Before you even think of having a sumptuous dinner of rice, curd & pickle dinner…you have to make sure that your wife isn`t in town. If she is around, and you tell her that you want a rice, curd & pickle dinner…she is bound to scold you and say, “Don`t you want me to cook?” which in lady-term means “Don`t you like my cooking?”
Since there is no right answer to the above question, you are bound to get cornered.
I packed off my wife to Kerala for a month. Don`t ask me how I managed it…it involved months of scheming, & planning. During the one month I was scheming, I gained her confidence by ensuring none of the below mentioned happened:
– I didn`t come home smelling of a lady`s perfume
– I didn`t come home with long strands of hair on my white shirt (I avoided the same on my car seats as well)
– I didn`t take bath immediately after coming home
– I didn`t come back from office & say: “Gosh! It was tiring!”
With your wife out of the way, the coast is generally clear. If you bring in your girl friend after your wife leaves…the scene gets a bit murkier…because, being your girl friend, she won`t cook and you guys will end up ordering Pizzas (Trips to the restaurants are ruled out because in such circumstances you try and avoid the neighbors eyes!).
If like me, you also don`t have a girlfriend who lives in your city…the stage is pretty much set. Now, all you need is some rice, some curd and some pickle.
If you are a man, let me tell you that rice being a staple diet, it is available in most general stores. Perhaps, your wife has already left some rice at home…so you might want to ransack the kitchen before trying out the general store.
Once the rice has been bought (or found), start looking for a Rice Cooker. It is an interesting apparatus. In a way, it is like the road side Romeo that we men have been in some time of our lives – it is round, fat and has a long handle. Just that, it whistles at the ladies & gets away while we couldn`t. Get away, that is.
To cut the long story short, look inside your kitchen for a round, fat apparatus with a long handle. It also has a lid and a whistle.
Now, that the rice cooker has been found lets wash the rice. Remember seeing brown rice on your plate and puking on the hostel`s dining table? That`s because Sonu, the caterer, didn`t believe in washing the rice before cooking it. If you wash it properly, rice will be tasty to eat…and white in color (something most South Indians like me what to be!). While it seems like a great idea to wash rice with soap or detergent, it actually isn`t. Like most South Indians, don`t try the Fair & Lovely cream either.
Once, the rice is washed in plain water, place it inside the cooker and add three times the water. That`s if you have taken 1 cup of rice, add three cups of water. The measurement can be tricky…so use a charcoal to mark on the kitchen wall the number of cups of water you have already poured into the rice cooker.
With the rice & water inside the rice cooker, you can now close it and place it on the gas stove. Remember, to light the gas stove. Lighting of the gas stove works exactly the way we light light our cigarettes. Find a box of matches from the trouser you were wearing during the day, strike a match and place the lit match on the burner. Remember, to turn the stove`s knob.
After 2 minutes, the rice cooker will whistle. Remember, this cooker is used to ladies rushing towards it the moment it whistles…so you should do the same…else it will spoil your rice. Rush to it, and turn your gas stove`s knob to the left to let it simmer. After two more whistle, remove the rice cooker from the stove. Remember to switch off the gas stove (you can light a cigarette before you do so – in celebration of having successfully cooked rice).
Men Alert: When the rice cooker whistles take it easy… don`t stick your tongue out at it…I did…and my tongue stuck to the hot metal.
Now, you need to find curd. Technically, curd is milk that`s been intentionally spoilt. Just that we love the way it gets spoilt. It is great if you have a cow in your house…but if you don`t, any general store can help you with a pack of Nestle Curd or Amul curd. If you live in a small town, that doesn`t believe in branded curd…you will surely get curd packed by the shop keeper in 100 grams packs.
Some women apply curd on their face & hair…so don`t worry about the looks the shop keeper gives you.
Now, try and spot pickle in your house. Pickles are generally fruits or vegetables (sometimes even fish & meat!) that get fermented/marinated in water/oil/Vinegar with salt and thus end up with a very distinct taste – one reason why they goes well with the bland curd & rice. Pickles are generally bottled and you will find yours hidden behind other bottles which are used more often. Trust your wife to hide them from you.
Dear men, at this juncture it is important to tell you that a bottle with ‘Kissan` written on it is a Jam or Marmalade. It is the sweet thing that your wife or mother spreads on your toast every day in the morning.
Now that you have all the three items for your one-course meal…put all your rice on a plate. Pour the whole pack of curd on the rice. Place a spoon full of pickle on one side of the plate.
The trickiest part last – how do you mix the curd & rice? Here is my advice: Wash your hands & roll up your sleeves…like a true South Indian. Pour half a cup of water and sprinkle a pinch of salt onto the rice & curd and start mixing with your fingers. It feels messy initially…but slowly you will start loving the texture, and believe me it acts like an appetizer. Once mixed into a paste…put up a ‘Do Not Disturb` board on the door (if your girl friend is in the house, you probably already have this board outside), sit in front of your Television & start eating. Trust me, you will relish it.
Warning: If your house has Close Circuit TV and every action of yours is recorded, I suggest you switch them off till you finish your dinner. You don`t want somebody to blackmail you into sex & money because they laid their hands on a video of yours that shows you eating curd rice with your hands.
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