Sunday, August 16, 2009

My cooking and me...

Is there something called too much of blogging? What will they term it as? Over-blogging? Blogochondria? Blogomania? OCBD – Obsessive Compulsive Blogging Disorder? When do you know you have crossed the limits? When you are a very busy senior manager in a company and you find yourself reading blogs in meetings? Or while having lunch? When you come home from a party at 3 am and still feel like gulping down your daily dose of blog reads for desert? When you meet your friend after a long time and over beer you feel like discussing all the stuff you read in blogs? When you quote blogs at the client dinner?

Well, I am sure one-post-a-day and a few blog reads in 2 days will not classify me as a “Blogochondriac”, though I suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above. And I need to make up on the blogging time I lost when I left blogging for almost… errr… a week? :P !!

I am going to have a very busy week. But my blogotherapy shall continue. I had a very interesting “patriotic” night with a gang of desis, complete with desi food (malai chicken, maacher jhaal, shrimp curry, baigan bharta, chana masala, shahi capsicum, tomato chutney and a host of starters and desert) and patriotic songs antakshari, which soon turned to all kinds of songs, patriotic and not-so-patriotic. It was fun. As I said, the patriotic feeling is a bit more outside India than within India. But I think staying in a place where your identity is judged a lot by your national origins puts patriotism in a different perspective.

Today will be spent in preparation of a party at my place tomorrow (Am I sounding like I live my life from party to party? If I am then its SO not true). Only my European friends are invited, and they have want to have “Authentic Indian Cuisine”, whatever that means. The only problem is that most of my European friends cannot have the slightest of spice in food, and the last time I invited one, he went so red while eating, I almost called the emergency services. Hence I have learnt my lessons, and at the cost of not having the cuisine as authentic as I would have liked it to be, the menu shall be a bit “bland”. Which makes me realize that adjectives like “bland” and “spicy” are relative terms. I thought that I ate less spice, till I met my European friends. Incidentally, the British folks from London are very used to Indian food and can eat more spicy food than I do. The same however cannot be said about the Scandinavian friends. Tomorrow I have a mix of them. Which doesn’t make things any easier for me. The planned recipe is:
Starters: Crostini with Shrimp Salad topping, Peanut Masala and Papad.
Main Course: Peas Pulao, Plain Basmati Rice, Paratha(not sure?), Butter Chicken, Chana Masala, Raita, Alu Chokha
Desert: Pineapple custard and Rosogulla.
Drinks: Sheraz Red Wine, Bishops Finger Öl (beer), Vino Frizzante (Champagne).

I am very apprehensive about the success and popularity of the above menu. Also whether it is adequate or whether there should be more variety. Just to add, that I have limitations, unlike India, in Europe we do not have “domestic help”, and hence everything from chopping onions to putting dishes in the Dishwasher and cleaning up has to be done by myself. Your comments and suggestions are most welcome, but don’t say things like “Why don’t you make Biriyani?” or “Why don’t you add Tandoori chicken to the starters?” I would love to, but then I can only do so much in 24 hours.

Wish me luck for my adventurous venture. I need it.

Heres a catchy Swedish song which I cant get out of my mind.. listen to it if you ever wondered whether there was Swedish music beyond ABBA.

The main chorus of the song, translated is thus:
I laugh now... may I cry later?
I want to live in the moment... undo me later
So I live today, today, today
Tomorrow is too far away but we are here today
So I laugh today


  1. Wow, thats an impressive menu! And you're going to make it all! Even more impressive!
    I can't eat very spicy food as well...some of my Canadian friends can eat more spice than I can handle!
    Do tell how it all went!
    And enjoy! :)

  2. That sounds like a great menu, Merlin! In particular the Butter Chicken is very likely to appeal to people not used to many spices. I'm a fan of Indian Food, and I can make some dishes. How authentic they are, I cannot say. I know I'm making them from a cookbook written by a woman from India, but I think she probably tweaked things for American palates.

    Anyway, the only reason I'm bringing that up is that I've ended up making Indian food for people not used to eating it. Don't worry about the variety you offer, because if someone is unused to a range of spices, it tends to cloud their tastes, and (according to my friends who have ended up trying Indian food here, or out) "It all sort of tastes the same." to people experiencing it for the first time.

    Two things I learned? When a recipe said, "Avert face." I needed to follow that suggestion to the letter!

    Also, when doing something with a ton of prep work, and multiple dishes, when your guests invariably ask, "Do you need help with anything?" No matter how tempting it is to say things like, "I've got it all under control." smile, and fill their glass? Take them up on it and you'll feel less like stuffing yourself in the dishwasher to escape. "Great, thanks! Would you take this to the table, please? What can I get you to drink?" is a perfectly acceptable response so that you don't end up in a sobbing host heap :-)

  3. woaaaa.. have fun there.. :) do tell us how did that party go.. :)


  4. I like the term OCBD – Obsessive Compulsive Blogging Disorder. Sunnay main achcha hai :D
    And if I say that err...I suffer from some of the symptoms mentioned above, does that mean I suffer from OCBD? :D :D :D

    Boy, you gonna cook all that alone??
    I am so, so, so impressed :))
    The foodie that I am...I really wish I could invite myself to your place for one such meal :))but the airticket will cost me a bomb :D

    Looking at all those yummy food pics that you posted earlier, I'm sure you'll do a good job :))

    Don't forget to share the pics.
    All the best and have FUNNN!!!!

  5. by the time you would be reading this post, i am sure you were done with your party and it would be a super-success with that grand menu..!!

  6. whoa!!! That's quite a menu you have there. I remember the time when I had gone visiting my brother in Zurich and he'd called some of his local friends over. I was given specific instructions about the food I was supposed to prepare (yeah, you got that right. My brother actually called me there so that I can cook for him).
    For the first time they came over, I had prepared the same menu as you have for the main course. But to my extreme bad luck, most of them suffered from gas problems (all thanks to the chicken and chana being a little much for them).

    The next time they came, I tweaked the menu a bit. In stead of chana I made methi mattar malai. And it was an instant hit. It quite easily complimented the other dishes, because it was a tad on the sweet side.
    If you wish, I could send you the recipe for the let me know.

    Have fun tomorrow

  7. Awwwww...Great Menu.. Good Luck Merlin.:)

    I tell you ,no doubt will surely impress your European friends ..The Menu says it all..!

    Big Cheers:)

  8. oh I suffer from most of the syndromes you have mentioned above when it comes to blogging..

    and about the menu, well too tempting to give it a miss ya..pls send some over :)))

  9. Menu ! alwayz a problem with i don't handle it most.


  10. Blogging fever is when everytime you think how many comments you would have got over everything else

    Once we had Europeans for meals and all they ate was boiled spinach with salt and roasted bread

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  12. I am a little late in inviting myself over for this party.. but rest assured if you are ever in Canada you are doing the cooking.. although I don't mind doing the desserts :)

  13. Oh wow what a menu! I am not at all into cooking but m always up for a good meal! :)

    How did it go btw?!

    *on Blog addiction: M supposed to apparently go thru sm training in office...n m blogging! :) Ah the joys of internet!

  14. hey!!

    I am sorry for the late response...
    menu sounds exotic :)
    i can learn a lot from you...

    happy cooking

  15. thanks for dropping by Merlin. And perhaps, try to think of reading blogs like reading a short story novella by various authors.
    now does it seem obsessive to read too many at ungodly hours? :) i bet not!
    happy blogging/reading!