I never knew what I had let myself in for when I promised myself to attempt every single contest on Indiblogger this year! There I was, happily thinking that I would be writing essays about various matters of utter disinterest to the populace at large, and what do I find? First I have to write about ‘Internet is fun with Vodafone’, when the jury in my mind was out – and scattered to the four winds – on whether Internet was fun at all! As though that were not enough, I had to write about Lakme sunscreen lotion, in which I even managed to win a consolation prize. Then came the Dove Hair Care contest – and only someone who has lost almost all his hair can understand how vexing a topic it can be for him. Thereafter, the bachelor had to gird up his loins for a dissertation on Love Marriage vs. Arranged Marriage.
With an imaginary trip to
done, I heaved a sigh of relief only to remember that there was yet another
contest that sought recipes!! RECIPES!! Ye Gods, was it necessary to drive in
the lesson about the risks of making thoughtless promises so thoroughly.
Admittedly I had not proved a bright student in the past but does this not seem
like too much of over-kill? Should I roll over and die like Caesar and leave
Anthony to say, “This was the unkindest cut of them all”? Should I, like Cain,
bemoan “My punishment is more than I can bear”?
With my fingers crossed that none of the readers, who actually read Cooking Woes, would turn up to read this one, I sally forth into the contest to win stomachs. Mmm! Fruit slices, fruit drinks, pasta, sauces and corn! Now what does one make with all this and find edible? I commune with my brain and find that it stubbornly refuses to consider pasta edible! Now what? Maybe drowning the protests of my brain in alcohol would help!
Ah! Now, that is a brainwave. Why not give recipes for cocktails? Vodka, Pineapple juice, crushed ice with a pineapple slice stuck on the glass – now that would use pineapple juice and fruit slices, would it not? Vodka, Green Apple juice and crushed ice? Having drowned alcohol in every possible beverage and consumed it, I could think of even a vodka and prune juice combination. So, maybe, I do have a few recipes!
Hang on a second, though! Is it likely that any possible manner of drinking alcohol has been left out of the reckoning by the eons of drinkers? Do I not remember P.G.Wodehouse mentioning a combination of whisky and
Orange pop in one
of his pieces? I mean, if even that weird combo has already been tried out,
what chance do I have of having any combination of alcohol and beverages being
considered unique? Mmm! Not such a brainwave, after all!
What had I ever done in the kitchen using sauces? Avoiding thoughts of my kitchen exploits had become second nature – after all, one is not too interested in exploring a series of one’s own debacles – but I force myself to go through that painful process. Try as I might, the only thing I can remember is adding water to tomato sauce, boiling it, adding a dash of pepper and then convincing myself that it was tomato soup! That can hardly be a unique recipe considering that every other restaurant does the same thing, if it offers tomato soup on the menu!
Corn! Ah, I remember having used corn – and, for once, maybe it is worth mentioning. Not that, of course, it is necessarily unique but I do not remember hearing or reading anything about this salad variation that I made of the ‘Kosumari’ that is commonly served in Karnataka weddings. So, here goes!
Split Green Gram- one cup
Del Monte Corn - half a cup
Grated coconut - one cup
Grated carrots - one cup
Green Peppers - 2-4 (finely diced)
Lemon - 1 (medium)
Salt - to taste
Oil - One table spoon
Coriander leaves, Asafetida and mustard seeds.
Soak the split green gram for two hours. Boil the corn in salt water. Drain the water. Mix the soaked gram, boiled corn, grated coconut, grated carrots and the diced green peppers. Add salt to taste (Ah! That gives me great satisfaction! How much I have suffered from the various recipes on offer which give this enigmatic line!! Tell me, if I take moderate salt, is it a teaspoonful to a kilogram or a ton? No one seems to bother to mention the range of usage for salt!) Add the juice of the lemon to the mix! (Ah! How easy that sounds! When I first tried it, I squeezed the lemon directly on to the mix and de-seeding operations on the salad are worthy of a separate post!)
Add the mustard seeds to the oil (you could use Olive Oil, if that suits your pocket! In which case you probably need only a teaspoonful!) and wait till it sputters. Add a hint of asafetida (How broad a hint you take is up to you. Some can do without any hinting!!). Season the mixture above with this.
If you are not too pernickety to use your hands (and if you really think that eating with your hands will not cause undue damage to your sensibilities) you could use your hands to mix this up properly. Else, of course, I shall ask you enigmatically to toss the salad and leave the means to you!
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.
You could substitute Split Green Gram with
chick peas – in which case you soak them overnight. Grated carrots may be
replaced with diced cucumber. You could use a chilli sauce instead of the Green
Peppers – but I shall not be responsible for the results (Not that I am, even
when you use Green Peppers!)
If you are interested in anti-oxidants more than taste, then you could substitute sprouts for the Split Green gram. If, on the other hand, you wish this to be a meal rather than a salad, you could boil a potato or two, peel, mash and add to the mix.
Ah! Looks like I have given the recipe for dozen salad variations- all in one recipe! Hail, Master Chef (Now, who else will call me that?)! The only thing that remains is to give this thing a name. Not knowing French or Italian is a great handicap in giving appropriately impressive names to dishes. I shall have to call this a “Corn Kosumari” and leave it at that!
If you try this dish and find it inedible, you have the option of drowning your sorrows in one of the cocktail variants that I have outlined earlier!