Sunday, 10 August 2014


In a year you have time to get used to things and to get fed up with them. You also have time to miss others. It's not my case. I didn't really miss anyone or anything, but Spanish food was always welcomed. 

Sometimes, when my friend and I got really bored, we began fantasizing about having a Western dinner. We had a craving for pizza and paella, respectively. Sometimes we dreamed up a whole menu. It didn't sate our hunger; it only made our mouths water. 

After some months in India, my friend brought me a little can of olive oil. I remember having some toast with it as my Christmas lunch. I couldn't imagine a better delicacy than that! Every now and then I poured a few drops on a tomato and cucumber salad. Yummy! I made it last as if it were black gold! 

On another occasion he told me on the phone he had bought some ham for me. More than ever I was longing for his coming back. My surprise was when I opened the packet. It was not the famous Spanish Serrano ham but the boiled version; which is nice, but not that inviting. Don't get me wrong! I ate it with pleasure. 

Finally, the real ham came. It was the best present ever. I was about to set up an altar for it as Indians do for their gods. Moreover I know it was an odyssey to get it, so I appreciated it even more. My friend had to run like a maniac in the supermarket and nearly missed the bus. It's a pity I'd run out of oil by then. 

Although I am a fussy person, I was determined to try everything I was offered. Indians are not that way, though. 

They are not really fond of fungi. Once I was walking in the country and I saw some mushrooms, similar to the oyster mushrooms we eat in Spain. I decided to cook them for me and for the boarding school workers. I've got to admit that the dish left a lot to be desired, but the fact is that they didn't even make the effort to try them. Only one of them tasted the mushrooms, and, using Indian absence of sincerity, said they were OK, but he didn't have a second helping. 

Another day, taking advantage of the fact that the 'bosses' were away, I prepared a paella. Well, sort of! It had all its ingredients (adapted to the Indian market) but it was tasteless. Being an expert in rice dishes as I am, I guess it's the kind of rice used there, which doesn't absorb flavours. Everybody tried it, but as it was not hot, they didn't like it. Only when they added pickle or any other hot sauce, did they eat it.

And the same happened with another rice dish I prepared (tuna rice). Everyone added any available pungent sauce. My friend and I had two helpings, though. It was a time when we were a bit weary of the repetitive Indian cuisine. 

And the same old story when my mother came to visit me, and so to show the cooks some Spanish cooking, she sautéed some chicken livers (which were delicious, by the way). Six of one and half a dozen of the other! It was not hot. Translated into 'Indian', it was waste. 

But all in all, I love Indian food. And I missed it when I was in the Dominican Republic. The spices prevent you from sweating, which would have been great in such humid weather. 

The idea of opening a Spanish restaurant somewhere has crossed my mind. Now, taking full account of my fiasco, I know it can't be in India. 

P.S.: The awesome paella at the beginning of this post is not the one I cooked! 

No comments:

Post a Comment