Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stopping By the Kitchen On A lonely Evening

It was just a routine check...on the facebook i mean. Now i must confess that i am a voyeur who prowls quietly on facebook just listening to conversations and doing lots other than actively participating.
First wishing friends on their birthdays...thanks to the reminder notice by facebook. Then
- smiling at funny comments.
-checking out the video links on almost anything that catches my fancy.
-joining forums mostly related to my hometown, school or university.
- sometimes butting into conversations if i have something to say.
-rarely chatting with friends online that is if they have pinged me (don't precisely know why but never taking the first lead).
-Sometimes trying out the quizzes already tried by others.
-indulging into photos put up by friends and aquaintance of their happy family life, foreign tours...
-Finally breaking a cookie to read my fortune for the day before signing off.
All this when i have sufficient time to spare on facebook alone.
Mostly i see the notifications and check the messages, reply and sign off.
Actually i am quite a boring user and will not deny that my active friends have given up on me but i really don't mind that. So long i am able to share their happening lives i feel entertained for that time spent on facebook.
More than that i really don't care.

So it was a routine check just the other day but something happened during this routine check and that's what this blog is all about. In fact i got inspired enough to do something which i would not do otherwise.
This inspiration shattered another myth that i had been entertaining for quite some time. The myth being that a woman  does not cook for herself.
i always thought that if left on her own the lady of the house would never take pains to cook a delicious meal for herself. She would make do with the least and probably bite into some sandwich or something and wash it down with some beverage. End of the boring kitchen routine cause she'd rather do something else.
Now i really don't know if the picture on facebook was responsible for this revelation or i know my own kind less... whatever but that particular day i cooked a meal for myself and i want to share that meal and that experience.

What made me cook that meal was this picture on facebook  of a local delicacy called Litti. Here is how it looks like.
i was faced with a choice then when i saw this picture of litti.
Either to ignore the rumblings in my stomach and swallow the drool and silently bite into my sandwiches or to pull up my lazy socks and head to the kitchen.
Thankfully i had all the cooking ingredients i needed in my pantry excepting for i major item required to bake such delicious mouthwatering stuffed balls of ghee dipped heaven.
Litti in this form can be achieved by baking the stuffed balls in a brazier that has burning charcoal/ cow-dung cake fire.
Incapacitated by my lack of resources and also by my enthusiasm about being innovative i came back to my lappie...stared at the litti and as if i wanted to compensate for my loss i headed to the kitchen again with a new determination.
"Tonight's the night baby...", i said to myself . "Tonight i am going to cook a good meal for myself which should take care of my craving and everything else...". Yeah it was true that i was also feeling lonesome and quite fed up of my reading and whatever i was doing to cut boredom. i was missing my son, my husband and last but not the least i was missing taking care of myself. In a way i was beginning to wonder if i was turning into a sloth.

So how did the meal look like after i had prepared it only for myself ? i must say that it looked appealing after i had laid it on the table. Which was that it looked like this.
What i cooked for myself  was sattu ka paratha and mutton curry. What was remarkable was that this time i actually found the process to be more therapeutic. The entire process of selecting the particular two dish meal to the chopping, grinding, kneading, cooking and finally laying the table. For all that time i ceased feeling lonesome and was just busy first in the preparation and then later trying to be a wee bit innovative in my curry.
 i have often wondered about this friend of mine who does not flinch about cooking her dinner herself even when she is back from a hard day's work at the office. It was she who had first told me about this therapeutic aspect that many of us consider as mundane chores .
Frankly i has no such experience until now and this was my first that i had attempted which should see only me relishing what i had cooked.
So then coming to the point about shattering the myth, i have to agree that it was shattered only partially. That i did cook for myself is fine but coming to relishing part, i guess i was unable to do justice to all that effort taken on my part. For not only was i satiated with the aromas but the fact that i was eating alone bundled me back to square one.
And then i realised that a table seating your loved ones, enjoying the bites and chattering in between mouth fulls is what makes a meal the most satisfying one. Even when the meal may not be very exotic or a fancy one.
i guess then that it's just not sheer laziness but the presence of your loved ones that prompts the woman to hover round the kitchen even when it gets mundane and very routine.
Probably that's what he meant when he said this.
" There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves." Thomas Wolfe

So far as it being like a therapy...i guess my friend is absolutely right.
For when i was bored with everything else...this got me moving in the right direction.
It changed my gloomy mood and got me thinking how to make the best out of the resources which inches me closer to satisfying my craving for litti.
And was i successful in that? I SURE WAS.
For what is sattu ka paratha but a griddle fried and round version of the baked balls called litti.
And if litti is eaten with chokha my opinion of sattu ka paratha is that it goes best with an aromatic and spicy mutton curry.
More of my recipe for sattu ka paratha in my next blog. Surely about litti chokha too...


  1. Hey, I have to tell you that this picture of Sattu paratha and mutton curry looks too damn tempting and I have to go home and make it tonight for dinner. Kya masaledaar mutton banaye ho and the paratha looks perfect and the layout is the best. Litti always brings back old memories, nothing like it being cooked in the 'goithas'. Whener I visit my parents we have one night's dinner dedicated to litti-chokha-meat. Ah, my mouth is watering already.

  2. @Preeti agree to what you just shared...litti chokha meat nothing better in a family get-together especially on winter nights.
    That whole paraphernalia of sitting around the brazier and baking the litties...then the aaloo, baingan tamatar...meanwhile the aromas of mutton curry filling the air...dusting the litti in gamchas then lightly cracking the littis and dropping them into a bowl full of ghee...the entire works...
    You are fortunate to have a family where all this is still enjoyed.Liiti chokha meat...the works and the togetherness.
    i have my memories and when the inclination is just too strong maybe i will make an attempt to re-live those memories. But i need my family and frnds around me.
    Till then i can reminisce and feel good about it.
    Thank you for reading and sharing.:)

  3. u r right all yr blues go away once u cook something that turns out awesome.i believe in this therepy coz i experienced it too.lets meet in winter to devour this cuisine along with master chef's ukmaa.

  4. simply yummy..litti chokha..

  5. Shivani, that’s one tempting mouth watering post. Though I have never eaten or heard about Sattu parathas and litti, your post has generated enough interest in me to convince my wife Shaila to try it out here in Bahrain. Some ingredients may be an issue but once she puts her mind into it, I am sure she will do complete justice. Especially, after the detailed recipe you have posted in the post following this one. I like the variety of matter you put in your posts. That’s what makes many to revisit your blog. Keep it up Shivani. Good going indeed.

  6. it is nice to read such article

  7. @Tandarin thank you for obliging me this time and always.
    Yeah maybe for Shaila attempting to cook either could be slightly bugging because of the ingredients but you never know.
    Thanks again for appreciating about what all i have to say. i feel i am doing my bit in letting people know...thrown it into the universe before somethings get lost.:)

  8. @Anonymous thank you for reading through and finding it 'nice'.:)