The Curious Case of the Ladyfinger…


During my regular sojourns to the Indian shop in Rotterdam, I decided to buy bhindi or ladyfinger. I hadn’t had it even once since I moved to Rotterdam for studies, and seeing them at the shop elicited a joy in me, one that I had come to recognise whenever something I encountered reminded me of home.

Scourge any Indian household (I am assuming mostly in the northern part of India, I could be wrong though), the likelihood of children’s favourite vegetable, besides potato is going to be bhindi. It has a starring role in many a school tiffin boxes and mothers lunch menu for their children. Well it is green, no read again, it is a green vegetable, easy to cook, so both the mother and the child are happy. As for me, yes, besides potatoes, indeed it is one of my favourite vegetables and still is. My favourite version is the way my mother cooks it, she puts turmeric, salt and red chilli powder and gives it a nice stir fry. Accompanied with rice and lentil curry, it is one of the most perfect comfort food combinations one can find. 😀

So I decided to try my hand the way my mother cooked it, should be easy enough I thought. While I was cooking, my flatmate A happened to enter and sniffed at the weird smell of the ladyfingers frying! And to my amusement she seemed completely baffled by what it was! When I told her they were ladyfingers, she replied that she had never heard of them or ever seen such a vegetable! Now when the ladyfingers are cooked, they start producing um…well for a lack of better term, lets call it ‘slime’! Now those regular to cooking ladyfingers know that while cooking them the presence of slime is a regular feature. It eventually disappears once they are finally cooked. So my amusement grew as A couldn’t believe the slime coming out. Needless to say it disgusted her and she even decided to click a picture of it, she seemed equally fascinated and irked by the slimy and slippery ladyfingers, whereas I couldn’t wait for it to be cooked so that I could eat it. After they were cooked I tried to offer it to A and compel her to eat them, but to no avail. She could only be like NOOOO!! So I then proceeded to devour it with hot paranthas, a perfect dinner pour moi I would say. But I couldn’t help but remark jokingly to my flatmate, that if ever I wanted revenge on her, I knew what to feed her. 😛 *evil grin*

It is always a source of laughter and learning when my flatmate and I are cooking. The stark eating habits and eating culture comes into sharp focus. For me she is only surviving on bread and cheese, something completely unfathomable to me!! Just so you know, the Dutch literally live on bread, cheese and ham! Not that it is not good, it can be tasty, but for someone like me, after one month of its consumption, I decided food for me is rice, lentils and curry (yes yes, very typically Indian)! So if she jokes that all she ever sees me is eating food full of spices, I retort I only see her eating bread and cheese 😛 Eating culture apart, the eating habit times vary too. It is always amusing when I go to the kitchen in the evening for a snack maybe, A is preparing dinner. And when at night I go to prepare dinner, she is entering to grab some snack! 😀 Perhaps the only thing common is the breakfast time, and that we both prefer oats for breakfast, in addition to our fondness and overconsumption or maybe not of milk (yes, we each finish 2 litres of milk in 2.5 days or less!). I could go on, but as a peace offering she gets to eat all the chocolates that I receive from people, and we plan to cook lasagna together for Sunday dinner.

P.S. This blogpost was a result of someone going ‘aiyyo’ relax

P.P.S. So ‘aiyyo’ writing this post was the best way for me to relax.

P.P.P.S. Did you finish your letter to Deepika Padukone?


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