Sunday, October 12, 2008
Meet Hiralal.......my personal Chef!
Before I arrived in India, I received an email from Sonya inquiring as to my arrival date so that she could arrange for a cook and a houseperson to "look after me". Well they have been doing a fine job....it is very uncomfortable to have two people always wanting to do things for you. The first few days, I didn't utilize my cook, Hiralal......partly because I am not used to such treatment, partly because I didn't want to eat alone, and partly because I was busy discovering Delhi's restaurants! Which are great! Hiralal was beginning to feel unwanted, so this Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Sunday, I used him.......yes....I discovered that he is not just a cook, but a Chef! Hiralal can cook anything, but up till now I have kept it simple.....not because of him, but because I don't know what to ask for! The first night I asked for some Dal (lentils), rice and vegetables. It was so good, I asked for it a second night! It was much of the same, for the other nights with a little variation here and there. Today, before I left to wander around with Ramesh looking at neighborhoods again, the following dialog took place with Hiralal. He asked if I wanted some lunch, I declined.....but said that I would like him to cook dinner....I went to the internet, typed Indian Food in the Google Search and asked for images! Bingo, I had a menu from an Indian restaurant located in New Jersey.....filled with dishes with Indian names and descriptions. I wrote down the ingredients and asked Hiralal if he could cook ALOO BAINGAN.....$11.95 at the Palace of India restaurant in Lawrenceville, NJ...at that price I figured it had to be good! My pronunciation of Indian words has much to be desired, so you might imagine how this dish sounded to Hiralal....he looked at me wanting a little more direction. I figured that there was a disconnect with the name of the dish...so I thought i would just tell him the ingredients....."Eggplant, potato's, onion, chili peppers" He repeated "potato, onion, pepper" but he did not understand eggplant! So.....back to the computer...typed the word, eggplant, in the google search and hit Image again and up popped a picture of .......a BAINGAN!!!!!!! His eyes lit up.....I gave him a 100 rupee bill (about $2.25) and he cooked a meal for 4 people. Not since Grade School have I felt the need for FLASH CARDS, but I am thinking about developing a set.....perhaps they can even be marketed and sold! I am always trying to find a way to get rich.....any backers for my "Flash Card" idea?