Sep 10, 2010

Of Chalks and Chopsticks roundup

Here they are, a dozen plus one pieces of food fiction that will make you laugh, cry, wonder and enthrall. Above all, these stories will make you salivate and hunger for the rich fare they serve on the side.

1. Chow chow! Really? I can’t believe you used it in a salad, and I can’t believe it doesn’t taste crappy; The sweet potatoes don’t really do it for me, though, maybe you didn’t roast them well enough; That’s grated egg? I thought it was coconut!; I love shrimp, but I dislike the smell of fish; You’d have made a great chef, Amar, maybe you should write a cookbook one day! She ate the last of the chocolate cake and the bread pudding, lapping up every crumb, licking the spoon clean as he looked on fondly.

2. Fresh sliced bread was obtained from the town's only bakery. Amul butter was set out to soften. Cheese cubes were grated into a snowy white mound. Finally, the stage was set and four warm ripe tomatoes were harvested with great care, sliced and tucked into sandwiches. An old blackened sandwich toaster was pulled out to make golden toasts, oozing with melted cheese and fragrant tomatoes. The two best friends sat down to a lunch that had been months in the making.

3. She remembered the potful of idli batter chilling in the fridge. While the idli batter had to be undoubtedly exhausted, the reality was that children would stage a mass exodus from the house whenever they saw those white balls of steamed batter. They despised the mere look of greased idli plates as they knew what lay ahead. They would frown, make a fuss and succeed in inveigling bowlfuls of maggi noodles from Rajni.

4. 'Come children, let's go and have some coconut kheer, amma's [Mother] favorite'. All those gathered hurried to the dining room to savor amma's favorite kheer that Leela aunty had prepared.

5. The sweet rasgullas excited temptation that Temptation, herself, couldn't resist. Vividh gulped another gulla and went to the next Raag on her list. She sang Malhaar, and it rained a monsoon. She ate one more and sang Raag Des. The whole country, nay, the whole WORLD, was united in a patriotic blaze. Another rasgulla, another song.. now Raag Multani was in tune, and every woman's pimpled acne cleared up before you could say, "So soon!?"

6. His mother made puran polis like no one else could, with whisper-soft, flaky layers of poli sandwiching a core of buttery, melting-sweet puran. His mother’s puran polis were the talk of the town, and neighbors often asked her to make them some when they had special guests coming that they wanted to impress.

7. She went to kitchen and started marinating the keema.  She was not at all in a mood to deep fry the masala paste and then deep fry it with keema for that would have taken at least an hour. And she just wanted to get out of the kitchen as soon as it was possible.

8. She thought of all the sadyas that she had enjoyed and smiling, moved to pick up a little plastic packet that she'd bought on her last shopping trip. The smile became wider as she added milk and sugar to it and put it into the pressure cooker. By the time she was done with the rest of her cooking, the whole house was filled with a heady, sweet aroma.

9. She would preen secretly and patiently answer. Her voice glided from dull to sensuous while explaining the onion's color and shape. With a sparkle in her eye, she could go into details about how exactly the oil separating from the masala look and what it meant to beat an egg white to stiffness.

10. On the left side he wrote butter, cheese, eggs, steak, fries, doughnuts, sugar, pie. On the right, he wrote coffee, cream, cake. His pen hung over the “e” in cake as if pondering the magnitude of the work.

11. People of all shapes and sizes and ages in groups or alone wondering what to eat – dosas, egg bhurji, vada pavs, chaat or Chinese food – they were spoilt for choice. The hissing of the stoves and clanging of spoons on the huge woks. The air redolent with the smell of food and more food.

12.  After few days of tasting her uncooked food, more salty food, very spicy food, stone like idly, more oiled chapattis, burnt halwa.... he was very upset.

13. She had been thinking about the pav bhaji her cousin’s cook was going to make for dinner; tomatoes and potatoes, sweet peas and mushy green bell peppers, a hint of cauliflower, simmering with spices, sparkles of finely chopped onions and garnished with finely chopped fragrant cilantro and a slice of lemon.

I am pretty sure I covered everyone who sent an entry. But I am human after all, and if I did miss out anyone, do drop me a line and you will be added pronto.


  1. Wow,
    Great stories to read! My full week is for these stories.

  2. I see a few stories that I missed - so much to look forward to! Thanks for the round-up, Jaya!

  3. I was so waiting for this roundup.Am off to reads them :)

  4. Thanks for the posting and hosting, Jaya! Was looking fw to this one! :) Cheers!

  5. Wow! I have never had so many comments turn around so fast after I posted. Thank you ladies. Would not have been possible without your entrees. :)

  6. Lovely entries and thanks for hosting it dear Jaya.
    hugs and smiles

  7. Nice round-up, jaya....i am off to read the entries that I've missed.

  8. Thank you for the wonderful round-up. I am really looking forward to this weekend reading!

  9. Thank you very much for hosting. Now am off to read the ones I missed.

  10. great I know i dont need to go to the library this weekend...I hope I will find the time to participate sometime!

  11. great stories. I just got through them. thanks for the round up.


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