One of my biggest regrets in life is that I am ill equipped to be a food reviewer or a connoisseur. Over the years I have been an mute outsider to discussions of whether Karims in Jama Masjid, Delhi, is the best place for kebabs or is it Bade Miyaan in Mumbai, or whether the pork chops in Goa are sumptuous or is it the momos in North East.
At most I could look on with wonder at how passionate people become when comes to discussing cuisines, I would smirk and nod my head in disbelief. It was just that I never felt like arguing or debating so valiantly over a paneer kadhai or even an aloo paratha.
The reason is quite elementary, my dear Watsons, I happen to be a vegetarian. And not the ‘vegetarian type’ of vegetarian that abound these days. To my own misfortune, I was born in a family that always looked at a rabbit as cute, while others looked at the supple meat (like in the case of a waterhole in Bangalore, where I saw a rabbit merrily hopping around, oblivious of the fact that the menu card there promoted rabbit fry).
As a kid I loved chickens and was mortified to know that people make soups out of them and horrors of horrors even drank it! As those cute-furry chicks came out of that oval egg, I could never even bring myself to even eating it and because of it I had to forsake almost all pastries, cakes, chocolates (I used to love Mars till I came to know) and what not. I was happily living this life of deprivation, and then I was married.
My better-half had quite other ideas about how to deal with chicken, goat, fish and other forms of animal life. She preferred to devour them. I’m now used to watching the relish on her face, when she dug into a Goan Prawn Curry, or bit a piece of tandoori chicken. It was then that I came to know from close quarters how mutton tastes (like soyabeen) or how it does not. I also came to know that while it might not be harder for a veggie to turn non-veggie, the versa is hard to make. Continue reading