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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Critic…

I found this in Ratatouille, and I’m not sure which is lovelier…its content or the fact that it has no business in a film like that.

In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new

Anton Ego

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About 15 minutes away from the ECR tollgate, there lies a Dhaba that entices more than it delivers. Similar to those picturesque seaside restaurants in Goa, the ambience at ECR Dhaba is arguably more satisfying than the food served. Spread over more than 10 acres at least, it’s an abode for Malay ducks, geese, waterfowl, Persian cats and Emus. Sadly, some of them are not a part of the menu.

Truth be told, a bunch of us went there for one reason and one only – to taste Emu meat and to revel in the fact that a sort of, maybe mildly endangered bird has been forced to sacrifice its life for a greater purpose – our palettes.

Upon reaching there, we darted back and forth, trying to catch a glimpse of everything that was on display. The Persian cats were glorious and they seemed more indifferent than their domesticated comrades. So lackadaisically callous they were amidst our presence that I almost didn’t even consider eating them.

As I walked through gigantic birdcage, I got the chills! For a second, I hallucinated a Hitchcock-like figure shaking his head in disapproval, wondering why so many people think life is reluctant to imitate art when all signs seem to point towards the contrary. That was weird.

The 20 minutes we spent staring at the Emus really cleansed our palettes. I guess most of them assumed that we were about to feed them; that would explain why they gingerly marched towards us, bobbing their heads like ping pong balls.

Needless to say, irony was cruel to the Emus and terribly satisfying for us in a “Me Hunter, You Food” way. At least two of us swore upon our grandmothers’ graves that this was going to be quite unlike anything else.

Five minutes after settling down at our table, we were told that Emus were only served during public holidays. At the point, I almost had the urge to assassinate of someone of importance so that the government might declare the following day as a holiday. The other heartless carnivore amongst us had far more drastic plans. Wearing a sort of expression that beguiled the waiter and our resident communist, he muttered out aloud if we could “have the fucking cats instead.”

Over the next hour, we kept nibbling on crabs, shrimps, chicken, mutton and even the occasional vegetable – which were all decently cooked and reasonably presented. I guess nothing that could distract us from the disappointment of not eating those big, goofy bastards.

I’ll tell this much, Mr and Mrs Emu. We are coming after your family on Gandhi Jayanthi.

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Oru Sorru is an authentic Madurai restaurant that sleepily rests below the newly constructed Kodambakkam Bridge. I’m not sure about the authenticity of its origin, but what I do know is that they serve quite a platter of mammal organ meat.

A lot of folks I know cringe in horror when I tell them about my culinary adventures. They don’t seem to have the nerve to appreciate unique flavours. I have always managed to muster an appetite when internal organs are cooked over a red-hot flame and presented on a plate with a few herbs and garnish, of course.

Suffice to say that Orru Soru has carved a niche for itself on my palette with an array of scrumptious dishes ranging from gizzard fry, brain masala to head curry and lamb liver omelettes.

The main attraction is definitely the Orru Sorru biriyani. It is served with tender pieces of mutton, a boiled egg wrapped in mincemeat and of course the customary vegetable curry and raitha.

I’d definitely recommend it, but only if you appreciate the finer and presumabely lesser recognizable parts of the anatomy.

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“I do so like green eggs and ham

Thank you, thank you, Sam I am”

As far as I’m concerned, only three things taste better than ham; chocolate, oysters and crab eggs. Processed ham can be made into spam, but unfortunately this unholy evolution is nothing short of an abomination. Nobody willingly eats spam…well maybe the bastard chick of a vulture and a California Condor or perhaps Bourdain when he’s feeling a bit too gnarly.

Hams are a different beast altogether. They taste a little bland when eaten raw, but with the most uncomplicated of procedures you can turn them into those delicious things that you would crave for after the clock strikes midnight and your abdomen has sent a million cryptic signals about what it could possibly yearn for. They really don’t need any fussing about; throw in a dollop of butter on the frying pan, defreeze the ham slices and throw the buggers into the fire, add a dash of salt and pepper, flip over, rinse and repeat…done.

If you do like to fuss about for a bit, crush a dozen almonds and whip them into a frenzy using cheese paste. Get a couple of slices of bread and well, pass the TV remote.

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I used to ridicule people who watch the Travel & Living channel. I thought it was sort of lame. Having said that, I also used to despise hip hop music. Now I have become a Travel channel junkie. And the fix is never as fine as it is when Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations is on. I have even started downloading heaps of episodes from Youtube. A bit of reading on mothership Google led me to understand three things about this struggling Chef-turned-brilliant writer-turned-controversial TV host. People hate Bourdain, people love Bourdain and lastly, Bourdain hates Rachel Ray, Chicken McNuggets and dancing.

But none of these insider media scoops matter too much. Fact is that No Reservations is really entertaining; carefully treading the line between controversy and a series of PR-related nightmares. He’s funny, cynical, inquisitive, quirky and a junkie for duck liver, strange liquor and cigarettes.

During one of his recent trips to the Far East, he casually remarked, “You are not what you eat, but rather what you don’t”. Henceforth began a soon-to-be devastatingly experiment in nostalgia.

Weirdest stuff that I have consumed…

Chicken Embryo Pouches

Pig Snouts

Snake Meat

Eels

Raw Crab Fat

Green Moss

Coffee-Flavoured Lamb

Fireflies

Iguana Meat

Now what does that not make me?

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