Of melting brown eyes and further foot-in-mouth tales!

Having spent many, many years in recruitment, interviewing several thousand candidates, maintaining notes painstakingly, I had to figure out some way of remembering candidates.

And so,  inspired by an article I’d read which informed me  that it was a very good idea to imagine the most ridiculous combinations of things together  so I’d remember what that thing was that I was supposed to remember in the first place, I came up with this brilliant idea – I would make notes which  had little drawings of candidates and  little notes on them – like if someone had a particularly arresting feature , I’d note it down and attempt to draw it!  And so I have pages filled with drawings of bristly moustaches, long, curly locks and whatever else struck my fancy at that point! I have the artistic ability of a 6-month old with a crayon in her fingers and a canvas which can go anywhere, basically – so these are not really of any use should there be a police parade!

But being my mother’s daughter, nothing deters me! And so I started these pictorial representations of interviewees – providing great amusement of the two girls who used to assist us in the office. They would wait for the interview to be over and pounce on the book wherein I made my notes and as they updated the database with the relevant info (boring stuff like qualifications, background, experience etc.!), much chuckling and giggling would accompany the process! Willy nilly I had struck upon a way to keep my people engaged!

You think Philip Kotler might be interested in my idea on motivation??! Hmm… maybe I should patent it – was just thinking along these lines one day in office when fate showed me just where the flaw was with my brilliant idea!

So… I was interviewing this young man with a speech impairment, waiting patiently while he struggled to make himself understood. I draw a picture of him, melting brown eyes and all, noting down “melting brown eyes” as I do so. After a while, he relaxes and the interview proceeds very smoothly. Then I ask him for references – names and telephone numbers are needed. He clearly has more of a problem getting numbers out than words. I am running late for a meeting so I ask him, “why don’t you write it down for me here?” and hand over my book. A few seconds later, I realise what I have done – there is this young man, staring at my artistic rendering of him titled, “melting brown eyes”! And this time, even my aplomb (honed by two years of B-school education where, I assure you, the only valuable skill you pick up is getting out of sticky situations with panache!) deserts me and I grab my book back with as much assurance as I can muster, muttering excuses about how I was writing a story earlier etc. etc.

The melting brown eyes twinkle merrily at me!

The other thing you don’t learn at b-school but life teaches you later is that you can’t really get out of every sticky situation and the best thing you can do is to grin back sheepishly!

One lives and one learns – like today’s dish – which went through a few frustrated avatars and five and six letter words (this is a family blog – I do not use four letter words!) before I got it right!

Was very excited about dreaming up this truly one-pot meal  – a mixture of Eastern and Middle Eastern cuisines anyway!


FOR THE MATZOH (also called “gondi” in Persian cuisine)

  • Boiled chickpeas – 1.5 cups
  • Boiled rice – leftovers will do very nicely, thank you! – 1 cup
  • Breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup’s
  • wow, that’s three “B” things in a row!! 😉
  • Basil leaves – fresh – a handful
  • Green chili – 1 or 2
  • Peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger – 1/2 ” piece
  • Garlic – 2 flakes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt
  • Onion – 2 tbsp – sliced

Whizz everything, except the breadcrumbs in the mixer to a reasonably smooth paste. Fold in the breadcrumbs and shape into balls. Place on a tray and leave in the frig without a lid for about an hour – they will firm up a bit.

Brush a little oil on top and bake in the oven at 220C for 20 minutes or pan-roast, turning over carefully  a few times till golden.


  •  Onion – sliced – 1
  • Green chili – minced – 1
  • Garlic – minced – 2
  • Ginger minced – 1/2 tsp
  • Shredded cabbage – 1 cup
  • Thinly sliced carrot – 1/2 cup
  • Thinly sliced capsicum / bell peppers – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Water – 3-4 cups
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomato  puree – 1 tbsp – optional
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Spring onions and mint to garnish
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp oil

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Toss in onions and saute till the colour begins to change. Add garlic, green chili, ginger and continue to saute for a few seconds more. Sprinkle a little water if the onion begins to stick to the pan.

Add the vegetables and saute on high heat for three minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add coconut milk Simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add salt and sugar and pepper.

Switch off, add lime juice.

Pour into bowls, add three or four matzoh balls to each bowl. garnish with mint and serve hot.

You don’t need anything else to go with it – it has protein and carbs ad veggies!

Yum! Even if you have to read it in my book!