Paneer Paranthas & A Decade-long friendship


The sky is fast filling-up with dark rain-bearing clouds. I can hear the koyal’s call as I walk to my friend’s apartment.

It is nearly noon, when I enter her house. Over the next twenty minutes, the ‘gang’ shows up, each of us having rushed through chores and assignments to be here with everyone else.

It is not often that you get to spend quality time with your closest friends; friends you’ve known and grown with for more than a decade.

What’s a meeting of dear friends without yummy food. There’s only one dish on the menu today – paneer paranthas.

The host, who is a cook par excellence, starts rolling and stuffing the first parantha. She tosses it with practiced ease on the tawa, as we watch her in admiration.

Paranthas are to be eaten hot, so we settle down on the kitchen floor for a round of gossip. We take turns to eat. The smell of ghee wafts all around us, as the paranthas are being made. Hot, golden, soft paranthas – perfect in every way. We add pickle and fresh yoghurt to our plates.

We talk about everything and nothing. We laugh at the silliest of jokes and relive old incidents, and talk about cooking fiascos, children-related stories, and of course, our dear husbands.

We realise how time has flown. Nearly a decade has rushed past. Where once we talked about birthday parties and play dates, food and party cakes, now we talk about universities, marriage and retirement. We talk about travel, about meeting up every year.

We realise how blessed we are to have this group of friends to lean on, laugh with and share these yummy paranthas with!

Imaginative nose


I have a sharp sense of smell. I can smell, from afar, if all the masalas in my curries have blended well for that perfect aroma. Enough said.

A few months ago, when I got back home in the evening, I could smell something milky at the doorstep. I sniffed appreciatively. Looked like one of my neighbours was making something with a milk base.

image

             Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

The next morning, when I walked out the door, the same smell wafted in the air. I sniffed, this smelled different. Maybe a little like yoghurt. Maybe the neighbour was trying to condense the milk or make cottage cheese.

Day 3, the smell was stronger and not so nice. Had the neighbour put ‘the milky condensed yoghurt, cottage cheese ‘ dish out to dry or something?

Day 3 evening, the smell was unbearable, unbearable to the point that I wanted to puke.

What could I do? I walked towards the store room cupboard, to take out a new cereal box. This store room is right next to our main door.

I opened the store room and ughhhhhh! The stench was from my store room.

The smell of curdled milk hit me with such force.

I quickly ran to get a towel to cover my nose, and then started the process of discovery.

One of the tetrapaks of milk had puffed up and burst, the said ‘milk-yoghurt-cottage cheese’ had flown down the cupboard like a river.

Believe me, it took some cleaning. For days afterwards, I could feel the smell in every pore of my body. It was as if the whole thing had permeated my skin.

Hmmmm….so much for the milk-based dish !

Imaginative nose


I have a sharp sense of smell. I can smell, from afar, if all the masalas in my curries have blended well for that perfect aroma. Enough said.

A few months ago, when I got back home in the evening, I could smell something milky at the doorstep. I sniffed appreciatively. Looked like one of my neighbours was making something with a milk base.

image

             Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

The next morning, when I walked out the door, the same smell wafted in the air. I sniffed, this smelled different. Maybe a little like yoghurt. Maybe the neighbour was trying to condense the milk or make cottage cheese.

Day 3, the smell was stronger and not so nice. Had the neighbour put ‘the milky condensed yoghurt, cottage cheese ‘ dish out to dry or something?

Day 3 evening, the smell was unbearable, unbearable to the point that I wanted to puke.

What could I do? I walked towards the store room cupboard, to take out a new cereal box. This store room is right next to our main door.

I opened the store room and ughhhhhh! The stench was from my store room.

The smell of curdled milk hit me with such force.

I quickly ran to get a towel to cover my nose, and then started the process of discovery.

One of the tetrapaks of milk had puffed up and burst, the said ‘milk-yoghurt-cottage cheese’ had flown down the cupboard like a river.

Believe me, it took some cleaning. For days afterwards, I could feel the smell in every pore of my body. It was as if the whole thing had permeated my skin.

Hmmmm….so much for the milk-based dish !