Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Top Naught

This is how a conversation, which I overheard, at a high end mall between two P.Y.T.'s in their early 20's went.

P.Y.T. No.1 wearing a form fitting white shirt, gold charm bracelet, leather boots and matching belt, Calvin Klein's white washed jeans and Jackie O sunglasses perched over her head

P.Y.T. No. 2 summer dress in sky blue, high heeled sandals, swinging, what could probably be a Louis Vuitton limited edition bag, sunglasses to shy a bumble bees eyes, also perched over her perfectly coiffed hair

- Animatedly walking the talk and eyeing each and every store in site with their piercing stare and not a care in the world.

P.Y.T. No. 1: Passing by the Ed Hardy Store: Dahlin' dont you think Christian (as in Christian Audigier by his 1st name) should be a little more mellow in his designs, I mean come on this (pointing to a rack displaying the latest designs) does not suit the Indian body at all and only a few (at that moment she stops by a mirror and looks at herself, smirks) can carry it off. 

P.Y.T. No.2: I know, he is hilarious (sic), what in the world made him think his stuff would sell out here and worse off (pointedly staring at a women in her 40's, wearing a salwar kameez and browsing through the tee rack at the store) to people like that. 

P.Y.T. No.1: Totally, no wonder I prefer the streets of Milan to this god forsaken place, damn not one thing in sight which I like, so yesterday. 

P.Y.T. No. 2: Let's go next week, I think Ill convince daddy to make reservations at Four Season's, it's been long since he has given me anything, anyway.

I stood there quite transfixed while they made their way around the mall scoffing everything and everyone in sight. What I do not understand, why come here at all?

We all live in some sort of a rose tinted platinum lined bubble, things don't always need to be so in your face and pretentious. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not against brands, or things which are classified as uber luxury, I too endorse a couple of them for my own liking. When you wear a Gucci or the new pair of moccasins from Bally, and if someone ask's / exclaims - "nice shoes", the least you can do is not burst out saying "ohhh, they are bally's". I personally feel these apparels, accessories etc. are meant to be enjoyed by the person who has bought it and not flaunted. Period.

Same goes for food, I have seen so many dishes being primed, propped, defined luxurious, but if they remain understated, that's when they truly bring out their true flavours. The joy of ordering gourmet is as much as is in eating it quietly (equivalent to loud burps, belches and other non-mentionables).

One of the most understated foods is soup, as much as you may add the fanciest of ingredients, the best of vegetables, sauces etc. the humble broth, world over, keeps you satisfied, filled, hearty, warm and cozy. It can be made fancy yet look simple, or remain simply clear with fresh veggies and look divine. It's one of the most uncomplicated, no-nonsense dish in the world.

We all love our Tomato Soup, my search for the perfect Tomato Soup has not yet ceased and I still crave to find the humblest yet tasty Tomato Soup, world over. Though, today I'll share with you my favourite recipe, tried, tested, tasted a hundred times over, and it can come up to a certain level of flavour which I can boast of as - perfect.


8-9 Large, Firm Red Tomatoes
1 small Onion (chopped finely)
2 cloves of Garlic (peeled)
2 Bay Leaves / All Spice (Fresh)
3-4 Basil Leaves
1 tablsp Fresh Celery (chopped)
5-6 Whole Peppercorns
2 tablsp Butter
1 tsp Olive Oil
1 tablsp Parsley / Coriander
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
Cream to garnish

Take a large pot with about 4 cups of water and keep to boil. Add the tomatoes, whole, the peppercorns, celery and bay leaves. In another small vessel, heat the olive oil, once heated slightly, add the garlic cloves, whole and stir around till slightly browned. Be careful not to burn it. Dunk the garlic-oil mix into the simmering tomato mix. Simmer till the tomato skin breaks apart. Remove from heat, strain (keeping some water in reserve), and remove the bay leaves. Puree the mix adding a bit of water if too thick.

In a soup pot, heat a tablsp of butter and add the onions, stir till translucent and fragrant. add the rest of the spices and seasoning's, except the parsley/coriander and give it a quick stir. Pour the prepared soup with a cup of reserved water and simmer uncovered, on low, for about 15 minutes. Check for salt and Serve hot or transfer to individual bowls.

To add a bit of fine desi tadka:
In a vessel, heat the balance spoon of butter, add the parsley / coriander and stir fry for few minutes. Top on the soup before serving with a swirl of cream and its ready to be devoured.

Hope this is one dish you cherish no matter whether you are eating it at a Michelin star restaurant or in the comfort of your own home. 

1 comment:

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