At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Friday, June 28, 2013


Several weeks ago a problem with the computer left me desperate.
But, thanks to several totally brilliant people in Hyderabad, the issue was resolved. Yes, it took over twenty hours of someone else running diagnostics and doing corrective procedures long distance.
While I sat at the machine looking at the pointer opening and closing doors, downloading anti-spamware stuff, and typing code, another person did all the work.

The only problem was the accents that greeted me whenever I called in to alert them that I was back on line, please help me fix the problem.

Man, those accents!


They have wonderful food in Hyderabad. Biriani, slow-cooked till the fragrance of saffron permeates the meat and rice. Mirch ka salan, spicy with green chili and rich with peanuts and sesame paste.
Nahari, which is utmost delicious!
And haleem!

Speaking to a front-desk phone-answer wallah with a thick, THICK, Andrapradeshi cadence to his voice left me feeling profoundly hungry. Very professionally, they walked me through setting up the connection, then thanked me for calling the company once the remote control over the computer had been established and the instant message screen popped up informing me that "Technician Number So-and-So" was ready to help me.

There are NO accents in instant messages. But I still wanted samosas, laddoos, hot hot chai with kaju biscuit, and other items of a yummy-shummy nature.

Heck, I would even settle for some greasy jalebis from that wretched Pakistani dukan down in the Tenderloin.



Haan, haan, mujhe bahut pasand-hai; accha, yaaaaaaar!

The truly eloquent stuff kicks in at the third minute.

For hungry readers, here are links to recipes for mirch ka salan (Andra style green chili curry), paya nahari (a lovely breakfast curry), and haleem (a meat-rich porridge for breaking the fast during ramzam). Unfortunately I am still not happy with my biryani recipe, so I have not posted it yet. Samosas are easy, everyone knows how to make laddoo, and jalebi you should buy from a Pakistani.

As a lagniappe, here's a recipe for something to dip in your tea. It isn't kaju biscuit -- you'll have to get those at Yazdani's in the Fort -- but it is very good, and you should always have a tin of them handy.

[Please note: ALL ingredients should be very cold. Chill them beforehand.]

One cup plain flour (maida).
One cup atta (chapatti, durum, or wheat) flour.
Four TBS corn starch.
One cup ghee.
Teaspoon salt.
Half Tsp. baking powder.
Four TBS buttermilk.
Ice-cold water as needed.

Mix the dry ingredients, then knead briefly to a soft dough with the buttermilk and ghee, using cold water if necessary. Chill this for an hour. Dust with extra flour, then pound it flat and roll it out. Fold it over in three layers with a little flour in between. Roll it out and fold again. Cut into several three by five inch rectangles. Now fold these double twice, lengthwise, and pinch each strip in the centre.
Chill once more for at least an hour.
Then bake at four hundred Fahrenheit for ten minutes. Lower the temperature to 300 for another fifteen minutes to let it bake crisp evenly all the way through.

[Accha to, banaspati margarine bhi hogi.]

Note that whether or not you sprinkle kalonji, sesame, cracked pepper, or cumin seed over before baking, brushing with ghee is not a bad idea in any case. Use a cold roller to impress the seeds on the surface.

An acceptable shortcut is to simply buy pre-prepped puff pastry and treat it similarly.
And if you do that, a dusting of sugar and cinnamon in lieu of spice is excellent and quite recommended. But it won't be khari.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.



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