Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sambar - the lost love

The name may have ignited few questions about me writing a recipe in my blog. The time hasn’t come yet but would one day definitely write about those too (My Lab called “The Kitchen”…hope this ignites few passionate lab rats like me, to at least pen down their unique tasting day to day preparations for people to savour!)
Coming back to the subject, “Sambar” at hand.
Since my childhood, I had been fond of this South Indian delicacy with few more. I loved Dosa, Idly, Upama and the one and only Sambar. It was a feast day gulping down those bowls and bowls of Sambar as if there was no tomorrow.
Sambar could be credited to a certain extent for the amazing belly build that I had, which my sister always said as “baby fat”…which still continues.
I was in blind love with Sambar, so much so that my mother used to always say, “We ll get you married to a south Indian girl!” And that used to fill my thoughts with bowls and bigger bowls of sambar coming my way. This was one of my gastro love stories.
Like our films, there came a villain in our fairly long relation. Me being shifted to Bangalore, the silicon city [Don’t know where those gardens from the geography books pictures of green Bangalore went to?]
I stayed for 6 months at a pg near the “Hoody Village”, which served us soda mixed rice, some kind of slimy liquid called “Sambar” (No my love cant be so ugly), hot water with haldi and karhi patta called “Rasam”. And there it all happened! I started hating her. For her ugliness and the way she treated her love – my stomach! In that area where ever you looked it was either a Shanti Sagar or a Cart selling rice and sambar. Even the office caterers use to serve the same ugly looking Sambar. It was Sambar ..sambar everywhere, but not a drop of my previous love for me!
I shifted my base from Hoody to Thayagaraja Nagar. The same smell followed me there too. But, since I had cooking arrangements I cooked meals for myself. Though cherished those magical moments with Sambar.
My nephew too is in love with her…. And my sister still calls me up to let me know that they are going on a dinner/lunch date with my ex!
I shifted again, towards HAL where there is less predominance of my ex. I had by this time been a part time cook feeding my room-mates. And as they used to call it, being lucky guinea pigs for my lab- my kitchen.
But loves doesn’t die, it just needs a rekindle! And God does find his own unique way to bring back the love lost.
Through my friend Chandan, I met Varun in Kolkata, during my latest visit to my hometown. Since he too is in Bangalore, we decided to meet up every possible weekend. Last weekend we went for a movie and I stayed back at his place.
And as if God had written it, everything was falling into place…breakfast with Rawa Idly (Breakfast in a bachelor’s life staying alone is a dream come true), which Varun would better tell you how I looked, like a man just been starving for years. I had plans to leave before lunch, as breakfast does make my stomach cry which it eventually did. But could not say “No” to aunty.. and who doesn’t want a home cooked delicious food filled with lots of love and served with even more! And there it was Rice, sambar, rasam with few others side role actors. I first was skeptical about having to meet my old love. But once the ice was broken, my love was back in full swing.
I beg to state that who ever didn’t have the pleasure of having sambar prepared by Aunty (even after being friendly with Varun) must have good reasons like “Staying in shape”(cause u cant stop eat till you die). Since shape is just a farce for me, when it comes to choosing between good food and shape. I chose the former. Aunty by now must have realized, what goes in to keep my gigantic figure in shape and my belly happy!
Once again my love story sees a new beginning, and dating place would definitely be Varun’s dining room.

Luv 'n' Luk
Arnab Chakraverty