Sunday, August 20, 2006

Recipe : D Chowmein

Serves 4 people

  • Vermicelli (1 packet) - not the one which has long strands but the one which is broken into small bits
  • Onions
  • Vegetables : Tomato, Beans, Capsicum, Potato, Carrot - diced into cubes as for chowmein
  • Spices : Heeng (Asaphoetida), Ajwain, Haldi (Turmeric), Chilli Powder
  • First heat some oil in a kadhai and fry the Vermicelli till golden brown
  • Separately boil some water. In the boiling water add the fried Vermicelli after it has cooled down a bit. Add salt to taste. (Measure of water is 1 cup of water per cup of vermicelli. This is important as this determines the texture of the Vermicelli. After soaking in the water, it should not become too soggy.)
  • Now fry the onions. Add the spices. After the onions have cooked a bit, add the diced vegetables. Fry till they are cooked, but only so much that they remain crunchy.
  • Finally add the Vermicelli and toss around a bit. D chowmein is ready to serve.

Final suggestions : You may serve with chaat masala sprinkled on top, or with tomato sauce. Whichever way, it tastes yummy!!!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Dream Theatre : 3D

I am going to relate to you a dream that I recently had. At the end of the dream, I was put in a sticky situation. I will request my readers to suggest ways by which I might have got out of that situation.

At the end, I shall also relate the solution that I conceived in the somnolent state I was in when I woke up.

Scene 1
The dream starts an I find myself in a park with some small kids. All of us are playing with a Frisbee. Suddenly one of the kids throws the Frisbee wildly and it whizzes past all of our heads and lands in a drain.

I go over and look into the drain. To my surprise I find the Frisbee resembling an upturned dinner plate. Anyway, as the drain is full of muddy dirty water, I refrain from picking it up.

Scene 2
To my utter surprise, I find out that one of the kids playing with me in the park is actually my son. Presently I am in a room with him. I am getting ready for a party and he is jumping all over me. As I wear my tie, I promise him that I shall fight the goons to bring back his Frisbee. To add to the weight of the promise, I fire a few weighty punches in the air. My son is suitably impressed, and starts to envision me as his superhero. Leaving my son with his illusions (true or false) I leave for the party along with my wife.

Scene 3
Now I am at the party with my wife. She is presently in my arms and we are doing a slow ball-dance. I notice that she is tall, slim, dark and attractive. She is tipsy after a few drinks. However, I am totally in my senses. My mind is occupied by thoughts of the Herculean task before me.

Retrieving a Frisbee from a drain should not be a formidable task. However, the drain and its periphery have undergone a drastic transformation from one dream scene to another. I visualise the area while dancing, and I see visions of a dark and formidable street. On one side of it, there is the canal (the erstwhile drain) in which my son's Frisbee is lying. A series of workshops lie on the other side of the street and its' inhabitants look like goons coming straight out of prison. They wear dirty cargos and rag-like vests, and they seem to have muscles popping out from all over their body. In each of their faces, I see scars, pockmarks and the same lecherous and trouble-mongering expression.

If only our city had been better developed, I think to myself. Then this canal-side road would have become a beautiful promenade lined with elegant skyscrapers, much like the waterfronts of many US cities.

But for now, it is through this haven of ruffians that I have to venture to retrieve my son's Frisbee. And on top of that, I have to take my wife along with me.

Last Scene
Now I find myself driving my car at almost zero speed through that narrow lane. My wife is on the seat beside me and is sleeping as peacefully as a kitten. The car lights are on and the scumbags outside can see her. As my car inches along at snail's pace, a crowd of leering ruffians forms outside. Now I am almost at the end of the road. Soon I must stop my car. And to retrieve my son's Frisbee, I have to go some distance, leaving my sleeping wife in such contemptible and dangerous company.

There is no turning back. What do I do?

Please suggest some solutions…

The solution that I got in the semi-conscious state I found myself in, when I woke up from this bad dream......
As I near the end of the road, I spot a small door leading into a mosque. Having stayed beside a devout Muslim at hostel, I know that a prayer session must be concluding around this time. I stop the car, lock it from outside and rush inside the mosque. As soon as the prayers get over, I drag the Maulvi outside. On seeing him, the ruffians who have by now almost clambered on to my car, shy away like naughty boys caught red-handed. I request the Maulvi to guard my wife and dash off to retrieve the Frisbee. Soon I bring it back (by now, it is no more a Frisbee; it is a dinner plate) and find my wife sleeping in ignorant bliss.

Mission executed....