Of Parsi “eedas”, paper towels and peppermints!

Having just returned from a wedding feast, am rather full and not feeling inclined either to cook or to eat – unusual state of affairs for me 😉
But interesting things happened and how can i let it got without recording some of those??
So – we troop into the dining area for the South Indian part of the wedding – day 2 – and are greeted with the traditional  elais (banana leaves) laid out as plates and a host of accompaniments already served. Each leaf was topped with several paper cups – for serving rasam etc. i presumed. So when the rasam server camer around, i asked him to serve it in the littlest of the three cups. Picked it up and then noticed that there was a peppermint at the bottom. Not thinking too much about it, i set the rather large-ish “peppermint” aside on my leaf and proceeded to demolish the superb rasam, superb-er “obbatu” ( a sort of sweetened with jaggery roti much beloved in Karnataka and also by my stomach)! As i waited for the next course to come around, i decided to sample the peppermint and picking it up with my “rasam-ed” fingers proceeded to lick it – with my cousin sitting next to me watching me interestedly. No taste of peppermint at all. In fact, no taste of ANYTHING  at all! So being the rix-taker (risk-taker!) that i am, i bit into it – hard – and came up with a mouthful of something which tasted remarkably like chalk. Hmm….next thought was – was this the “choona” (lime) set aside for the beeda or paan at the end of the meal?  By now, cousin at side could barely repress her amusement but decided to let me in on the secret before i rolled it up into a paan! “I think, Anu, that’s a compressed paper napkin and you need to pour water over it to ‘make’ a wet towel”!!!
Well, all i’ll say is that this is going to take me a long time to live down BUT in my defence, i think they shouldn’t have technological innovations at traditional weddings without any warning to tech-challenged people like me!!
Being a mixed Parsi – South Indian wedding, there were interesting things to eat and to watch – including the “aarti” platter for the bridal couple – which consisted of a coconut and betel leaves  flanked by – two eggs!! 
Never having attended a Parsi wedding ceremony before, this “eeda” (egg in Parsi) stuff was quite  a novelty – part of a ceremony called the Achu Michu where the egg is passed around the heads of the ladies and then thrown on the ground to symbolise that the egg will absorb and destroy all evil – rather like the “nazar hataana/ dishti theeyadam/ dishti chuttaradu) in other parts of India. 
Except that, of course, it was a waste of a couple of eggs – good eggs they were too! – and i could have put them into an egg curry – as below!
Egg curry
6- eggs – hardboiled and shelled. 
5 large tomatoes – blanch, peel and chop
1 large onion – sliced
8 cashewnuts + 1” piece ginger +2 flakes garlic + 2 pods cardamom – grind all together into a fine paste.
2 green chili – finely chopped
1 tsp red chilli pwd
½ tsp jeera pwd (cumin pwd)
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1 tsp ketchup
1tbsp oil + 1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp cream or 2 tbsp hot milk
1 tsp kasooti methi  (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tbsp chopped coriander
Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry onions till brown. Remove and purée onions and tomatoes together.
Add butter to saucepan, heat and add jeera (cumin)  and chopped green chilli. Then add sugar and the tomato  purée, chilli pwd and ketchup.  Add cashew paste  and bring to boil. Add salt. Cover and cook till the raw tomato smell is gone. Add kasooti methi and mix. Switch off. Add cream or milk and swirl it in. Halve the boiled eggs and float them in the curry yellows upfacing. Garnish with coriander.
N.B: Substitute the eggs with 3 cups boiled corn for a corn curry…
If you want a richer gravy, roast 1 tsp poppy seeds and half tsp sesame seeds separately.
Pound the poppy first in a mortar and pestle and add to the rest of the gravy. Then pound the sesame and add. Can’t grind these in the mixie.
Finish with cream or 1 ladleful of milk like egg curry.
(pic courtesy: internet)