Sunday, November 14, 2010

In need of change, Indeed

I don’t know about you, but I definitely am on a constant lookout for new happenings and doings, if things don’t go about in your life with a little detour once in a while and if you keep on the same chosen path – living the life as it is, it would be pointless, bland and ostensibly boring.

If things get too routine I create situations to make them interesting, a little role play here and little nudge to extreme there. Think beyond your boundaries and capture the unknown when you are settling into a comfortable zone. This is what life’s all about, you experiment, succeed or fail and you move on to the next best thing. All opportune moments will come; you just have to make a grab for it.

I am, on the superficial layer, quite calm, composed and relaxed, but as they say, everything superficial is not necessarily true just like beauty or personality; I am a raging maniac inside, persistently making my way about adventures and unseen situations, just to bring about that spark which keeps me going. It’s all pretty much a game and these are the little things in life which I enjoy.

I have always been agitated with food repeating itself on the table. Even at a restaurant; I try and make things a little more interesting than they normally should be. I usually leave it to the chef when I am ordering something special (whether with friends, colleagues or family, I get to pick ONE dish aside from the regular, and that’s saying a lot, considering I am usually surrounded by one track minded people who see only the specialty of the restaurant or something which they have eaten and been eating there forever). If I don’t get a chance to order in something which the restaurant offers as a house / chef special, I make it a point to order a house special sauce or chutney, something extraordinary to trick my palate into believing something different is being savored.

The next best thing to a cocktail (that’s when I am bored of the sweets and the sours of alcohol) is a beer. Round the clock refreshing and pretty easy on the alcohol content giving a nice relaxed feeling without making you feel too full or drunk. An uncle of mine is a crazy beer fanatic, when I was over at his place in L.A. for a month and a half, I would soak up the ambience of his beautiful house with continuous refills of chilled draft on tap.

There are thousands of varieties of beer one can enjoy. India, is delving slowly into the whole variety beer market, but it will take its time. From ales, lagers, malts to stouts & drafts, it’s all a fantastic market out there for us to discover. I have heard about this place on the outskirts of Pune which boasts of a resort (called “The Corinthians”) housing its own brewery – a definite must visit and shall do so in the near future.

As may be the case I get bored too easily of sipping on a kingfisher or a bud on a regular basis (I used to enjoy chugging London Pilsner when it was manufactured here). So I try and spruce up my cold one once in a while. One of the common additives (and the ones beer lovers dared to experiment with) to beer are lemon (as with the case in Corona, without which, corona loses its complete aura). But there are many ways in which one can enhance the flavors and tease your palate; it comes in handy when you are having a particular type of cuisine too.

Beer generally can never be flavored, but for people like me, I wouldn’t mind having that change of taste once in a while. I have, in the course of my experiments, tended and succeeded in singling out few additives which can make your experience of beer a lot more entertaining.


One of my favorite additives, our Indian chillies has the right amount of smokiness and spiciness to bring out the crispness in any beer. Not only does it add an element of Indian’ ness to the beer (we all love biting on our chillies in our meals don’t we?) but brings out many hidden flavors when the sharpness of the chillies hit your tongue. A perfect combination of chilled and spicy, contrary to the hot and spicy, which we are used to. Slit a parrot chili in the middle and toss into your beer mug right before serving it.


A common sight when a wedge is stuck on the lip of a Corona bottle, infact Corona advertises its beer with a lemon wedge. It enhances the flavors to indomitable heights, what with all the sourness and the tanginess, no wonder we relate to it. Add a slice once in a while to your mug of beer and if you want to stay safe – stick to Corona. Wheat beers go unusually well with lemon.

Orange Rind:

This is quite an interesting twist to your common ale. The citrus flavors blend well with most draft beers and all you need is a long slice of fresh orange rind to make the perfect addition to your beer. The citrusy, slightly fruity flavor subdues the bitterness a little while giving it a nice finish with every sip. The rind, if placed precariously over the mug rim, shall give you fresh bursts of flavor and smell which you can sniff on when taking a sip. Serve this with a chili too when having Thai food. Your dish will have an exciting accompaniment.


A small amount of muddled herbs enhance each and every thing, even if it means your beer. A practical herb is coriander, apart from imparting a distinguishable flavor to the beer, the herb acts as a catalyst in enhancing the yeastiness in the beer. A fun addition if you like your fizz with a kick. Just muddle a few fresh coriander leaves with the stalk and toss into your beer mug. If you don’t like the leaves interrupting the flow in your mouth and need a smoother drink experience, just tie the muddled coriander in a small muslin cloth and drop it in your beer. You can remove it in a couple of minutes once the foam settles down or you reach the bottom of your drink.

A change is good once in a while, you need to keep it going to keep yourself going.      


Ragini said...

You won't believe how much I can relate with your "something different on my palate everytime" idea. But some how i m sorrounded by people who do not want to experiment at all. Since the main course portions are generally meant for more than one person, I would end up eating the same thing again.

May be the restraunts should start something like you have to try one new dish everytime you go there :)

nonchalantgourmand said...

The trend in most restaurants is veering towards a tasting menu ! Most people are not accustomed to that yet, because value for money is still an issue, ... till then - an extra dish will always have to be fought for ;)

.. and just maybe restaurants should throw in a chef's special for free once in a while, this will get people to experiment and think outside the "dish" ...

Ragini said...

I like your idea and hope some restauranteurs are reading this :)