Of the colour of livers in our family…

“Has that “thing” got him? Is it over? Is he dead? Is there blood? Is “IT” eating  him? Omg, omg… OMG! Yeeaaaa… aaaAAAAGGHHH!” and my cousin Sunita, who’s been hiding behind the sofa and has just popped her head out to stare in horror at the screen with one eye as she shrieks these questions, dives back underneath quicker than my brother Arvind can eat a laddoo and THAT is saying something.
I don’t exaggerate 😉 so I will refrain from saying things like speed of light etc. but I assure you sound wouldn’t have anything on it!
While I laugh at Sunita’s antics, secretly there is a part of me that is wanting to hunker down behind that sofa alongside her rather than do what we – a bunch of us school friends and Sunita who’s staying with us for the summer, are doing. What we are doing at another friend’s house is watching a horror movie called “The Evil Dead” and it IS seriously horrifying. Nightmares and “day” mares await – I can feel it in my bones!
I have always had a problem with horror movies, seeing precisely two of them and am not sure that one of them would even qualify as horror (I was assured by my college friends that “Poltergeist” was a funny movie – well, I guess watching someone cowering in their seat can be termed ‘funny’!)
Why did I agree to go then? One does many things in teenage one regrets later to appear “cool”! Since I wasn’t succeeding at that either, that was when I decided to put my foot down and say I wouldn’t watch any more of these – no matter how ‘uncool’ I appeared. And suddenly found what ‘cool’ really meant – talk about serendipity!
I have serious respect for those who can watch these – two of my aunts voluntarily paid money to buy tickets to watch “Rosemary’sBaby” voted the most horrifying horror film ever and lived to tell the tale!
But now for a flashback – (I am absolutely loving this writing business where I am producer, director, scriptwriter and lyricist all rolled into one!) – to when I was in class 10 and preparing for the “BIG PUBLIC EXAMS”.
The house we were living in then had only two bedrooms so my bed was at the end of a long, narrow dining room, right next to a window. Note this architectural feature – it plays an important part in my tale. Because some friend thought I was working too hard (wasn’t!), they gave me a book to read – the newly minted tale of horror called “The Omen”. I read it one afternoon while home alone, my eyes popping out right along with my heart, my liver (it was an interesting very-bright yellow liver!) and my spleen… till my parents came home.
After that, the only time I left my mom’s side was when she had to go to the loo! She slept next to me for ten days, on the window side of course  – because otherwise THAT THING would come and get me – what about HER, you ask? Well, I already mentioned the colour of my liver so what were you expecting???!
Sunita was just as bad – making her two tiny two-year old twin sisters sleep right next to her on each side so she’d be safe in the centre! No wonder our family coat of arms is a proper jaundiced yellow! Jus’ kidding, we don’t have a coat of arms – which of our lily-livered forebears would have the courage to bear arms, I wonder? – going by our personal inclination, that is!
And thus we honour them and all the other poltroons of this world with these yellow – coloured…
  • 4-5 large green plantains – the slim ones are the “chipping” variety. The fat ones are for steaming and making podimas
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • Pepper or chili powder to add heat
  • Asafoetida – 1 generous pinch
Peel the plantains and immerse them in cold water to which turmeric has been added – for half an hour
Heat coconut oil in a frying pan – use one that is large enough to hold the chips of one plantain and then has generous room for splattering.
Take one plantain out of the water, pat dry and drop a bit into the oil – to test for heat. If the piece rises up and froths immediately, the oil is ready. Slice the plantain directly into the hot oil – be VERY careful!
Fry, turning over constantly till yellow and crisp.
Now, very carefully sprinkle about a tbsp of the salt solution over the chips – they will splutter (I would be indignant too if someone tried to give me a salt bath!) mightily! Keep stirring and then remove with a slotted spoon onto paper.
Finish all and then add the asafoetida and mix well. Cool completely before lidding.
(Pic courtesy Internet)