[vc_row][vc_column first=”true” odd=”true” width=”2/3″][vc_column_text font=”normal”]A small child trails disconsolately clutching a piece of paper in her hand, taking about an hour to cover a distance of some 200 metres to a music teacher’s house. Halfway through, she rebelliously opens the note which her mother has given her to be given to the music teacher – who also happens to be her aunt… the note seems to weigh her down even further… the mother (mine) has asked the aunt, who happens to be a brilliant singer, to start her daughter (me) on Carnatic music lessons. Growing up with two brothers, i thought that stuff like music and dance were “sissy” things done only by girls! Me – i wanted to be a boy – to the extent that i did NOT like wearing the frocks which were considered “suitable” for girls back in the 60s and only wanted to wear my brother’s shorts and shirts – T-shirts had not yet been invented!
Therefore, to be made to go to paata class (music lessons) was nothing short of insulting! Also, i must have had some inkling, even way back then, that singing and me were likely to be very ucomfortable bedfellows! Later, i grew to love music but music never ceased to hold my initial reluctance against me and persisted in making my “sa” come out like something between a “ree” and a “ga”!
The longest of journeys has to end, i guess and i finally reached my aunt’s house. The very kind lady asked me to sit down and sing something – anything – i knew. Sensing a chance to sabotage my mom’s plans to teach me music, i said didn’t know any songs. “They must have taught you something at school”, she says. I shake my head – no song! “A nursery rhyme?” Doing my best moron interpretation, i look blank. “At least the national anthem?” she asks. I hadn’t seen this one coming! Not being able to figure out how to wriggle out of this, i slowly stood up and – belted out the worst rendition of the “Jana Gana Mana” my aunt and her equally musical husband had ever heard! They sat patiently through it and i sat again while she tried teaching me the basic seven notes. Class ended, she gave me a note to be given to mom. As soon as I was out of sight of her house, I sneakily opened the note which suggested gently, very gently, that perhaps, just perhaps, it would be a good idea to teach me a musical instrument rather than singing! Joy lending wings to the selfsame dragging feet , i flew home faster than even my sprinter daughter could have!
I read later that eating anything round before an exam ensured a “ZERO” result – must have been the eating of so many eggs that ensured a zero in music! Being in an eggy mood – here’s yet another egg curry – a Moroccan one that’s one of our favourites and is known in our family as “ammamma’s egg curry” (referring to my mom)!
AMMAMMA’S EGG CURRY (SHAKSHUKA)
- Eggs – 6
- Onions – sliced very fine – 1
- Tomatoes – 5 – chopped
- Green chilies – minced – 2
- Jeera powder (cumin) – 1/2 tsp
- Dhania (coriander) powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garlic – minced – 4 pods
- Ginger – miinced – 1/2 tsp
- Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Chopped parsley – 1 tbsp
- Chopped mint – to garnish
- Turmeric – 1 pinch
- Sugar – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper – 1/2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tbsp
Heat oil in a large saucepan and add the green chilies and sugar. Add the onions and garlic and stirfry till golden brown. Add the coriander, cumin and red chili powder and ginger. Stir for a couple of minutes more. Add the tomatoes, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5-7 minutes more. Carefully crack the eggs into the gravy and cover. Cook for 5 minutes if you like them a bit gooey or for 7-8 minutes if you like the yolks set.
Sprinkle parsley and mint all over. Serve with soft white pav bread or rice or rotis.
photo courtesy : internet
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