One lazy afternoon on a weekend, I suddenly had that craving of eating dosa (rice and lentil pancakes, traditionally cooked in south india) and unfortunately having seen my credit card statement the week before, I wasnt really inclined to eat out.
The only option was cooking it myself. The minor problem is that my culinary skills the less said the better. The only previous time I had attempted to make dosas, I burnt all the batter, and the results were disastrous to say the least.
Suddenly my 4th standard english lesson came to mind. (an extract from Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the part where Tom has to whitewash Aunt Polly's fence)
So I got into action, I looked up my contact lists, and knew 3 south indian guys in Dubai*. Suryaprasad Krishnamoorthy, Shankarnarayanan Ravikrishnan, and Raj Menon**. (Damn, I should have known a guy with a short name like Raj Menon would be a fraud south indian, and wouldnt know his Rasam from his Sambhar)
Then I call up these 3 south indian blokes, and invite them for dinner to have dosa.
In the mean time, I go buy the necessary ingredients from the neighbourhood supermarket serving indian stuff.
Dinner time, I start cooking, and kind of deliberately mess up the first dosa, which leads to Suryaprasad taking the lead, and teaching me how to make a perfect one. I tell him, that yes I know cooking is fun, but then I was kind enough to let him do the honours.
In the meantime, Shankarnarayan makes a fiery rasam and sambhar. Yes I have a large heart, and allowed him to enjoy the pleasures of cooking. Raj Menon, true to his short name, stands and stares in the kitchen.
I meanwhile, act as the head chef, and direct everyone on how to make the Dosa more crispy, and how the sambhar a little more spicy.
While these guys slaved away in the kitchen, I put a DVD and watched a movie, while having dinner. And after having a wholesome dinner (burrrppp!!!) I gently prod Raj, asking him to wash up the dishes, since he didnt contribute anything in the kitchen yet, while I washed down the food with a cold beer.
And just like Mark Twain had written 150 years ago, these guys were not only thrilled to come home, cook food for me, and then even clean up afterwards, the also mentioned "Nirav, we should do this more often"
Need I say some tricks are ever green.
*: Would have been much better if I knew 3 lovely south indian women to come and cook, but unfortunately I dont know any in Dubai yet. :(
**: names might have been changed, to protect identity and ensure that these guys remain gullible enough to cook for me once more.