Life is beautiful when you are staying with a mom in law who has decades of culinary wisdom. Ma loves to cook and perhaps more than that, to serve with love. That’s what all Indian mothers are made of. Mr. Hubby and I, being typical brats leave no stone unturned to exploit her talent whenever we have friends over. Ma too swells with pride at the shower of praises and looks forward to such occasions.
Mr. Hubby’s firang boss Harvey had landed up from the US for the first time, and he was super excited to be in the land of culinary wonders. He had expressed his desire to experience the best of Indian culture in his two week business trip and everyone was at his planning best, since to impress a firang boss meant a ticket to the US!
Thankfully, the opportunity for Mr. Hubby came walking on its own. Harvey had once dived into the awesome aloo paranthas ma had packed for Mr. Hubby’s breakfast and had since declared that he would spend his last evening in India at our home, with authentic Indian home cooked food.
Everything was set-the menu, clothes, décor. The miniatures were shining on their place, the silver cutlery buffed, mirrored cushions on the sofa and my favorite earthen pot with floating diyas in the living room. Wow! I was super excited. The D day was unexpectedly hectic for me, but knowing ma would manage the spread, I was busy finishing work so that I could reach well in time to slip into my leheriya sari and traditional silver jewellery.
But bombshells drop when you least expect them. I was in the middle of that crucial mail when Mr. Hubby called and told me mom in law had to leave as her sister had suddenly taken ill. “I can’t cancel the dinner now, please manage, I know you can”, and he hung up. For a moment, I went blank. I had barely time to finish my mail, reach home and give some last minute touches to the décor, how was I supposed to manage the entire menu in such a short time?
I left office in a jiffy and drove straight to the new grocery store in the market. Nervous and hassled, I was praying for a miracle to save us the embarrassment. And suddenly, I spotted the kitchens of India shelf in the store. Ready to eat, absolutely authentic (I could see my favorite Dal Bukhara) and ITC brand that I could trust, seems God had heard my prayers. I quickly grabbed the necessities and dashed for home and even texted Mr. Hubby to relax as situation was under control.
What could have turned into a disaster eventually turned into a golden opportunity for us, thanks to Kitchens of India. Harvey was disappointed at being unable to meet my mom in law, but soon forgot the disappointment as soon as he began savoring the delicacies.
An authentic Indian spread – Dal Bukhara, Paneer Darbari, Mirch Ka Salan, mint raita, lachcha paranthas, rice along with the perfect Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa left Harvey asking for more. Dim lights and soft santoor music playing in the background were adding to the experience. The smoothness of Dal Bukhara, richness of Paneer Durbari, the perfect Mirch ka Salan followed by the royal moong Dal halwa which made for a perfect ending. Harvey appeared as content as a pampered Nawab of Awadh!
And just to make his experience even more memorable, I gifted him a packet of Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa. On being told that he could have the same Halwa in the comfort of his home in USA, he immediately exclaimed “that’s the best gift I take from India!”
Kitchens of India not only saved but made our day. An impressed boss, Harvey was all praises for Mr. Hubby’s perfect Indian wife while I knew who to thank… Kitchens of India – perfect choice of wise wives in India!