There are happy days and there are sad days. There are good hair days and there are bad hair days. There are productive days and there are procrastinating days. There are “the notebook” love days and there are “what was I thinking” post marriage preposterous days. There are days when you hit the gym and do two hours of strenuous workout and then, there are couch only days. There are days when your “kids are the best thing that happened to you” and there are days when you end up pulling your hair off.
There are days when you can’t find the right outfit to go with your scarf and there are days when you come across a sack of hay and you can pull it off like a pro. But the most important days of my life are the really good food days and the really bad food days.
If I think about it, everything apart from food that I’ve mentioned above, is related to food. When I am happy with my food, I am happy with everything else. I feel I have the best of everything. Even “the notebook” love. Seriously! I feel, it’s all related. So, after 9 years of being married, after any argument, all my husband needs to do is to find a place to eat.
“Why sweat it?” you’d think. Hold that thought.
A pragmatic view from a close friend would show you how unconventional we are as a couple. Because my husband is a “12 years a slave” person and I am a fan of “the help”. He is in love with prison documentaries and I don’t mind give up my sleep to binge watch “orange is the new black” and “Wentworth”, repeatedly. He watches Malgudi days and Byomkesh Bakshi and I live on Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai.
He judges a song by “could I dance to it?” and I have to show myself out of the lyrics cage. So, it always ends up in a nightmare. He fancies butter chicken and I fancy tacos. He fancies Pad Thai and I, on the other hand, fancy a pizza. He fancies shish kebab and I fancy chili and garlic prawns. He wants tomato bruschetta and I want Dosa. It’s complicated.
Good food is my sweet spot. Like they say that when a doctor is inserting a needle down your veins and you have your teeth clenched, and you need to close your eyes and go to your happy place. I have always, since the day I was born have thought of a chocolate brownie. I think I fell in love with chocolate when I was still a fetus. An eternal and timeless tale of true love.
So now that I have expressed my love for all the food, I am going to get to the insanely tough part, which is, picking my 5 favorite babies out of all foods.
When I think of comfort food, I think of these. And just to rule out the possibility of almost certainly chocolate being omnipresent, I will exclude desserts. Here we go!
5. THAI GREEN CURRY AND RICE
It was my 2nd time in a Thai restaurant, and after trying stir fried chili and basil chicken on my husband’s recommendation during my previous visit and giving it a thumbs up, I wanted to try something else. And so, I picked green curry just randomly. It was love at first sight for me.
How could something taste so perfect? The coconut base, galangal, kaffir lime, chili, Thai basil, even the veggies, I could actually taste everything. It was cooked to perfection. And the perfection never faded at any of the future joyous visits.
4. HYDERABADI BIRYANI
I think that the aroma of a perfect Hyderabadi biryani is the reason I was born with my sense of smell. The cardamom, the mace, the cinnamon, the mint, the lemon, the saffron, the basmati rice, and many other unidentified divine goodies. My heart just skipped a beat.
I think the best MAKEOVER rice could possibly have, is a Hyderabadi biryani. Risotto, Chinese fried rice, Paella; sorry not sorry.
I think every grain of basmati rice ASPIRES to be a part of Hyderabadi biryani one day.
I think that Hyderabad has given us legends like Satya Nadella, Sania Mirza, Tabu, P V Sindhu, Rana Dagubatti and many more, but Hyderabad has indeed blessed us with HYDERABADI BIRYANI.
Who doesn’t like pizza? It has a range of qualities. Pizza is so basic that it is the easiest food to get delivered to your doorstep.
It also has another avatar being gourmet worthy with a scrumptious dollop of that provolone, cheddar, parmesean or fresh buffalo mozzarella and a dash of fresh basil on that thin and heavenly saucy crust with a small drizzle of olive oil, oregano and tabasco sauce. I think I'm gonna cry if I go through the toppings. “My mouth waters right now” is an understatement. I am literally having a moment right now.
Remember the situation between my husband and I, at every occasion, tacos win all the way. When he is ready to “find something that he likes from the menu” at a Mexican place, it is the end of that discussion right there. Who had the last laugh this time? Huh?
The crunch of the crispy tacos felt on my incisors is just divine. That crunch mixed with a mouthful of crunchy lettuce, fresh plum tomato, Mexican black beans, perfectly roasted chicken, drool worthy guacamole and of course the spicy salsa, sour cream and Jalapeño. Heaven!
1. KADHI CHAWAL
Since I was a kid, whenever I was asked by my mum what I wanted to eat, the answer was kadhi chawal every single time.
I love kadhi chawal from the days of “jungle jungle baat chali hai”, duck tales and tales spin.
And even today, after 5 years of hostel life and 9 years of marriage, I expect nothing from her when I visit but kadhi chawal. Once she cooks it, and I eat it and the leftover is lying in the fridge, I will eat it for every meal that follows until it is finished. And if my sister or brother embezzle it, it is war thereafter.
My food and I complete each other. We are soulmates. Forever and ever. We are perfect for each other more than Raj and Simran, more than Sahil and Monisha, more than Chandler and Monica, more than Jack and Rose, more than Piper and Alex, more than Daya and darwaza, more than Walter and Jesse, more than Jai and Veeru.