Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Hen In My Backyard..

So there’s this saying, that home cooked chicken (Ghar ki murgi) tastes no better than ordinary lentils (daal barabar)! Wonder if Daniel Weber would agree. Or Amey Gosavi..

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had just received a mail, extolling my blog posts, and generally going ga-ga over what a `wow’ writer I was! Admittedly, the adjectives used to describe my turn of phrase were way over the top, and much more than the blog deserved.

It’s not to say I wasn’t pleased as punch. Of course I was blown away, and asked the wife and kids why they didn’t offer similar praise. Their reactions varied from a derisive snort (no guessing who) to a coquettish `Aww’ (Sowmya) to his signature shrug of the shoulders (Sid). Puja said she’d read the mail and revert.

Translated into plain English, that only meant that while the posts were no doubt good, they were, for them, in the end, no more than home cooked chicken – ghar ki murgi!

Can’t blame the poor sods. Remember Mrs Graham Bell? Her reaction to Alexander announcing that he had just invented telephony was an exasperated “Put away those toys dear, and come to bed!”

You think Edison was feted as the `Wizard of Menlo Park’ at home? Perish the thought! He was curtly told to switch off the incandescent lamp that he had just invented, and `come to bed!’

Mrs Einstein, on seeing the magic formula E=mc2, merely wondered how any man could earn a living through the haphazard scrambling of just three letters of the alphabet! ‘Whatever, dear, just come to bed!”

Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, arguably the greatest vocalist of his generation, had just composed a new raga, and offered to hum it for his son. “Dude, maybe some other time?” said Joshi Junior, not taking his eyes off his iPad.

So I was actually in exalted company.

Of course, like all wise sayings, this one also originates from the kitchen, and the culinary skills of the `hen’ in question.

Is there a man with soul so dead
Who, to his wife has never said
When Mrs X cooks, only then I be fed…

So here I was, at this friend’s place, slobbering over the prime ribs Mrs X (name changed to protect her well being) had conjured up. Along with the creamiest mashed potatoes, a few stray greens, and a barbeque sauce that was to die for!

The `Oohs’ and the `Aahs’, the wows and the whistles as I licked my fingers, swooning in delight, were sounds one normally associates with low grade porn movies! I kid you not, I was in epigastric heaven!

My wife kicked me under the table. I ignored her. Mr X (name changed to protect my well being) glared at me across the table. I ignored him. It was me, and the ribs, one on one. We had established a connect, and would brook no intrusion!

Mr X, to whom the whole meal was no more than `home cooked chicken’ (or in this case, pork) couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about. Snorting, in between generous helpings of the mashed potatoes, he roundly chided me for going overboard.

I continued to lick my fingers. Nary a trace of the barbeque sauce was spared. When they were as clean as to have made my mother proud, only then did I deign to look up.

“You were saying?” I said.

Then of course there are the vegans, or even some die hard Punjabis who love their `mah-di-dal’ - slow cooked overnight over a charcoal angheeti, then smothered in cream and butter – as the ultimate companion to the ubiquitous tandoori roti, with slivers of onion and mooli that pass for salad (`slaaad’ lyaayin, yaar!) in the dhabhas that dot Sher Shah Suri’s Grand Trunk Road.

Yes, the chicken versus daal debate is real. So the Parsis, geniuses that they are, simply merge the two, and come up with `Chicken dhansaak’! Makes us all feel rather silly, doesn’t it?

An aside here. We were attending Amrita’s wedding reception at JW Marriott, and happened to share a table with the delectable Sai Tamhankar (of `Hunterr’ fame). Seated next to her was a dark, dishevelled, uncouth looking guy with a straggly beard. Dismissing him as no competition whatsoever, I chatted up Sai, turning up my charm to overdrive, when she waved her pretty hand expansively “Meet my husband,” she says pointing to the guy in question.   

Turns out he was Amey Gosavi, a rich money-bags from the Marathi film industry. If looks could kill, I’d have decimated, decapacitated and de-boned the guy in five seconds flat. Talk of life being unfair! Talk of home cooked chicken! Talk of `ghar ki murgis’!

Which brings me back to the question I started with. Does the `ghar ki murgi’ always taste like daal? Would Daniel Weber agree?

Daniel who, you ask? The hen in his backyard, the murgi in his ghar happens to bear the name Sunny Leone!

I mean seriously, where’s a rope and a ceiling fan when you really need one??


  1. The chicken was well "cooked" complete with all the "masala" and " garnishing". Loved it.

  2. You know Harish, you could well script this one into a hilarious skit! It has all the ingredients required to make a lip-smacking, rib-tickler!