In Indian folklore, Sage Vasishta was such a respected Mahapurusha that Viswamitra insisted that he would accept the title Brhmarishi confered on him, only if Vasishta cofirmed that he deserved to be called so. We use this analogy to impress that someone has been called Brahmarishi by Vasishta to claim excellence. In the story that follows, I shall claim that I earned the title from the Vasishta of food, in our family, my father.
I was looking for some pickles in the small cupboard in our kitchen when I came across a packet of dried double beans, a kind of lima beans that someone had gifted me a long time ago.
This discovery coincided with the discovery of some accumulated home made yogurt that I make everyday. The accumulation was due to Ranjan not having been eating at home the last few days, due to many engagements in the city.
I decided to invent a new dish and searched for what was available. I found some potatoes and a small piece of elephant foot yam, left over from last week’ shopping.
Finally, my search also yielded a bottle of refrigerated dessicated coconut powder.
So, I experimented with what was available and here is what I hustled up with some help from my memory of my mother’s cooking.
I soaked the beans for over five hours. The potatoes and the yam were peeled and cubed and soaked in water too. I took about four cups of yogurt and whipped it with some water to make a batter like base for gravy. I blended that with two cups of powdered rice with one cup of dessicated coconut and four long pieces of green chillies.
I put on my cook’s apron and started the process of cooking in simple short steps. First the soaked vegetables and beans were put to boil in salted water just enough to cover them. In a separate sauce pan, I heated some cooking oil (Sunflower seed) and popped a table spoon of mustard seeds and bunged in a fistful of curry leaves, I added the blended yogurt gravy base to the pan, and allowed the mixture to come to boil and simmer. In the meanwhile the vegetables and the beans were half cooked and I transferred them also to the pan with the gravy and allowed the whole lot to cook covered on low heat till the vegetables were done.
Lunch was served and I waited with bated breath for the reaction from the Great Epicure Himself. He helped himself to a small helping, tasted it, savoured it, took a larger helping and repeated the exercise and then turned around and asked Asha our daily help, whether she had cooked it. She replied in the negative and confessed that the culprit was the saheb. The GEH harrumphed, turned to me and said, “Very Nice”.
I am still recovering.
Unfortunately, Ranjan was not at home and I could not get some photographs of me cooking nor the dish.