From skillet to swing bin

From skillet to swing bin

My missus had kept a vessel full of batter in the fridge for making idlies before leaving for Madras for hardly a day to attend her nephew’s thread investiture ceremony.

Game for trying my hand at making Idlies, I placed the cooker on the gas stove with each cavity in the idly-plates filled with the batter and lighted the stove. After about ten minutes I poked the handle of a thin spoon into one of the idlies to know if it was ready to eat.

What came sticking to the spoon as I raised it was the raw batter itself since it was only partly cooked. The lid of the cooker lying beside the stove was an indication that I had forgotten to close the vessel. Soon covering the cooker with the lid, I turned the gas on. When I returned to the kitchen after about 10 minutes, I found it hard to insert the spoon into the idli, as the stuff had by then turned too hard to be pierced, compelling me to discard the whole stuff. A Maggie snob, I changed over in short order to a packet of Maggie and had it cooked.

The next day, for a change of taste I made a bash at preparing rava upma. Even the thought of the dish prepared occasionally by my wife made my mouth water.

I poured a tumbler full of water into a skillet, placed it on the stove and turned the knob on. When the water began steaming, I put in it a tumbler of rava, added chopped onions and green chillies to it and left for the main hall to read the daily. Fifteen minutes later I returned to the kitchen, took a big tablespoon, filled it half with refined oil, added a pinch of mustard and heated it on the stove till the contents started sizzling and crackling. Emptying out the spoon tout de suite into the rava, I stirred them well and kept the skillet on the kitchen platform for it to cool.

Tongue hanging out to eat upma, I came back to the kitchen after a few minutes and shoved a perforated ladle between the frying pan and the lump of what was supposed to have turned into upma.

As I made an unstinting bid to scoop up a bit of the substance with one hand while gripping the pan tight with tongs, up came the frying pan together with the solid stuff — supposed to be upma — contained in it. Digging into the hard substance with a spoon, I picked up a blind bit of it to feel how it tasted. It clung tight to my palates like a stick jaw forcing me to try different means to free my mandible.

The skillet landed in the scullery. I had to keep it soaked in water for hours before I could try to separate the clingy stuff from the pan. Slices of bread dunked in coffee substituted my cherished upma for breakfast that day.


DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily