gm of butter (my cakes usually have almost double that) had only been partly-demolished, so I figured we were doing well on the calorie counter.

I hadn’t planned on any extensive culinary effort for Sunday, but a power cut put an abrupt end to computer work (my laptop’s average battery life being a spectacular 23.56 minutes from full charge to full shutdown) and banished all ideas of catching up on household chores such as laundry and ironing. So, perforce, I found myself in the kitchen, staring at four leg-and-thigh chicken pieces and wondering what to do with them. Without making any conscious plan, I found myself putting together the ingredients for a dry chicken masala sort of preparation. Then, I soaked a cup of basmati rice, and somehow, an hour later, something emerged that sort of resembled the biryani that we often order from Lazeez. I would have thought that both Lazeez and my cook make a more delicious biryani, but Amit said mine was better, and who am I to argue with that?!

Biryani naturally demanded raita, and my raita even I consider to be a killer app that easily makes a feast out of even the most mediocre biryani.

The bread pudding had finished at breakfast time, so naturally I had to conjure up a dessert. Steadfastly ignoring my lactose intolerance, I boiled some milk, added cocoa, sugar and corn flour, poured the concoction into separate moulds and left it to cool, and in short order I had a delicious, thick, creamy chocolate blancmange which I could just as easily have passed off as a chocolate mousse.

By 5 p.m., we had been through two rounds of biryani and two rounds of blancmange. I had also been through two rounds of lactose enzyme, despite which my digestive system was outraged at the sudden onslaught of milk products.

What to do for dinner? You’d have thought that after two lunches, there wouldn’t be much scope for dinner, but then, you’d have been underestimating us. Dinner consisted of soup and toast – but what a soup. Did you know that, if you boil up two whole chickens (minus the legs and thighs that went into the biryani) with chopped potato and onion, then pulverize the potato and onion and add it, minus the chicken, but along with the stock, to a packet of Vegetable Sweet Corn soup, you get a quite remarkable chicken sweet corn soup? The potato adds a wonderful flavor and thickens the soup beautifully. Topped off with the last of the chocolate blancmange, it made quite an excellent dinner for a lazy Sunday.

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