(this ones for you bannu)
bannu says that i never talk about eating. as in, my eating. she has spent hours wondering, what does kenny eat? what does she like to eat? what are her favourites, what are her hates, what are her food peeves? why hours, days, she says.
(in other words, before kenny complains about the monster's eating, can one get some clarity on what type of eater kenny is, i think thats the agenda, so here goes).
i am a good eater. not hearty, i don't think. but a remarkably unfussy eater. not a big eater, i don't think, but a healthy eater. my favourite things to eat on a regular basis are rice or rotis with spicy something or the other, chased with some curd rice. i love pickles. i eat sambar rice with pickle on the side - mostly mango pickle, others are just excuses for pickles imho. i love all those powders you mix in rice. i love aloo parathas (though i don't eat them as much these days as i think they have too much ghee/butter going on in them). i am likely to choose the whole wheat pasta with colourful veggies at an italian restaurant while others are eating things smeared in cheese and butter. i do like cheese though. i like all cheeses in the world except the new york city port authority bus terminus pizza cheese. yes, even goat cheese. saltier the better. i like every single vegetable on this earth except for brussel sprouts. yes, even cabbage and bittergourd. in fact, bittergourd is a favourite, bitter-er the better. up there on the list with bhindi. and spinach and methi. oooh methi. can't find much methi (leaves) around here. i miss it.
i don't like: spring rolls, garlic rasam, anemic looking puliodarai (ergo, the kind you get in chennai), rice uppuma - sooji version is ok, chennai rasam even if it has no garlic - dude what is that, it tastes like dish water, quiche, dhokla, fried sweets, gobi manchurian
(i eat all these things that i don't like, even brussel sprouts though, no worries; but yes, i would avoid fried sweets if i could help it).
foods from my childhood that i still very much love:
chutney powder which is very important for everything from breakfast to dinner
spicy brown puliodarai like my mum used to make in those days
red mysore rasam (without jaggery!)
bhindi cut small and fried
bhindi cut small and fried and tamarind added (gojju its called in kannada)
likewise karela and baigan
any sambar that contains peas
bisibelebath - my husband rocks at making this btw, luckily.
if i am visiting somewhere and you tell me its a local (vegetarian) delicacy, and it is not abnormally deep fried, i will eat it. i have had some very yummy food in Greece when we went there, and more recently in Sri Lanka. Of course, one had to nose out the place locals eat at and avoid the continental crap they dish out at multi-star hotels. Eaten tons of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food in the US of course. Love pasta (penne pesto with pine nuts and mozzarella on top is my fav.) & pizza (a pizzeria, ludwig, dolphin, remember that? how crazy were they? not to mention pasta-e-basta). for a vegetarian, i really like eggs. i like the desi-fied version though, scrambled with green chillies and onions and spread on some gently toasted wheat bread. i like devilled eggs. don't care how you make them. add mayo, mustard, chilli, tabasco, whatever, i like devilled eggs. not egg curry though, not a fan of that. in kerala, you will find me hogging all those veggie curries they make from root vegetables. in andhra, i will eat all the pachadis and podis and neeyamma, that mango pickle of theirs. there was a bengali restaurant in cambridge i used to go once in a while and eat begunpora (and rasogullas). my chandigarh visit is too hazy to recall what i ate, though on an earlier punjab trip in a train (very long ago), i remember drinking tons of milk.
on looking back, i miss many american things that i was fond of. the yogurt, i love the flavoured thick yogurt there, not the plain vanilla one, but the one in small dabbas, with fruit in them. i loved the thai food, you know, the simple kind, not the elaborate sit down and spend three hours on it type thing you find in mumbai. did i say cheese? thin crust pizza (not the papad you get from dominoes here, hmph). fudge, the homemade kind. i used to source them on weekend drives to the mountains in vermont or something. i cannot imagine why i used to bother going to indian restaurants when there (you won't easily convince me to do that now when i visit). so many other things i could try and eat. so what if the veggie choice was limited? there is always good hearty bread, and butter, if you are inclined, and some soup or the other, and salads, and cheesecake! ooh terra chips. and just by the way, i used to sometimes buy baby food and eat them. real baby food, like gerber or something.
see, i eat, i enjoy eating, i eat small meals, i mostly make healthy choices. i am very flexible (except on the vegetarian thingie, somehow, that i could not break out of, and now its too late, and quite pointless when i think about it. don't even know how to cook meat or fish so whats the point?).
finally, i will now admit this. i sucked at eating when i was young. i was a pale, weak, mousey little thing that used to eat half an idli for lunch (and half a marie biscuit for a snack). my mum used to go nuts trying to get me to eat. i only really got better after the four year hostel stint and a few months of my husband's taunts. so minus five to mum. plus five to husband. although between them, its still not clear who makes better bisibelebath....