I take one step and stop to look around. To my right (down), is sitting, a paanwala engrossed with filling and wrapping the paan (betel leaf) as per his customer’s order. I look up across the street, there is this famous Indian sweets and savouries shop, Haldiram’s, which is running to a full house. I walk a few more steps. There is this vendor with his small mobile stand, selling moong dal ke gulgule (fritters of an amazing sort) surrounded by customers shouting orders. I take a few steps more and I reach Ghantewala, the much acclaimed sweet shop of Chandni Chowk. Get a few rasmalais from there. White ones. Yes! White! Gol and chapet. That is round and flat ones. I walk down again. Another few steps. Reach Kanwarji‘s. Madhouse this. Mister P loves this shop. He says nothing can beat this place. I keep shut here, as I still haven’t tasted all that Chandni Chowk has to offer. At Kanwarji‘s, I got. Hold Your breath. I got Malpudas, Paneer ki Jalebis, Kachoris with HOT aloo ki subji, Aloo ke lacche (I chose medium spicy ones), and Dal bhuji (maximum spice variety) which might be known to some of you as Dal Moth. I am yet to taste the Malpudas and the Aloo ke Lacche. The rest of everything was good. I am bereft of words more than these.
And then I found the perfect companion for myself in this tiny little bottle of fiery pepper sauce known to you as Tabasco. I carry it in my purse all the time for I never know when I may need it to make the blande taste sizzle.
A ‘mix’ in culinary terms signifies a blend of flavours, a blend of spices, and essentially a whole new taste. A new taste, that is derived from an amalgamation of some pre-existing ones. If we remove ‘mixing’ from our culinary diaries, then perhaps, we will have a very sorry culinary world. Blends would go, paving way for the bland.
Picture your pasta sprinkled with salt (oops that again is mixing pasta with the salt) bearing no olive oil or cheese or herbs or vegetables (whatever your regular mix be). Or perhaps pasta bearing only herbs while the other ingredients remain absent.
So, point put forth.
Now, there is another form of mixing that takes place at À la carte restaurants. Quite different from the kind of mixing mentioned earlier. This one is gross. I, in particular loathe it. The waiters, maybe due to lack of training or sheer frustration, while serving, pour the curries onto your plate in a manner that they get mixed with each other. Thus, you get this horrible mix. No, no, don’t get me wrong. It is still nice, delicious etc. BUT the curries lose their original flavour. The two dishes that you ordered are now one, or for that matter none.
Okay, and since I am cribbing here, I might as well crib some more. Twice in one day, I had to almost beg waiters to come and take my order. Once, at Costa (C.P.), and the other time at The Chinese (again C.P.). Now can’t they just make sure that the waiters are ‘always there’ for the customers? Maybe there can be one waiter stationed (at a good point) just to make sure that no guest at the restaurant aggravates the already bad spondylitic condition by turning round and round and round and…. Huh.