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Lassi Faire

February 28, 2014

I’m hiding in my study.  I’ve just retreated, quite quickly, from the kitchen and I’m now skulking at my desk keeping my head down. I have to admit, I’m a little bit scared.

In the kitchen is an old milk carton.  It contains, apparently, a mixture of yogurt and water and, for that extra delicious something, salt. Just before I ran for the hills it was brandished before me by my ayah and the challenge laid down:  “Do you want to try?  My old boss drank this all the time.  He really liked Pakistani food.”

Do you see what she did there?  In rejecting a fermenting, warm drink of watered down salty yoghurt, I’m rejecting her entire cuisine, her culture and, yes indeed, her country.  Could I be any more rude?

I like Pakistani cooking. I especially like my ayah’s Pakistani cooking.  Despite not being hired as a cook, I frequently walk in to delicious smells of radish filled fried chapati (an awful lot nice than they sound. I could eat them all day. I’d be the size of a house, but it would be worth it) or her particular take on dahl.  Yesterday’s delight was pakora (deep-fried batter-coated mixed vegetables).

Occasionally I get stumped.  A couple of days ago she brought in some spinach.  She used some for cooking and then asked what I wanted to do with the rest.  “Saag aloo?”  I said hopefully, bringing back memories of some particularly happy times in Brick Lane soaking up a couple of Cobras with spinach and potato curry.  I was subjected to a frown and a shake of the head.  No.  Apparently for Saag Aloo you need saag.  We had aloo (potatoes) but no saag.  I pointed at the spinach.  “Saag?” I said, and promptly discovered that saag and spinach are not the same thing, despite looking and tasting identical and notwithstanding what it says on Wikipedia.  You live and learn.

However I have decided to draw the line, and that line is between ‘nice cold drinks which refresh and delight’ and ‘warm dairy products containing salt’.  There my courage fails.

Am I a man (generic) or a mouse?

Eek eek.

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2 Comments
  1. Aunty Ailsa permalink

    I am totally with you on this one. Love pakora, love Dahl, love saag aloo (whatever it is made with) but Lassi, no thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have low blood pressure and often need a hit of salt to prevent headaches and the like. Salt also helps in the retention of water particularly in warmer climates. Maybe it’s coz I grew up drinking it I quite like it. In the middle east they call in Labban. Why don’t you ask her to make you a sweet lassi (like a mango one or something)? Oh and yes, warm does make it sound less appetizing – cold is where it’s at! 🙂

    Like

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