"Go, watch a movie", my Mother prods. She does this every time she is here. Religiously, during the course of her six months of stay, she asks me to go out to a movie theater. To a multiplex, with digital screens, buckets of popcorn, large glasses of coke, the whole zing-bang. She says it the same way she asks me to take my vitamins, calcium , drink milk, exercise, kapalbhaati, breath in-out.
If she had put so much effort early on in my life, I could have watched QSQT, Maine Pyaar Kiya, Roja, Bazigar, Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar, all first day , first show. But that never happened.
Even now there are constraints. She doesn't want me to go and watch any movie by myself, my friends or even with her.The movie has to be watched along with my legally wedded husband, the D, only. That is the rule she lays down. Watching movie at the theaters with one's spouse, is the litmus test by which she checks all izz well between me and the guy.
Can't blame her. There is little else to rest one's faith on when all you see the couple arguing over is, "You get the Milk from Costco, I will pick up Bitter Gourd from Patel", "I did all the pickups and drop off last week when you were traveling, this week you better pick BS up from karate"
I take up my Mother's proposal with much hope, excitement even. Three hours away from clinging kids in a dimmed room with Shahrukh Khan/Farhan Akhtar/Tom Cruise and a glass of chilled coke doesn't sound too bad. If things go okay, we can hold hands even (without arguing). The husband however is not much enthused. He would rather watch "how they make shiny steely razors" instead on SCI, stretched out on the couch and eat Haldiram's Nav Ratan Bhujia.
Also the movies I want to watch is not the ones he would be caught seeing, even in a dark theater. At least not anymore.Sickly mushy romantic movies with a touch of humor are my genre. He likes the rock, car chases, hooded men and anything animated. Even if we agree on the animated we cannot white-lie a eight year old and say "We have to pick up groceries" when all we are doing is going to watch Tintin in 3D.
With every movie that we finally do not watch and argue instead, my Ma wants to dial Ajmeri Baba on hot-line.
Finally we do. Not call Ajmeri Baba. Watch a movie. At the theater. With a large glass of coke half filled with ice and toasted nachos. The nachos are terrible and I really wish there was something better. Alu-Kabli would have been perfect. Tangy with a tamarind chutney, salty with sprinkles of pink salt, hot with the tiny pieces of green chlili. It would have perfectly matched the excitement of Ethan Hunt rappelling down the Burj.
Next time maybe. A year later. And then maybe we can also hold hands.
Alu Kabli is the easiest thing that you can make in your lifetime. All you have to do in the cooking department is cook potatoes or rather boil them. You can do that step in the MW, stove top or the Pressure Cooker. Baas, you are done. To make life easy use a can of chickpeas which you drain, rinse and then just eat. If you do not have access to canned ones, you need to soak chickpeas overnight and then cook till they are soft and edible.
When I had asked in FB months ago, Eve's Lungs had this about Alu Kabli-- "tiny cubed pots, soaked red chana, onions chopped small,motor boiled ,cucumber - small diced , dhania patta , loads of imli , bhaja moshla,kalo noon and yummo"
Tanushree said -- "plus u have to have kacha lanka and chine badam..................must. "
Mine does not have cucumber, coriander leaves or roasted peanuts. If you want add them to yours.
Boil 2 medium potatoes in their jacket.Peel and then cube. Soak chickpeas overnight and cook them till soft. OR buy a can of chickpeas, drain, rinse well and use.
Chop half of a large onion in small pieces. Chop about 6 small green chili in thin rounds.
Dry roast 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds till they roast to a nice smell. Dry roast or char by holding directly on fire two Dry red Chili. Okay, only one for the faint hearted. Dry grind the cumin seeds and red chili together to make a fine powder called Bhaja Masla.
In a bowl add 2 tbsp of Tamarind Chutney, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp of Bhaja Masla, a little salt to taste and 2 of the finely chopped green chili. Mix well.Note: I used Deep Brand Tamarind Chutney, you can also make your own
In another bowl assemble the potatoes and a cup of boiled chickpeas.Sprinkle rest of the bhaja masla, some pink salt according to taste, the chopped green chili and the chopped onion. Squeeze a little of lime juice, maybe a teaspoonful. Toss together and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Now dole out a serving in a bowl. Drizzle the tamarind water you made. Garnish with some more chili and onion. Sprinkle with some hot sev if you wish. Eat immediately.