Look, Ma! Samosas!

Yesterday, I made samosas, for the first time ever. So I did what any daughter would do – I promptly called up my Mom.

“Look at the samosas I just made”, I said excitedly.

“You made samosas?” my Mom asked me. “You. Made. Samosas?”

“Yes, Mom, look at these, aren’t they beautiful”, I said happily, tilting the webcam so she could see the whole batch.

Then I saw her face. Her eyes had grown large and round. Her face had taken on an alarming shade of white. I wondered for a moment if she had skipped her blood pressure medication.

But I knew what she was thinking. In her mind, she had put together a collage of me, a pan with boiling oil, the sizzling samosas, hardwood floors and smoke alarms, and she had filled in the rest of the picture. She had, after all, never seen me cook.

I remember, in tenth grade, my class was asked to write an essay. The topic was “How I made my first cup of tea.” This was easily the most difficult essay I have ever written. You see, I had never made a cup of tea before. I did not even drink the stuff, except at friends’ homes. I was used to Boost, Bournvita and Horlicks. I got tea at home only when I had a headache. So I was always solicitous of anyone who had to drink tea.

I sat in class, wondering how one makes tea. I knew what went into tea, of course. It was some combination of sugar, tea leaves and milk. The question in my mind was really the sequence of events. When my mother made my Bournvita, she first boiled milk and then added the Bournvita. But something told me it was not the same with tea. It seemed to me that for tea, you boiled water, but I could not be sure. How can you have water in a drink? Aren’t all drinks just milk? But I was also scared I was going to make a laughing stock of myself by writing the wrong thing.

I looked around the class. Everyone else was busy writing. Well, I told myself, I was in the Hindi heartland after all. Every other kid in the class must have been bottle fed tea at birth. No doubt, they also made their own tea and drank several potfuls each day. I, on the other hand, only ever went into the kitchen to check if Mom was cooking my Maggi right. This essay, no doubt, was Retribution.

I took a deep breath and finished writing. The results came back, but I was never really sure if I had got it right. Years later, when I made my first cup of tea, I realized that I had, luckily, made the right choice – you boil water, not milk.

Even more years later, I was now making my first batch of samosas. It’s true, isn’t it, we keep learning through life. Maybe in a few years time, I will learn to cook a full course meal. But not anytime soon, or my Mom might go into shock.

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12 Comments

  1. hmmmm that looks delicious and surely it does taste delicious. congratulations for cooking that perfectly am sure your mom so proud of your samosas. :)

  2. Those samosas look professional! And my mother worries, too, that I’m going to set myself afire every time I cook; and I have the same worry when my daughter cooks, too. It’s hard-wired in mothers, I guess.

  3. Neither me nor my sister can cook. But she is in a much much better position. Everybody just assumes that she is a lazy idiot who won’t move her butt out of the bed: her considerable mass helps to make this story sound true. And when it is me that is their target, everybody thinks that I am a MCP who feels that slogging it out in the kitchen is for women. Sigh.

  4. Join the club! :-) I’m a terrible cook too.. Mom has tried getting me started for like a 100 times but i never even try to begin.. Now when theres a necessity to learn cooking, shes taking some sweet revenge by letting me experiment and learn on my own! :-)

  5. Look what you’ve done! My first trip to your blog and now I want to make samosas. :) Ok, that’s not a bad thing, but I did just make buttered chicken and naan last night, although my “naan-making” needs work.

    I may have more culinary work ahead of me, but how I have a fun, well written new blog to frequent.

    Love the Tag post. Great idea.

  6. Thanks for the vegetable Samosa recipe. Based on my experience the real secret to making good Samosas is in the way you create the patato filling. If patato filling is well prepared, half the battle is won.

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