February 20, 2006


Rajma is the staple diet of a ManDevIan. Almost everyday we are fed this ubiquitious cereal. And I wouldn't mind if it was well prepared. But the fare that the Nepali cook dishes out (not an attack on his culinary skills!) is a combination of masala, water and boiled rajma; which is probably added to the masala-water solution. Back home Mom makes this really tangy rajma curry, and its a delicacy. We who make up the DSouza stamachs (my Dad coined this term!) devour it as soon as it hits the plate.

Requests for variations result in the addition of water so that the colour of the curry changes. And it doesnt help because when I pour a helping onto my rice, the water disappears through the grains of rice and all that is left at the top of the heap is the freshly boiled rajma. Being added last in the cooking process and not having sufficient soaking time, it is as dry as the Thar desert.

Also known as Red Kidney Beans in other parts of the world, Rajma is a nutritious cereal. Unfortunately all it has achieved in MDI is to increase the flatulence index before it makes a long winding journey through the depths of the bowels of the 300 odd PG student fraternity at Change Masters and Odessey Hostel. Numerous attempts to the Hostel and Mess Secy to remove the cereal from the menu have been futile (not a question mark on benevolent Nitin Sharma) but the cereal seems to have some relation to being what we call in economics a 'public good' in this part of the country. What 'aalu' is to the people of the Gangetic plains, 'rice' to the people of the South, Sugar and sugar derivatives to Gujarat; 'Rajma' seems to be to the Punjabi and Haryanvi folk.

I am stuck with this cereal for the next one year atleast. Luckily I'll be home for the summers and so I can safely deduct 2 months of suffering. I can imagine myself, all round and portly when I return for the senior year. Mansi who was in ABG last year as a summer intern has told me that the food there is good. Add that to Mom's cooking, and I can see a major weight gain in June.

Meanawhile Shasvat Lakhanpal seems to like lil Red Kidney Beans. Apparently the stuff cooked here seem to digest in his stomach. My gut still has to get used to it!


Venkat said...

i love the rajma!

Gordon DSouza said...

taste the type prepared in our mess and I guarantee those feelings will change