Here, for lunch, we have a fixed menu. Twice a week, one of us gets up a little early and makes sandwiches. We are allowed to keep our meager supply of condiments in the upstairs refrigerator, and sandwich is mainly pieces of bread with a combination of cheese spread, pasta sauce or jam between them. Sometimes we might even have little pieces of capsicum to go with it. On other days of the week, we settle for carrying big packets of Top Ramen to work and making noodles in the office microwave while nudging away incredibly rude office people who glare if you hog the machine for more than a minute. And two days a week, we get glorious roadside Chinese food, which tastes uncannily like Milon da’s and even has orange pieces of chicken in the fried rice.
However, in Delhi, dinner is always over by 9 pm and there’s usually some inane hindi serial playing on the TV to accompany it. It’s mainly a vegetarian fare but it’s tasty except for the days when they decide to give us aloo and beans thrice a week or serve Curry chawal as a treat for a Saturday lunch. And on good days, we might even get chicken, which, for some strange reason is always laden with tomatoes.
Even if we do not get anything good for a particular meal, we always have the dal to fall back upon. The dal is always good. Always hot. And one can have as much as one likes. Both of us make it a point to have more than one bowl. I break little pieces of onion from the salad, and put it in the hot yellowness that is my bowl. And then I spoon it in hungrily while elaborately made up, chiffon clad women faint on screen.
I’m missing bangali khabar with a vengeance. But all in all, I’m not doing too badly.
p.s. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t dream of Calcutta food at least thrice day. The next time I go home, these are the things I plan to have. (Even if I am in Cal for 1 day, I’ll make sure I have them all.)
Biriyani from Arsalan
Arsalani Kabab with cheese
Chicken chaanp from Bawarchi
Devilled crabs from Mocambo
Steak from Oly
Mutton curry by didimoni
Phuchka from 4 nombor gate
Sorbhaja from Banchharam
Mishti doi from Mithai
Shorshe ilish by Ma
Bhetki machh bhaja by Ma.
Shukto by Champa Mashi
Pan fried momo from Tibetan Delights
Pork roast from Tibetan Delights
Pork Thukpa from Tibetan Delights
Chocolate ganache pastry from Cakes
Luchi-chholar dal from Pnutiram
Kochuri-torkari-jilipi-cha from Moharani
Cocoa malai sharbat from Paramount
Mutton roll from Zeeshan
Kosha mangsho from Golbari
Yam min from Cheeni's
Biriyani-chnaap from Aasma
The buffet meal from Flame and Grill
Certain...erm...stuff at Saat tola
Okay. That’s it for now. But I might just add stuff later.