Of one’s first drink and how to hide the traces!

masala rice coconut yogurt dip

dessert dessert

A few days ago, I blogged the story of one of the rites of passage of adolescence – smoking… today, following up with another rite of passage – drinking!

My mom was a teetotaller, still is because she thinks that all alcohol smells like kullipoyina regipallu (spoiled ber fruit/regipandu/ ezhandam pazham/Indian plum/jujube/Zizyphus mauretania) – thank goodness she’s never been to Scotland  or visited a brewery! Dad liked an occasional drink but never had much of a head for liquor – a quality inherited sadly by me… one drink would make him happy, the second one and  he’d be snoring in his chair!

Parties at home usually involved a large number of family and friends, with the cook making biryani in huge pots on a outside fire because the kitchen was never large enough… loads of cousins generally there so we loved these occasions.

Once, however – i must have been about 16 or so, there were only two of us cousins – Naresh and me. The adults were drinking and playing cards and doing generally very boring adult things so we decided to have dinner early. Biryani was better than the conversation at the adult table anyway! Post our dinner, we went back to the drawing room and then the older people all trooped off to dinner… leaving a half-finished bottle of Chivas on the side table.

The same thought crossed our minds – this looks interesting! AND they’re not likely to be back for at least an hour. Shall we? Yes, we shall! But the glasses were all in the dining room… what the heck, who needs glasses anyway?! And so, Naresh, younger to me by some three years (sorry for leading you astray, Naresh!) and I proceeded to pour capfuls of Chivas for each other – luckily Chivas’ bottles have long caps which can hold almost an ounce of liquor!) and knock them back. Loved the taste! Some four capfuls each later, we were giggling helplessly over the depleted contents of the bottle! Noises emananting from the corridor of older people coming back after dinner. Oops… they couldn’t fail to notice that the level in the bottle had shrunk appreciably. Quick thinking was called – after two large pegs each, poured down the hatch with no niceties like soda or ice, quick thinking was not so easily come by! But between the two of us, there were still enough wits left to quickly fill the bottle up to halfway level with… water!

And then we quietly sneaked off, wishing everyone a polite goodnight 🙂

We never heard anything about it so decided that adults must have thought they spilt water in the whisky by mistake… or whatever… why look a gift horse in the mouth??!

Thirty years on and my dad’s genes are too strongly embedded in me – one drink and I’m happy , two and I’m snoozing away…

The quick fix that we did with the whisky that day is sometimes all that you have time for… like these quick fixes for food below – sent to me very kindly by Divya, the daughter of my very dear friend from childhood, through college and life… Viraja.

Here are Divya’s quick fixes, not one but five – none of which involve any alcohol, btw!


In a little bit of oil add garlic and tamarind, urad dal, cumin seeds, red chilies, green chilies. Fry a bit and grind this along with a little fresh coconut. Mix this paste with yogurt and salt – Voila!

Optional – Just before serving add small cut pieces of onion and chopped coriander.


If we have leftover rice but no veggies what i do is::

Fry onions, add jeera/cumin seeds, turmeric and kasooti methi.

Then put the rice in this onion fry. Mix it well, add jeera/cumin powder and little garam masala, red chili powder, salt and done!


Shallow fry or toast white bread in butter

Place in baking pan

Put one layer of custard milk( custard powder mixed in milk)

Then one layer of orange marmalade.

Another layer of custard milk.

You can do how ever many layers you want.

Bake for 15 mins done!


Dip regular glucose biscuits and/or choco chip biscuits or Marie biscuits in coffee milk.

Put them in layers refrigerate and eat. Heheheh!

And if you’re feeling really adventurous, pour chocolate sauce over before refrigerating!


Soak seedless dates in warm water for sometime, if no time to soak, microwave dates in little water.

Grind it into a fine paste.

Then add little vanilla essence and milk, put in mixie again… enjoy.

Divya, I have no doubt that your easy recipes will save many student lives!!!