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Thursday, 10 January 2013

Life Saver King Khan and Bati Chorchori

Last year, Shah Rukh Khan saved my husband’s life.
I am married to a man without any airs.
Unpretentiousness may be a noble quality - but not in the man you marry.
There are times when a gloomy silence surrounds me. The doors of three wardrobes overflowing with clothes are invariably open in front of me at such times and predictably, there is nothing I can find to wear. At such agonizing moments, the man walks in. He is positively glowing in the same shirt he always wears, teamed with a mismatched trouser.
Then, he loudly munches cookies as I angle myself in front of the mirror in a vain attempt to look thin - blissfully indifferent to his own bulging midriff.
And he extols the virtues of his crew cut that doesn’t require him to own a comb as I wrestle with my hair on bad hair days.
In the past, his insensitive behaviour used to incite a murderous rage in me. But Shah Rukh Khan changed it all.
 On a lovely Sunday morning, I was skipping down a steeply inclined alley in Bandra with the man in tow.
It was a strange alley.
In one part of the alley, a crowd of men were excitedly brushing their hair before politely queuing up to get photographed with none less than a violet coloured van.  And near the end of the alley a mini stampede was erupting, unbelievably caused by a crowd of normal looking people vying to get clicked with the nondescript external units of six split A/Cs affixed on a white building.
I was looking at all this in amazement – when IT happened. My heretofore unaffected husband asked to borrow my comb!
I watched open mouthed as he combed his hair, drew in his stomach, carefully tucked in his shirt and smartly walked past the violet van and the huge white building.
 As I followed him, I read the word “Mannat” inscribed in gold on the wall.
 Ah! So this was Shah Rukh Khan’s van and house!
That evening I bought my husband a comb.
Giggling fits have thence replaced my murderous rages. Shah Rukh Khan has saved my husband’s life but now there is a chance of my dying of laughter.
Potato Bati Chorchori
This is my all time favourite. My mom used to make this chorchori to carry with puris whenever we travelled. The minute we were on the train I used to insist that I was hungry and gobble it all up before the train could even pull out of the station.
Bati in Bengali means Katori or bowl. I suppose this dish was a favourite with children through the ages and so desperate moms tired of washing huge kadhais made this dish in a katori for their little ones. It is simple enough to get done in a katori really. The ancient microwave cooking? Looks like it.
1.     Pick up a few potatoes. This is a finger licking dish so I would gladly put in 10 potatoes but calorie counting and sheer laziness when it comes to peeling and chopping potatoes usually ensure that I restrict myself to just three or four.
2.     Anyway whatever the number – peel and chop the chosen potatoes. Now the critical step in this recipe is the chopping. Much as I hate it I still have to chop the potatoes to make about half a centimetre cubes and you will have to do the same.
3.     Then heat about three tablespoons of oil in a kadhai (mustard oil actually gives this dish a wonderful flavour, but if you can’t stand mustard oil, use regular refined oil)
4.     Add two slit green chillies, half a teaspoon of haldi and salt (to taste) to the oil.
5.     Add the chopped potatoes to the oil and mix well.
6.     Fry stirring for about 2 minutes.
7.     Add 2 tablespoons of water to the potatoes.
8.     Cover the kadhai with a lid and lower the flame to a minimum
9.     Cook covered for five minutes and check to see if the potatoes are cooked by breaking   one with a spoon. If the cubes are small enough they should have cooked. If not allow some more time for cooking.
10.                        Done? Of course! What did you think? Have fun!