No stress to impress

Mallika Basu - No stress to impress

Posted 22nd May 2008

My father is in town.

This man is the real deal when it comes to authentic Indian home cooking. And the official anti-Christ of quick Indian cooking.

In his sprawling Kolkata kitchen, one head chef and two assistants run ragged around him chopping, stirring and tidying. A floor-standing tandoor makes hot chicken kebabs. While dad navigates boxes of exotic spices sourced from far flung corners of India.

When he emerges from the kitchen six hours later, with an eight-part meal, I can’t help feeling a bit exhausted at the sight of it.

Now, my Indian dinner party meal planning technique is slightly less intense:

  1. Make one chicken/lamb curry and a dal
  2. Serve it with a cooling yogurt raita, which also cleverly doubles up as the vegetable dish and jazzed up Basmati rice
  3. Buy sweets from an Indian shop and keep vanilla ice-cream handy to accompany it

I’ve never had any complaints. But then dad hasn’t had my guests over for one of his feasts yet.

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