Sunday, September 10, 2006

Cooking up a storm

Sometimes I feel like throwing my flatmate out.

At other times, I feel like throwing him a party.

So it was my flatmate's birthday yesterday and I decided to have a cooking extravaganza for all the people he is close to.

On Friday night, we went to shop for stuff at Mustafa, which is this place where you get everything. Yes I mean everything. From frozen fish to gold jewellery. From jaggery to carpets. From make-up to DVD players. You name it, they have it. They even fly in mangoes and other fresh food from India. I buy most of my Indian spices there because I know for sure they would be there.

The tough part of course is to make the sales assistants understand what on earth you want. The place is too big for you to wander around looking for what you want, so inevitably you end up asking the staff otherwise you'd be there forever. And by forever, I really mean forever, since it's a 24-hour place. Now the problem is that there is some Indian stuff that does not have an English equivalent, and since most of the staff at Mustafa are local Indians as opposed to Indians from India, they don't know the typical Indian terms we use. So most of the time, you either get blank stares or head-shaking.


Friday night is a bad time to go there because it's crazily crowded - half of the Indian population in Singapore seems to be at Mustafa from Friday night till the wee hours of Monday morning. The crowd is a mixed one, as Singapore now has a growing population of people from not just Tamil Nadu but from many others states as well, and it's interesting as you end up hearing bits of their conversation as you walk through the alleys.

Here are some snippets I heard.

Husband picks up packed of Basmati rice.
Wife - Nahin nahin yeh wala rice nahin!
Husband - Arre ispar 'Daawat' likha hai na... aur kya chahiye?
Wife - *SIGH*

Kid with empty trolley - "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"
**Trolley crash**
Kid - "Sorry sorry!"
Man - *string of tamil words to his wife* ("Yeh aaj kal ke bache..."?)

Me - Excuse me, I am looking for Lakme kajal.
Sales assistant - All Lakme Nuri.
Me - Huh??
Sales assistant (to colleague) - Nuri! Nuri!
Nuri - WHAT??
Sales assistant - Lakme Lakme!
Nuri - Oh.
(motions me to follow her)
Me - ??

**More trolley crashes**
"Sorry..."

"Excuse me..."

**string of gujrati words**

Me - Excuse me, I am looking for papdi...
Sales assistant - What?
Me - Papdi?
Sales assistant - Uhhh... papad??
Me - No no, papdi...
Sales assistant - Uhhh...

**string of punjabi words**

Me - Excuse me, I am looking for a kitchen towel holder...
Sales assistant - Kitchen towels? Over there.
Me - No no, kitchen towel HOLDER...
Sales assistant - Holder? I dunno... *string of tamil words to her colleague who then points me in the right direction*

**More trolley crashes**
"Sorry..."

**String of tamil words**

Me - Excuse me, I am looking for disposable cutlery.
Sales assistant - Eh?
Me - Disposable cutlery... err... plastic cutlery? You know... forks and spoons...
Sales assistant - Oh, plastic forks and spoons? Third level, ma'am.

**More trolley crashes**

Guy who looks like a university student - Abbe woh honeydew hai, honeydew! Kya samajh ke utha laya?
His friend (looks at the large round object in his hands) - Achha? Yeh honeydew hai??

She - Itna saara dhaniya??? Lekin do din mein khatam ho jayega na?
He - Kar denge baba!
(Newlyweds off on honeymoon in two days?)

Girl (crazily loading her trolley) - Arre tum kuchh toh help karo!
Guy - Main kya karoon?? (Confused look)

Boy in batata puri section - But I want the kind nani makes.
Mom (exasperated) - Yahan nahin milega. Chalo. Late ho raha hai!
Boy - **Grumble grumble**

**More trolley crashes**
"Excuse me.."
"Sorry sorry!"

Me - Do you have pani puri?
(Prepares to say all paryaywachi shabds for pani puri - golgappa, gupchup, pani patasha, etc.)
Sales assistant - Over there, near the cashier.
Me - Whoa. He understood!

Finally I was done. Here are the after-effects of all the Mustafa-shopping. I'm gonna send all this pictures to Mom who thinks that I have forgotten to cook ever since my post-grad study activities put a stop to my culinary activities.















Jaljeera in the making. I like to keep the mint leaves large rather than shredded, so those who not like leaves floating about in their drinks have the option to leave them out.





















Jaljeera's ready!
















The making of the hottest release of the year - Mirchi ke pakode
















Pani puris are ready for consumption. Lemme warn ya, the pani is super-hot -- just the way I like it! :P
















Bhaji in the making
















Pavs waiting to be buttered up
















Bhaji is ready!
















My very special home-made low-calorie gulabjamuns, affectionately known as low-cal gulabos (I know what you're thinking, American Pi, they missed you too!)


The guys who came for the party seemed to be fascinated by Frodo and Fat Chick. It was the first time I'd seen guys not wanting to let go of soft toys.















One of the guests wanted to give Frodo's hair a new look. Presenting Frodo with spiked hair!





















Fat Chick perches on the knee of another guest.




















My pink gerberas sit pretty in their vase.




















Setting up the birthday cake - That's me on the left and Clueless on the right.
















'Durgati' of the cake in a matter of seconds - bole toh, waat lag gayi!

Happy birthday, flatmate! Hope you had fun. And oh, another thing. If you dare to forget my birthday, I'll really throw you out. :)



45 comments:

bananapen said...

Sure looks like a successful party! Happy belated birthday, Sayesha's flatmate! :)

Duhita said...

Selamat Hari Jadi, Sayesha's flatmate:D See something new everyday right?! Gee the food looked yummy, and the gulabos...hmmm:) Must've been some party!

qsg said...

You lucky flatmate - I wish I had such a nice flatmate too who would throw me such a great party and cook all this good food!

Oh you lucky flatmate! Happy birthday! :)

satish said...

nice!!

and you didnt invite me??! :((
kyun sayesha bhai, kyun kiya aapne aisha??? haan, kyun? aakhir kyun????!! :((((

paryaywachi shabd, you mean samanarthi shabds?!!

:D

give him my wishes too!

oxymoron said...

are thr any leftovers for me to come and munch on????

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

yummy yummy! and low-cal gulab jamuns??? yeh sunne ke pehle.... :-)

just curious, how do you make them low cal? :-)

Archana said...

Nice - I want to eat pani puris now :-(!

Maverick said...

jab bhi sayesha bolti hai.. mustafa mein trolley crash hoti hai.... sounds something like jab sabuu (from chacha chowdry comics) ko gussa aata hai.. kahin koi jawalamukhi explode hota hai...

dev said...

I wanna eat Pani puri too!!! :((((

Waise... low cal gulabjamuns?? Did u mean to say local? :P

Happy belated budday... Sayesha bhai's roommate!
Kahin dry day toh nahin tha na? :P

Di said...

wow!! sounds like a fultu yummmmy bday party...and really u must b one heck of a cook...congrats!!!! :-)

Clueless said...

Oh man. All the food was super-yummy. And I mean SUPER-yummy! (Gymaoing and swimmaoing, what? :P) Too bad I didn't help in the making of any of it, despite me being there the entire day!

Happy budday, Sayesha's flatmate! Hope you had a great time! :)

Iday said...

I hate u....
I hate u for putting up all those pics knowing exactly what effect they'd have on me :((

Oh!!! Did i say i hate u?!!?
Err... No i dont :D
U r an awesome roomie bhai!!! Jus Awesome. Nothing less.
I hope u dont forget to cook till we meet for the party that u promised y'day :)

Rishit said...

Boss, you really have knack for story-telling :)

Janefield said...

Pic post!!!!! :D Food and the guests that weren't camera shy looked awesome :-) Belated budday wishes to flattie! And you got pink gerberas too! ;)

IndianArchie said...

Those pavs aren't authentic ladi-pavs! Guess they are those used in hot dogs? Dont they have ladi pavs at mustapha?

IA

Sayesha said...

#Bananapen,
Thanks, I've conveyed your wishes :)

#Duhita,
Thanks! :P

#QSG,
Hehehehe :P

#Satish,
Party invite does not come with complimentary air tickets to Singapore, you know! Apun ko kangaal nahin hone ka! :P

//paryaywachi shabd, you mean samanarthi shabds?!!

Yes yes, o great vidwaan! :P

#Oxymoron,
Oh yes, there's some stuff left, come over!
ps: That way I will know your identity, muahahaha! :D

#Ipanema Gal,
//just curious, how do you make them low cal? :-)

You fry them in oil instead of ghee. (I think readymade ones are fried in ghee.) And you don't make the syrup too thick, so less sugar and overall less in quantity, so each gulabo is not dripping with the low-cal syrup, but has absorbed just about enough. The taste is slightly different but I prefer it to the high-cal ones :)

#Archana,
Me too! Damn I don't have any more left! :'(

#Maverick,
Hahaha! Sheesh the days of Chacha Chowdhry and Sabu! :P

#Dev,
Hahaha! Is bar mein kabhi dry nahin hota... kabhi OJ ka free flow hota hai aur kabhi ashkon ka... waaah waaah waaah! :P

#Di,
Thanks! :)

//really u must b one heck of a cook..

Hehehe... how I wish... but Mom's way ahead of me... I'd be happy to be even 50% of what she is in the kitchen :)

#Clueless,
Arre yaar moral support is very important too! ;)

#Iday,
Hahahaha! You owe me a round of pani puri, remember? Let's make that happen first! :D

#Rishit,
Hey, long time no see! And thanks :)

#Janefield,
Thanks :)
ps: Unlike your case, I bought the pink gerberas myself :P

#IndianArchie,
Yes yes these are hot dogs - closest things to pavs that I found at Mustafa... I hate the burger buns in pav bhaji... :'(

mysorean said...

LOL!

Great post Sayesha! So, your roommate must have had a whale of time! Great roomie you are! Awesome!

Even I had roomies. They used to sleep through my birthday! :( :P
But I used to kick them awake and we used to celebrate my birthday! :P :P

The Smiling Girl said...

Ok.. so dear old flatmate is a Virgo.. good.. :)

The Lonely Traveller said...

Wow! I guess that your roommate is extremely lucky...

And from the pics, I can see that u are an awesome cook.

Wish I could trade places with ur roomie.

*Now sighing and thinking about how you would have set up my B'Day party!

;-)

Nirwa said...

And I was not invited. Hmph.

shekhar said...

Yes...in case anyone forgets dear Sayesha ji ka birthday, they deserve to be thrown the 'perk' out of the flat !!! :D

Err..btw, when IS your birthday ??

cardamom said...

kyaa baat hai...muh me paani aa gaya...lekin paani puri nahee aaya :(
...nice pics yaar..

to your flatmate "khush to bahut huye hoge tum..*a Big B pause*..yaad rakhna sayesha ka b'day bhi aayega"..

Low cal gulab jamuns..sayesha get a patent..sanjeev kapur is listening (besides dancing)....
-aby

Restless Rain said...

Wa bananapen got gold!!! So I am announcing it out for her here... heh

The food looks delicious! Oh when will I get to taste it? Hint hint...

American Pi said...

The gulab jamuns (and everything else too) look good! My guilty pleasure here is a super size pack of Parle G and Hot Milk whenever I get the craving!

Iday said...

//You owe me a round of pani puri, remember?
Hey - dint i change status yesterday???
I owe u a truck load of pani puris.
It will happen on the day we meet :D

Sakshi said...

YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
I was not invited. waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

Harshi said...

Omg..jao nahi baat karti. I was feeling so hungry, and yeh dekh kar aur bhi....and I can't even touch it!!! :-(

:-))
Food looks toooo amazing Sash.

The Light-House. said...

A roar of laughter at honey dew.
I love Pani Puri.
I love Samosa too.

oxymoron said...

arre madam, aapne to hume secret agent ka status de diya! aisa kya hai humari identity main ??
anyways, i've told you, the next time i bump into you i'll let u know!

or the sure shot, quick, express way - cook a sumptuous inviting meal like the one in the photos, and invite me :P

PS: i prefer the second way :D

PizzaDude said...

Wow!! You are an amazing roomie!! Your room-mate is really lucky!!
Happy Birthday Sayesha's roomie :D
The food looks really yum! And low cal gulab jamuns ???? sounds interesting.

Sudeep said...

belated happy b'day to ur roommate..

in fact yest night i had pani puri at home..

woh Nuri ekdum bhut type thi kya ki uske paas kajal rakha tha? Lantern keke jaane ka agle time.. Nuri Nuri .. aa ja re :D

n plastic forks bolne ke bajay disposable cutlery .. sheesh.. these editors bhi na :D

n i wanted to see this Mustafa mall ever since my client told 'bout it..

Anonymous said...

Wow! ur flatmate's lucky :)...

Belated Happy Birthday to him! :)

-Sowmya

ps: He's lucky cos he shares his b'day with me :P... Not cos ur his flatmate ;)

Inder said...

you are a good flatmate :)
my flatmates happily forgot my birthday. infact the whole world forgot my birthday :(
musafa sounds like a dangerous accident prone area... with all those trolley crashes... :P

Viks said...

crazy post !! a very bad idea to see all this yummy unfinished stuff, when far from home. Makes finger marks on screen while trying picking it up :P

Sayesha said...

#Adi,
ROFL at your roommate story :D

#Smiling Gal,
Yeah :)

#Lonely Traveller,
Hahaha! :D

#Nirwa,
Ud ke aati kya? Literally :P

#Shekhar,
YOU dunno MY budday?? Grrrr... you deserve to be thrown the perk outta my bar! :D
ps: It's 13th April :)

#Cardamom,
//kyaa baat hai...muh me paani aa gaya...lekin paani puri nahee aaya :(

Hahahahahahahhaah! :D

#Restless Rain,
//Oh when will I get to taste it? Hint hint...

Akan datang! My housewarming party's up next! ;)

#American Pi,
Hehehe... shux man... I missed you so bad when I was making the gulabos :'(

#Iday,
//I owe u a truck load of pani puris.

OH YEAH! Dhaaki tikki! :D

#Sakshi,
Hehehehe... :P

#Harshi,
When we meet, we'll make all these and more :)

#Light-house,
:D

#Oxymoron,
//anyways, i've told you, the next time i bump into you i'll let u know!

Hmmph! Tell me how many times you've bumped into me since you graduated? :/

//PS: i prefer the second way :D

I prefer the first one. :P Tu sadak par mere nazuk haathon se pitega toh bahut achha lagega :D

#Pizzadude,
Thanks :)

#Sudeep,
//woh Nuri ekdum bhut type thi kya ki uske paas kajal rakha tha? Lantern keke jaane ka agle time.. Nuri Nuri .. aa ja re :D

Hahahaha! Tu paagal hai bilkul! I could really imagine you singing it! :D

//n i wanted to see this Mustafa mall ever since my client told 'bout it..

Client ko hi bhejta hai, khud kab aayega? :/

#Sowmya,
Thanks :)

//He's lucky cos he shares his b'day with me :P... Not cos ur his flatmate ;)

WHAT? :O I take my thanks back! :/

#Inder,
//my flatmates happily forgot my birthday. infact the whole world forgot my birthday :(

Arre yaar, meri taraf se happy budday to you for the last five years and in advance for the next five years :)

//musafa sounds like a dangerous accident prone area... with all those trolley crashes... :P

I totally agree! :|

#Viks,
//Makes finger marks on screen while trying picking it up :P

Hehehehehe :P

oxymoron said...

probably twice, since graduation. u came down as a judge for sangam!
and next time near some restaurant in siglap!
keep guessin'

oxymoron said...

probably twice, since graduation. u came down as a judge for sangam!
and next time near some restaurant in siglap!
keep guessin'

asterix said...

kya bhai ...tunney tho bindass khana pakaya hai rey....dekhey hi apun ke muh mey tho paani aa rehla hai

Sayesha said...

#Oxymoron,
OMG it's you! Swami, isn't it?? Pakad liya pakad liya! :D

#Asterix,
Thank you ji :)

oxymoron said...

chh! chh!
sayesha!
way off!
btw swami is not a TIG!

Lalit Singh said...

abe sahi cook hain tu to bhai
now i see where u were bijee....

Sayesha said...

#Oxymoron,
Damn he's a VIG! Sheesh! I'm off to check my TIG excel sheet (of course I have one for every batch, what did you think??) :D

#Lalit,
Dekha dekha? Faaltu ka itna daant diya bachi ko? :P

Sudeep said...

arre yeh decoration sahi kiya hain.. pav n lemons.. too gud

lekin itna accha rakha toh maan hi nahi karega khane ka :((

n cake pe gulabjamun? :o

Sayesha said...

#Sudeep,
Thanks yaar! Kabhi aa idhar, mere haath ka khana khane, I won't decorate for you! :D
Gulab jamun was dessert, cake toh birthday cake hai, it goes with every cuisine! ;)

starbreez said...

AW MAN, i wish i had been there!!!!!!