Wednesday, August 11, 2010

White Noise from the Cynic Kitchen or Aubergine and Tangerine

A few times a year, usually when the MIL is out of town, I seem to be taken over by this Mad (Cooking) Scientist.

Maybe my palate revolts against the Maharashtrian food ( And cabbage. I dont know why,the but there seems to be a cabbage sitting in my fridge every fricking day. I don't like cabbage. The hero doesn't like cabbage. I don't even remember buying so much of it. But somehow, there it is smugly sitting in the fridge gloating at me every morning. Hmm). Or maybe there is a domestic goddess (Perspherone?) who comes out only seasonally. So the last few days, we have been eating very interesting food.

I have realized that my cooking is what can charitably be described as whimsical (Others might call it chaotic). I usually start with the most minuscule but exotic sounding ingredient and then chuck in whatever I happen to find in the fridge to accompany it. The current flavor of the season ( pun unintended) is Cayenne Pepper. How can one not like the sound of that? So have been adding it liberally to whatever gets cooked in the house. And giving the resultant output vaguely West Indianish names. Calypso Paneer, Jamaican Curry, Kingston Prawn...ahem, no, got carried away with the last one. Half the fun of cooking new things is naming them.

I go to this rather interesting shop in the area which has all these fascinating sauces - nam pla, tamari sauce ( I used to think that was a hip version of tamarind) to just gawk at them. (No I don't buy them. This fellow only stocks these huge half-litre vats and they are bloody expensive.) Also I don't have a clue about what to do with them.

That's the conflict which I have with Aubergine as well. Any vegetable as blah as brinjal should not be allowed to have such an interesting alter ego. I see Aubergine recipes, and I get sorely tempted to try it too. But then I go to the greengrocers and what do i see? Brinjal. Its very demoralizing. Hmpf. I think Ill just write a song called Aubergine and Tangerine (Sounds like Ebony and Ivory no?)

And, just for the record, and before young manu asks, there have been no disasters so far.Hmpf.


Tastemaster said...

First time on this blog. Agree with you wholeheartedly. Too much cabbage gets on my nerves, Brinjal doesn't deserve to be called Aubergine and the foreign sauces are too bloody expensive! :)

narendra shenoy said...

Absolutely delightful post! enjoyed very much! I rely on exotic names a lot to mask the lack of edibility. Used to work on the kids in the old days, but they've wised up now :)

Pinku said...

hey Brinjal is cool....try a north indian bharta...or a very simple bengali begun bhaja with dal bhaat. should be steaming hot...its yum..

agree with you on cabbage though....

and why not cook with the MIL around?? maybe you could get her to try some of your exotic stuff and God knows maybe she will convert too?

wxin said...

you are in the same shoes as me! married and always experimenting in the kitchen, to weird effects! LOL! tried apple and ribs soup?

AmitL said...

ROFL-you actually find the cabbage'staring,nee,gloating at you'?reading those names-Calypso Paneer,Jamaican Curry...makes me wonder-maybe you could send in those exotic names to a Hotel/restaurant when they have a 'naming competition'..:)
BTW,cabbage,brinjal,etc-all are pretty healthy foods..:)

Epiphany said...

Minicyn is gonna have a ball taking lunch to school :D

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Tastemaster - Ah, a soulmate. Do you also cook??

Naren - the trick is to do it to entertain self. Just like i give myself fancy designations :D

pinku - dont LIKE brinjal. High gooey coefficient. Mil wants her varanbhat so too much work to cook two sets of meals.

epiphany - i hope so. how you been?

Epiphany said...

:) Been good...trying to re-enter the blogosphere...

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Amit - it gloats too. So damn smug the expression is. Hmpf.
I know they are healthy thats the dreary part. Sighhhhh

Wxin - do you want to be a guest poster on bhajifried? its almost moribund.

Epiphany - why were u OFF blogosphere anyways?

IdeaSmith said...

*Smack*! Love the purple vegetable meself. Call it aubergine, call it eggplant, call it plain ol' brinjal, its wonderful!

Try this - slice finely, dip in besan-chili powder-salt-haldi batter (add a little jaggery if you don't mind a touch of sweet with spice) and deep fry. Tastes yummilious with khichdi. Courtesy our Bong brethren, it's called baigoon bhaja.

I'm layering thin slices (soaked in salt water previously) with tomato-onion-garlic paste, pesto-coated-potato slices and pasta. I tried microwaving this once instead of baking (since no oven around)but it didn't cook. Taking a leaf out of the cake-in-pressure cooker guys, I've tried this in a cooker this time. Fingers crossed it'll turn out well.