Wednesday, December 15, 2010

for to make you drool

(Grandpa Tom, you will enjoy this one!)

First of all, a very important broadcast: we found cheese for BR! We found cheddar at a nearby grocery store, and then we also found a Western restaurant that is so, so yummy. Paninis, spinach stuffed canneloni smothered in cheese (!), quiche and even lasagna. But this place is known especially for its bakery where we found lemon tarts, black forest cake and chocolate truffle cake. What a treat that was for Sunday lunch. (no wonder India made L. happy that day!)

As you well know from my earlier photos, we are not exactly starving at home, either. Our cook is obviously out to impress us. Vegetarian delights like the spinach pakoras she served us the other day and stuffed parathas tonight. Basically, a paratha is the closest thing to Moroccan m'sim-min/malawi I've ever found anywhere. Growing up, we used to eat them with honey or jam and that's how I've been serving them to the kids. They love. Tonight, the cook stuffed them with fresh peas and then served them alongside potatos and cabbage and a perfectly-spiced mutton curry.

The last couple of mornings, she has shown up with a few delicacies she has picked up from local vendors: there was something that looked like a taco and inside was filling like in a tamale (a kind of meal, but I don't know what exactly) and very sweet, like it was mixed with honey. The kids declared it too sweet! Then today it was lentil puris. I'm a real sucker for savory stuff at breakfast and this was my kind of meal: a fried shell (kind of like a crispy sfinj) with spicy daal filling. And either pineapple or guava juice to go along.

When we are out and about, we might need a snack so we can head to any of the thousands of stands that prepare rolls: these are parathas (again) wrapped around grilled chicken (or egg) and onions and peppers and chiles, with a special sauce. If we want to avoid fried foods, we can opt for one of the many varieties of freshly made momos (a Nepali dumpling). If we are thirsty, there is cinnamon coffee, lemon tea or traditional chai. Or perhaps instead we might be in the mood for a mango lassi?


This getting to be totally ridiculous, right? I know. And I have barely covered a fifth of what's out there on any given street in downtown Kolkata.

Well, the only downside to all of this feasting is that the kids are not at all convinced that we are living off some of the world's best cuisine. They keep crying for macaroni and cheese and other similar grossness. I try to pick up some Western fare when I am at the supermarket, along with the ingredients the cook needs to make us the above-mentioned fabulous meals (although, I have wondered: what must the shop clerks think when I keep showing up with a shopping list of items with names I have no idea how to pronounce--let alone recognize on the shelf--and scribbled phonetically on a slip of paper?). I keep a supply of spaghetti pasta and Ragu around for emergencies.

I am sure it would help if I could get the cook to prepare some dishes that aren't quite so hot. I have tried to explain that to her, but in the last few days I have been losing hope that my message is being understood: at lunch, when the kids refused to eat the special kidney bean dish she had prepared, she was a little shocked because she "had only used one chile!"


GrandpaTom said...

OK. You're right. I DID enjoy this post. And my spicy parathas for breakfast a few weeks ago, too. My only problem with what you've written is that I'm sitting here getting hungry for a savory breakfast...

Anonymous said...

I'm with the kids! the food was Waaaay to spicyhot most of the time. you are the boss. lay the law down and say there will be NO chiles in the kids' food. keep them separate for the adults' food. your cook can do it.

Mary C said...

One of my favorite wedding gifts was an Indian cookbook. It was a whole new world of food for me. This post made me hungry too. :) Our girls aren't always crazy about it either but sometimes they surprise me. I am loving all the new material. Thinking and praying for you a lot these days.