January 29, 2009
I was having a fairly uneventful week. When this gem appeared on the evening news.
Turns out a passenger aboard a Virgin Mumbai to London flight wrote an impassioned complaint to Sir Richard Branson himself about the Indian food he was served.
The excruciatingly hilarious letter went global in no time. Prompting the maverick entrepreneur to personally apologise and invite the disgruntled one to test food at Virgin’s catering house.
Can I come along too?
For years, I have suffered partly-heated yellow gloop parading as curry on flights back to London from India. The desserts taste worryingly like their plastic packaging. Salads are either freezing cold or brown edged. The dry bread roll devoured with lime pickle would easily qualify as the highlight of the mile-high culinary experience.
No wonder families resort to clicking open tupperware tiffin boxes of parathas and dry palyas and sabzis. Give them cutlery and dinnerware while they’re at it, I say!
Revenge is a dish best served cold. Now we have a vocal champion for our cause. Who didn’t stomach the insult sitting down. May this be a lesson to other airlines. In an age of internet connectivity, food awareness and high consumerism, even the smallest gripes could become a stick to beat your brand with.
Digest this with my bitter sweet offering of Gajar Methi, a North Indian winter favourite of sauteed carrots and fresh fenugreek leaves.
Peel and slice the raw carrots into hald centimetre discs. Wash and chop roughly the bunches of fenugreek discarding the hard stalks towards the ends.
In a large frying pan, bring the oil to heat over a high flame. When it’s hot, add in the cumin seeds and as they splutter, chuck in the carrots and the spices. Saute for about five minutes until you can see the carrots softening, then mix in the leaves. Lower the hat to a medium, cover and cook for another five to 10 minutes untilt he leaves wlt and the carrots just fallt apart when probed with a fork.
Add salt to taste and enjoy with a paratha. Preferably in the comfort of your own home.