Try as I might to recreate the dishes I cook at home with industrial vegetables from the local supermarket in Paris, or tinned vegetables that I buy for the sake of convenience, I fail every single time. My spinach sambar that turns out so delicious back home in India is an absolute disaster by my standards here. Is it the variety of spinach, the heat of the electric hot-plates, the quality of spices or my cooking style? I don’t know. I can honestly say that packets of instant rasam are no match to the rasam mum makes in a vessel made of tin over a burning coal stove. My grandmother’s sambar always turned out best on a similar coal stove in a stone vessel. I recognise that cooking that way is both time-consuming and energy-inefficient. But the taste makes up for the inconvenience.
The article discusses the pleasures of eating with the fingers. I still do when I eat at home. I enjoy feeling the food on my fingers. I would abandon the fork and the spoon any day for a hearty meal on a banana leaf. But well, that’s just me. Maybe I am an obsessed food-lover. But, reading that article has made me hungry. And it’s 1 AM. Not a good thing! So, I am going to try to sleep, all the while planning out the menu for tomorrow. I only wish there was someone other than me to eat what I cook. It is kind of boring to eat alone.