Friday, July 27, 2007

Vindaloo Masala

I decided to go eat on my own for a change at my newly discovered Mr India restaurant down the road from my house.

See, when you go and eat Indian food with non-Indians, you don't get the real stuff. Things are modified, especially spice wise, so that customers don't run to the bathroom holding their stomachs or leave with smoke coming out of their ears.

"Namaste Madam," says Ramu the Bangladeshi dude as I enter, and asks me in Hindi if I was expecting anyone to join me.

"How did you know I was Indian and spoke Hindi?," I ask.

"Madam, you come here often, we know our people," he says.


I order a chicken vindaloo, garlic naan and a King Fisher beer.

"Very good madam, I will make it apna style (our style)," he says.

Yippee. Finally a good authentic meal was on my way, my mouth was watering already.

After watching 6 Best of Aishwarya hits on the telly in the restaurant, my fragrant chicken vindaloo arrived with a steaming garlic naan and chilled beer.

The first bite was heaven. The spicy and hot curry touched my taste buds like they haven't been touched in a while.

Mum, I missed your curry; dad and bro, you would have loved this.

But, it seemed to get spicier by the bite.

The more I ate, the more my mouth burned, the more it blistered my throat, and later my ears began steaming, and shortly after it seemed to start scorching out through my eyes.

My beer was long over, and I couldn't taste the food anymore. I was stung badly by this chilly.

I started to feel dizzy as the spice molecules accumulated and aggravated my palate.

"Madam, are you ok?" asks Ramu.

"This is killing me. What have you put in this!?" I ask.

"Madam, you are one of us. I told Harvindarji (the chef) to make it as if he was making it for himself. Maybe you cannot handle it, let me take it back and add some yogurt and make it mild for you."

What was happening? Where had my taste buds gone? Was I losing them to Madrid? I don't want to turn into those 'firangs' who cannot handle chilly. But how could that be? I am...(well was...) queen of eating chilly.

It was intolerably spicy and I bet even Harvindarji wouldn't have been able to eat it.

Well, that's the story I'm going with anyway.
Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening? Locations of visitors to this page