‘The Yummy Mutton Chops and The Story Of How Annoying I Can Be’
As the clock struck twelve, my stomach clenches so hard that I can’t breathe. I swallow hard and finally find the ‘mental’ strength to stand up and walk towards the lift. As I wait for the lift, I mentally practise different ways of apologising.
“Ray, I am really sorry about slapping you.” Noways, its too direct.
“Ray, you see we were really good friends and I was sort of a traditional person and all, so it was a big shock for me. Please don’t keep all that in mind.” No….no…noooo. I am the person who hates beating around the bush and now?..erghhhhhhhh
“Hey! Why are you looking so stressed?” I turn around to face Ray.
“Hmmm….nothing…nothing at all…eh..why would I be stressed..I am a happy person..right..Ray I am right…right?” I give the most awkward, crooked, forceful smile.
“Cass, are you alright? I mean you are behaving a little weird since morning. Are you feeling uncomfortable around me or something?” He looks at me with his raised eyebrows, waiting for my answer as we get into the lift.
“Hmmm..eh..hmmm..Actually you know what Ray, I want to get this out and get over with it.” Ray looks at me with a very concerned face as if I am about to tell him that I am going to die soon, as we get out of the lift.
“I am really sorry for slapping you eight years back.” I say it really fast and there he goes gwaffing like a mad kangaroo.
“Cassie your such a sweeheart sometimes…..haha!” I look at him in bewilderment. “I can’t believe you still remember all those stuff. We were young and it was just a school boy crush. Don’t worry yourself” It felt like someone had just unloaded something very heavy from my heart.
“Cool then. Lets grab a table fast because we have a lot of catching up to do.” I run to a table in an excited manner.
“So Cassie do you still make those tarts and cakes you used to bring to school.” Ray asks me as we help ourselves some sandwiches and salad.
“Haha..why do you ask? Of course I make them and even more better stuff actually. Cooking is my only relaxation these days.” He gives me one of his wry smiles and I knew he was going to say something really weird.
“You know what Cass, I have a confession to make. Actually I fell for you after I had your chocolate mocha cake…haha…” And now it was my turn to laugh.
“So how come you never chose cooking as your career?”
“Hmm..I don’t know Ray…See you were so good at singing, but when I ask you why you never chose that as your career, what will you tell me?”
“Now…now..now, who told you I don’t sing anymore. I have my own band actually and we make some great shows every now and then at parties, weddings and other places. We are called ‘The Super Tango’.” I just stare at him, while he ate his sandwich, in awe.
“WOW….That is so awesome…..I don’t know what to say…. So when do you find time to practice?”
“Mostly on Friday evenings and weekends. You can always do anything if you want to actually do it Cass.”
“But you have to be good at it right?”
“So you feel you aren’t that great at cooking?”
“Hmm..I guess so.”
“You amaze me sometimes Cass. In 9th grade itself you used to bake like a professional and now obviously you are going to be so much more better.”
“I am not really sure about that, but Vicky and my bro definitely love the dinners I make for us.”
He thinks for a moment. “I totally forgot to ask, so how is Vicky and everyone else at home.”
“Everyone is great. Pa and Mama moved to Chennai last year. Jerry got into UBC, Vancouver. Yeah and Vicky is getting married sometime next month.”
“That is just plain awesome. So who is the lucky guy?”
“Do you remember our senior from Vicky’s class, Sam or actually Samuel.”
I watch him as he tries to recollect.”Oh yeah…Of course….How can I forget!…Its that football team captain guy.”
“Yep, you are right. He is also my Papa’s legal advisor’s son. Vicky and Sam have also been best friends since 1st standard, then they went to law school together and now they also work in the same firm. I mean, who else could she marry?”
“Ahh..That is really sweet. Now don’t change the subject.” Ray was also too smart to be tricked. He is not the type to give up easily.
“Ok so what do you want me to do?” I better get to the point else he wouldn’t let go until he has sucked all the air out me.
“What is the date today Cass?”
I can sense he is upto something by his quirky looks.
“So here is the thing. I want to give you this challenge to come up with 29 original recipes by the 30th of May. And if you are able to do it….You know what, do it and then we will see.” Yeah right, who was I going to kid.
“You are being a bit contradictory here. Do you except me to complete it or not?” He just smiles. “Anyways it sounds fun and you can count me in!”
“So what do you say we call it?…’The 29 recipe challenge’?” I give him one of my pleasantest smiles.
Five hours later I am at HSR Layout trying to find ‘Ramu’s Mutton Shop’, which is nothing more than a shack but it has the freshest meat in town, just because some crazy buffoon challenged me. Ramu bhaiya’s shop is the only one in the whole of Bangalore that provides goat meat unlike the others where only sheep meat is available. My mother always says that goat meat always adds an extra flavour and aroma to the food. Its been a long time since I tried making mutton and I couldn’t find a better occasion to do so. Ah…finally found it.
“Cassieeeee…there you are…Where were you and why was your phone switched off?” Vicky looks terrified as I walk into the house.
With a wide smile I say,”Just wait until dinner to know and about my phone, I think the battery drained out.”
“Oh my, my…What has happened to our Cassie girl. She looks unusually fresh and abnormally happy for once.”, yells my brother from the couch. I throw my bag at him and walk towards the kitchen.
Ingredients for the mutton chops:
- Mutton chops, cleaned and washed- 1/4 kg
- ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
- chilli powder- 1 tbsp
- salt to taste
- turmeric- 1/2 tsp
- water- 3/4 cup
- 1 egg
- bread crumbs
- Add all the ingredients to a pressure cooker except for the egg an bread crumbs. After a whistle, simmer and keep for 15 min. Gently remove the weight and open the lid after the steam escapes. If there is water left in cooker then heat until it evaporates. Let it cool.
- Beat the egg well with some salt and pepper. Dip the chops in the egg and roll it in the bread crumbs and deep fry until a deep brown.
I am serving this with rice and spinach curry because Mama always insists on including a vegetable in our diet.
“Sis this is fantastic.”Jerry tells me as he grabs another of the chops.
“Curse you for buying only 1/4 kg Cass..”, laughs my sister.
I click a picture of the yummy chops and Whatsapp it to Ray and lie down waiting for my phone to beep. Wait……wait…wait…What did I just say!!!!!….JUST KNOW THAT I AM NOT WAITING FOR ANY BEEEEPPPPP!! OKAY???
…………..To be continued
Author’s note: Its been an awesome experience for me to type this out, hope you all have one reading it too. Also this is my Mom’s secret recipe which she would never tell me. But when I forced it out of her, I couldn’t believe it was so easy. Please dont forget to try this recipe!