Monday, March 28, 2011


When was the last time you ENJOYED work lunch? Like, really savored the sight and smell and the texture... "you're kidding right?" you ask.
 A, the nice and friendly fellow with a cabin on the first floor became a proud father recently. As is the custom in our workplace, he has organized for a treat in the canteen today. Now celebrations come and celebrations go, but it's only the Arun Ice-cream served at the end of lunch that every once that keeps up it's reputation. Maybe this is the first time that our canteen is serving to toast  to a new-born, I don't know, but they have put together a spread which is slightly (huh? a little more than 'slightly') different from the usual fare. The vegetable stew and sauteed cauliflower-peas curry are warm, crunchy and finely spiced, and go beautifully well with the toasty phulkas and rice. Wait.... What really takes the cake is...... (drumroll) ta da! Chakkarai Pongal!!! Coming from a clan that regards this mother-of-all-ceremonial-desserts with the keenest regard, it would have been a disaster on the tongue if one was taken for a fickle ride. Usually one look at the grains is enough to determine whether the dish would be peck-worthy or not. This one has the look; a thick and drying sheet of dark honey brown and underneath the surface, caving in like lava at the slightest prick, lays the shimmering golden rice pudding. Quite a few sneaky cashew nuts give themselves away, all roasted to a hearty brown. Ice-cream arrives. I pause. Chakkarai Pongal on the one hand. Ice-cream and chocolate sauce on the other. Eyes dangle from one plate to the other. Golden brown. Fluffy white. Warm and gooey. Cold and creamy. Lip-smacking. Mmmmmmmm....
In a small eatery that serves Burmese food, I was once served Kownimo- a dessert made of white sticky rice, drenched in coconut milk and chocolate sauce, with a dollop of ice-cream, all laid on a banana leaf bed. Going with the flow, by now I don't have tell you the obvious about how it tasted. Now the sight of these two plates reminds me of that delectable treat and I'm all set to go an a gastronomic skiing trip. The first spoonful feels like an avalanche, melting with almost a whisper of promise, "this is just the beginning..."
Instead of my gobbling up the lot, this time it is the food that has devoured me... I'm had..... Buuuurrrp!
Welcome baby K. Here's wishing you all goodness and sunshine. Live long and merrily dine!


  1. she LOVES food?!
    She lives for food...
    Archanaa would eat anything, mind you, ANYTHING (my brains inclusive) if offered for 'aesthetic' pleasure.