Food A Delectable Form of Expression

Food is an expression, a strong adhesive for binding families, a great excuse for forging bonds, and a symbolic identity of a culture. Food holds an auspicious position in our lives and through the passage of time, its importance has not dwindled if not accentuated.

Many innovative ideas were conceived over casual lunch meetings, many relationships blossomed over a casual cup of coffee and food is a great vehicle for ingratiating oneself with others.

Though I myself am not an outright foodie, at times I do enjoy a copious amount of junk food. During Durga Puja, eating golgappa popularly called fuchka with the tamarind water smearing our lips and trickling down our chin as we indulge in a rigorous competition of outsmarting the others in munching the most, has become an untold ritual.

On the other hand, sipping a cup of hot coffee on a misty winter morning while leafing through a storybook or listening to some good music while wrapped up in a cozy comforter drinking hot chocolate to spend dreary wintry nights, or going to CCD alone to write something has become my peaceful getaways, a transitory respite in the otherwise bristling life.

fried food on white paper

But for everyday staple diet, potato remains my favorite. Nothing could surpass my cravings for this delicious vegetable which can eerily adjust with all other vegetables and can remain a constant item in my daily meal without making it remotely monotonous. Be it potato fries or potato rice or curry or potato quesadilla, I love to munch them and thank the Portuguese prodigally for introducing this delectable food to India.

Even watching The Guernsey Literary and  Potato Peel Pie Society ignites a special yearning to gorge on sauteed potatoes almost every time. Though am not a fervent fan of lavish dishes and lucrative names, with no particular inclination for pizza or ravioli, learning about different cuisines endemic to different cultures piques my interest.

From the Tibetan Dimsums to South Indian dosas, from Italian pasta to North Indian millet parathas, food is a distinct determinant of a region’s culture with a tangible climatic imprint on it. In fact, the enhanced life expectancy of people of the Blue Zone intrigued me, and in my search to know about their lifestyle, I got acquainted with their food habits, which mainly comprised fruits and pulses.

Food habits have a tangible impact on our health and also influence our thinking trajectory to some extent. Being a vegetarian, I feel a sattvic diet comprising fruits, milk, and vegetables is most essential for the fortification of health.

Food connects people in different ways. Since my childhood I used to avidly wait for dinner time, not just to satiate my fledgling hunger but rather of the quality time I used to spend with my family, listening to all the wonderful tales and sharing laughs. Even now more than the food, the occasion attached with it bears more significance to me, be it some family time or some friendly chat or even spending some lonely time reflecting.

I am not an adept cook and there had been instances when people got subjected to my unpalatable dishes but mutedly nodded their apparent appreciation just not to demoralize me.

A particular memory flashes whenever the topic of cake springs up. On Christmas Eve one time, my mother was baking a chocolate cake, and in my overzealous mood, I was jumping up and down in the room till my chip bumped into the footboard top rail of the bed and blood gushed out from my tongue.

Even after incessantly dabbing my tongue with sugar and turmeric, the crimson trickled down the white washstand like a meandering stream and though my family was paranoid that a stitch was certain, it healed with only a copious dose of ointment, thereby keeping our Christmas spirit unblemished.

assorted drinking glasses on brown wooden surface

At times watching people eat voraciously in movies also ignites my latent appetite. For example, one-day watching Eat Pray Love on TV I got a sudden desire to have an exact replica of the dishes shown in the movie to satiate my fledgling hunger. In hotels, I invariably have a quandary as to what sequence to follow when breakfast comprises both juice and tea, but pineapple cheese cherry accompanied by a creamy coffee is in itself a lucrative breakfast.

Among the variety of food I have tasted, whether in a whimsical experimental mode in restaurants, while on vacation in some new places, or in my bold endeavor to flaunt my newly acquired culinary skills by mixing vegetables with dals, or mixing herbs and kidney beans to make some special soup, my favorite remains the yellow lentils with potato fries and rice.

Another mouthwatering delicacy, a mainstay in Bengali breakfast, is luchi spruced up by brinjal fry or begun bhaja is locally called. Though at first, it was a humongous task for me to make round disks of the flour it is a joy to watch them puff up into rounded balls. Its flaky interior with the crispy exterior is what makes the traditional luchi such an enticing dish, or more aptly an elite breakfast choice.

Food is an intrinsic part of our lives. Apart from providing us the requisite nourishment, it is also a symbol of celebration, a binding factor of family or friends. And known traditional food like rice and potato for me makes up the perfect dish.

Why go for experimentation when we have such delicacies at our convenience?

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