One of Dr.H’s colleagues who works as a pharmacist in the hospital is getting a transfer tomorrow. Tonight this pharmacist guy has pledged his co-workers a dinner party to rassasy their paunches with out-of -the-world cuisines sans hooch. When the sun had set and moonlight shone, our car whizzed past the street leaving baby D and I behind.
The moment our hooptie was out of sight, I suddenly felt a hike in my hunger hormones and craved for a banana leaf full of rich, colorful delicacies (that are strictly not made by me) to savor them all by myself until the husband returns. Baby D, all of a sudden exhibited a convent-trained discipline and began to play on his own. This unasked me-time only aggravated my appetite. I waited for a food fairy to land on our maroon carpet and delight me with the lekker list I asked for. No luck. The fairy herself must be indulging in the pharmacist’s party. Sigh!
With a heavily reluctant mind, I rolled like an oil barrel towards the kitchen enraging at the thought of preparing my own food for the third time in a day. Cooking at home doesn’t usually bother me. Now that the other half had gone for a seemingly scrumptious dinner tonight, my stomach flamed itself in envy (let’s call it desire) which was intense enough to boil basmati rice with its flares . The fire navigated upstairs and nudged my undersized brain to stop making a fuss and get real. 10 minutes of hunger induced self-motivation and BAM! Thayir Sadam (curd/yogurt rice) was birthed.
If it’s just for me, I usually mix rice with half cup of curd and eat even without salt. But tonight is revenge night and I cannot settle for something as bland as that (although I love it). I wanted to prepare my comfort food while at the same time I badly needed its aroma to remain in the walls when the rival drives back home. The royal Thayir Sadam that should tease the taste buds, delight the eyes, fill the stomach and steal the heart until I revisit the kitchen in the morning.
More ingredients sprang out of the kitchen shelf. I sprinkled some salt and added a little amount of fresh milk to the curd rice. As the mustard seeds, urad dal, sun-dried red chillis, fresh green curry leaves, finely chopped ginger (without which foodgasm from thayir sadam cannot be guaranteed) spluttered in sizzling hot sesame oil, I blended the curd,milk and rice together using a wooden ladle. 60 seconds of mixing resulted in the right texture I longed for. Switching the stove off, I added the tempered items to the rice along with a big pinch of hing. The whole mix reminded me of my days in Chennai for a reason.
The first few months of my life in a working women’s hostel constantly made me fall sick because of the noxious food they served. It was only after Boona and I discovered Moondine and their drool-worthy thayir sadam, our bric-a-brac plates transformed into objects of glory. One word to describe their Thayir Sadam – Bliss! It’s been more than 5 years so I am not sure if I should recommend Moondine to my readers, especially after recalling our last order when they gave us raw onions and a sarcastically long green chilli as vegetable salad FOR 100 BUCKS!, after this incident we stopped investing on their food services and switched to Sachin Ka Dhaba.
During the lunch hours in office, my friend and colleague S (screw anonymity. Hello Sowmi!) became my saviour slash food fairy. She is the daughter of the woman (whose name I don’t remember) who prepares the best thayir sadam in the world with a taste that will enslave one’s tastebuds to her daughter’s tiffin box for a lifetime. Upon listening to the office rants of her daughter, she must have felt sorry for the frequently food-poisoned friend (who is none other than me), which further fattened Sowmi’s lunch bag with another tiffin box full of homemade elixir aka thayir sadam to satiate my hunger. Her random act of kindness at the right time saved my further visits to hospital. Meanwhile, Thayir sadam sidled its way up and bagged the first rank in my list of top 5 comfort foods and continues to retain its status (if Chai doesn’t count as food but a beverage).
Tonight’s thayir sadam tasted almost (watchword being severely italicized ‘almost’) like the one Sowmi’s amma makes, but lacked two of her signature ingredients. The ruby colored pomegranate pearls that occasionally burst in between the teeth leaking a little bit sweetness to the sadam and the irreplaceable overdose of motherly love.
Mission Revenge Night: Successful.
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