Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chomp chomp with chopsticks

Shilpa, Suhas and I were tired of all the daily routine and we decided we deserved a good break. Shilpa said we can meet at her place and that she has a little surprise for us. I reach her place and was greeted by cute Teddy (her black pom doggie). Suhas came in later and Teddy greeted her with more love. Suhas was trying to look composed but we could all hear her heart beat loudly.
So there we were in Shilpa’s kitchen taking in the sumptuous aroma trying to look like we were helping her. Of course we were gossiping about everything under the sun while Shilpa was hurriedly chopping and stirring in her cooking paradise.
Ok time for some back ground. I have been to a few “authentic” Chinese restaurants but always avoided eating with chopsticks.
Shilpa’s logic – eat with chopsticks to eat slowly and your tummy will realize you are full before your plate is empty. So she googled and learnt to eat with chopsticks. So today, she insisted that it was now our turn to learn it and coaxed us to be sporty. Suhas and I were nervously looking at each other. Shilpa assured us that it was just the three of us and so it was ok to make a mess.
1:30 PM
The table was set. It looked very colorful. One large plate with triangular brown sandwiches topped with tomatoes and capsicum that was toasted together to give a pizza look. Potatoes drizzled with vinegar and masala, fried with chopped garlic till they were a beautiful orange. One small tray filled with shreds of cucumber salad and another salad made of curd and onions. Fried rice smelling of heavenly basmati served in a gorgeous black Turkish clay bowl. All I could remember was Shilpa saying earlier in the day that there were very few vegetables like capsicum, potatoes and tomatoes. With the limited supplies she could fill the table with so many delicious dishes. Is’nt she a genius? Meet her and you will love her.
We were hungry and ready to attack the food. Each of us had a plate, a bowl and a pair of chopsticks in front of us. For a change I was patient with food and let Suhas pick the first piece of sandwich. Suhas nervously prods the sandwich and it kept moving away as though it had a mind no legs of its own. So Shilp showed us the index finger action. “See ..this way.. hold the sticks closer”. The sticks in her hand were moving so gracefully and so we imitated her. Suhas managed to pick the sandwich.
It was my turn to pick the sandwich. Oops it slips back into the plate. My chopstick goes click click but the naughty sandwich always escapes. Slowly I could grip it and quickly dumped it on to my plate before I could drop it on the table. I had to pick it again and grip it hard so that I could bite a piece of it. Slowly the sticks reach my mouth with the sandwich safely between them – Voila - My first bite of a sandwich in a chopstick!! Yuhoo.
Shilp served us rice in the bowl. I was trying hard to pick a few grains of rice, balance it on the sticks until it reached my lips and stuff it in my mouth. At first it was just one grain and slowly the number increased.
This continued for sometime and our fingers began paining. But that did not stop us from eating. I usually avoid eating capsicum and stay away from green chilllies. I, however, hog on all other varieties of spicy food. So I had the additional task of separating the capsicum and chillies from the rice, pick them out of the bowl and place them on the plate. We stopped noticing each other and of course stopped talking too and concentrated only on food. Tasty food. Hmm. Delicious food.
3:30 PM
We completed all the food and my plate was filled with pieces of capsicum and chillies. Mission accomplished. Shilpa was right as always. We were full but we did not overeat.
We thoroughly enjoyed the hunting and the picking. So long chopsticks, until next time. Of course thanks Shilp.


  1. :) That was exceedingly sweet of Shilpa.

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  3. I didnt knw it was so much fun .. Until I read this.. Thanx Kalp ... :)

  4. sounds like a feast made of few things! hats off to ur friend for being such an amazing cook. just reading about the dishes made my mouth water!

  5. A very loong one but an interesting one... very nice post kalpana, u actually take the readers along...I can imagine myself in your place, reading this post, struggling to eat with chopsticks :) :)

  6. thanks Suneetha :) thts a very nice compliment

  7. After reading this I am sure I am gonna try this too!

  8. Great post, really made my mouth water and makes chopsticks sound so easy; and of course portrays your friend as an amazing cook.

  9. Next time try sushi instead of sandwich..shud be fun