The 7 to 9 Chef/ Chapter 14/ Babycorn chettinad Biryani

Author’s note: This post has been in my draft for 1 week now. I have been so so busy with my first two weeks at college. Only now did I get some time to finally complete the post. I haven’t done the recipe challenge this week too. but will surely do it when I find some time. I am taking this recipe to Fiesta Friday this week BTW!

Babycorn Chettinad Biryani And The Story of Heartbreaks

“RAY!…What are you’ll doing here at this time?” I ask alarmed. Am I hallucinating them or something?

“Don’t you think you have to answer that first?” asks Jerry. Ray stands there staring at me. Not in a way I like. He looks angry but disappointed too.

“I..I…Well..I am here to receive a ..a..” I search my brains for some ideas, “foreign guest. Strictly official business.”

Ray looks up at me. I can see it in his eyes that he knew I was lying. I hate to do this to him.

“Wow! Didn’t know Harshini sent you without any of the others’ knowledge to receive this so called VIP of yours.” He asks me.

“Ray, Hemant told me. This person, Mr. Walters…” Jerry cuts me short.

“Enough Cass! What is this note for then?” They have caught me red handed.

I collapse on the chair. After a few seconds thought I say, “guys, please please let me go. I want to live my life my way….”

“Do you think we are here to stop you? We just want the reason.” Ray tells me. God! He is sounding so dejected. Why is he doing this to me? I wish I could run back into his hands and beg for forgiveness. But what about my priorities?

” I don’t want that promotion.”

“But..but you said you liked the job, didn’t you?” He looks at me confused

“I..I..well.yes I did but!” I realise I am literally creating a poorer and poorer image of me in front of Ray.

“But what Cass?” He yells back.

What can I tell him? Why me all the time? Having no other option I look down.

“You lied to me?” He asks me disappointed.

“You are just assuming things Ray. Just hear me out for a second..please.”

“ what do you have to say?” He asks me though he is well aware of the fact that I am clueless.

There is a long moment of silence. None of us even exchange looks. Really I’ve nothing to say. I could probably tell that my brother looks mad, I look tensed, And Ray, sad, dejected, angry, disappointed, hurt….

After sometime I decide to break the ice. I say, “all I want is to go to Manali. Away from the people I know. Away from that office of a hell. Away from this..this life because nothing in this is true, even I am not true..Nothing is!” My eyes are hot with this tears, and my throat is burning like somebody lit it on fire.

“You mean not even us ?” What have I said? Shit!

“No! No no Ray! I didn’t mean can’t play with my words like thkt.”

“I am playing with words is it? Wow! You surprise me Cass, like every time. You know what, I am done with you, done with this crap. Pack your bags, leave to Manali or anyplace else..I’m leaving.. Good bye.” He turns to leave but suddenly stops and throws something at me.

“I wanted to give this to you as a symbol of a new beginning for us, with your promotion and everything, but I guess it’s not important anymore. This whatever thing we had between us is over..k..”

“Wait. How did you know about my promotion. I never told you,” I ask him, stunned overlooking the fact that I was just dumped in the most ridiculous way.

“Cause I recommended you. If only you had told me the truth.” He yells back. Wow ! Great.I’ve brought this on my head!…..I suddenly realize he had said that everything between us was over. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt him. I bend down and pick up a ring box. My heart gallops with excitement for a second, then realizes the reality and shuts up. I open the tiny, blue box to find a note instead of a ring. The note says..

A diamond ring on it’s way, if you just tell me those magical three words.

He is so romantic. I am a total idiot for spoiling everything. I look up at him, just to see him walking away. I run behind him, but Jerry stops me.

“What crappy drama are you creating Cass? Are you out of your mind? Come back home right away.”

“Leave me. He is going away.”

“He is going no where Cass. He’ll be in bangalore only. Accept that and come home now. Dont create a fuss. Already people are staring at us.”

“He is walking away. I’ve to stop him. Leave my hand.” I try pulling, but he is too strong for me.

“Should I call mum or are you willing
to come by free will.” That was more than enough to shut me up and make me walk back with him to the driveway.

I spot Sam’s SUV standing there. Is that Vicky? Damn it ! She was going to be back this morning. How could I forget! I’m going to be in my grave soon. On spotting me, she immediately gets out and runs towards me. But to my surprise she hugs me instead of slapping me.

“Cass where the hell were you? You scared us to death.” So that’s my senti sis. Half of her which I hate and sometimes forget exists.

“The airport I guess…” And then comes the hardest slap she has given me ever. My jaw could have been dislocated!

“Get into the car asap Ruth. We have some big talking to do.” She calls me Ruth if she gets pissed.

As I get in, I realise Ray is inside only. He is looking out of the other window, to avoid me. And Ananya is also here.

“I didn’t know you’ll required so many people for searching for runways.”

“Did you read your letter buffoon? You didn’t even give the reason  duffer. Abviously we need people k. ” Ananya hits me hard on the head.

“We got so freaked. If I hadn’t come this morning, none of us would have known until you reached your so called destination. Thanks to Ray we decided to look at the airport first.” Vicky joins in. Ray seems to be unmoved by any of this. He doesn’t open his mouth until we reach his place. On my every attempt to talk to him in the car, he had paid no heed. Suddenly it strikes me that he loves me too, otherwise why would he give such a gift. That’s..that’s so amazing..but probably he did until I said such horrible stuff. He gets down as quickly as possible and waves a bye to Vicky and rushes off.

“What happened to him now?” Vicky turns and asks Jerry.

“I think Cass will give better details on that,” laughs Jerry. He has guts I say. I glare at him but he doesn’t seem to care. Vicky looks like she has forgotten but surely she would have saved it for later to drill me again.

Half an hour later we reach home. All of us are so dead tired that we collapse on the couch. By the time we are up it’s almost lunch time.

“Looks like I’ll skip office for another day,” says Vicky happily.

“What about you Cass?” She asks me..

“yeah me too.” I say it cooly and walk away.

“Cass stop right there. You think you can leave so fast without an explanation for all this drama you’ve just created.”

“I am an adult. I don’t think I’ll have to give explanations for everything I do unless I want to.” I tell her proudly.

“Well, you could do that when you start acting like one…” Jerry starts laughing at this.

“Get inside your room at once,” Vicky tells him sternly.

“That’s not fair! I want to watch too..” He walks away disappointed. I want to laugh now. But I dare not.

“Yes, so what do you have to tell.”

“I am hungry, aren’t you?”

“Cassie, please don’t do this. I just want to help.”

“You are not doing a great job at it. If you really want to help then just leave me alone.”

“None us are planning to tell anything to mom and dad. But if you don’t tell me the reason then I won’t have another option Cass.”

“Go tell them. Anyways my life is over, so it won’t make any difference.”

“What is all this, Cass? Why are acting like this? You have never been the same since…since.. “She stops immediately.She isn’t bringing that up now.

“Since when Vicky? What do you mean to say?”

“No nothing. Tell me why did you runaway now.”

“You are changing the topic. You meant that only didn’t you?” I run into my room and lock it. No one has ever brought up that topic in all these years about what happened on a night few years back. Vicky starts banging the door hard.

“Cass come out. I didn’t mean that. Please I’m sorry.”

“You know no one talks about it right,” I yell back in anger. My voice breaks midway into a loud cry. I have never felt so claustrophobic in all my life.

“Cass probably for a change you should talk about stuff. It’ll make you feel better sis. Stop burying everything inside you. Someone will find it someday and you’ll just erupt.”

“Leave me alone Vicky.” Why is she doing this to me? Why?

“No Cass, I am not gonna do that mistake once again. I’m pretty sure you remember what happened the previous time.” Half of me wants to open the door and tell her everything but the other half just wants to pretend nothing happened and move on. Probably I’ve had enough of my pretentious living. I slowly get up to my surprise and unlock the door.

“Oh Cass, look what you have done to yourself. God! You so badly need a facial.” Both of us start laughing. Actually I guess it’s time to use that spa coupon Jerry gave me for my birthday.

After an hour at the spa and some wonderful lunch, Vicky and I return home. We had a really long talk over lunch, and guess what, I am adtually feeling so much more better though both of us didn’t figure out a solution for my problem yet. I also told her about Ray. She promised me he’ll get over it and forgive me. I don’t know if she lied or not but it made me feel better. So many years of shutting away myself from the world hasn’t done much for me. It’s like I am new person all of a sudden.

Back home and I want to cook something. Something delicious.


  • 1 cup diced baby corn
  • 1 cup jeera sambha rice
  • 3 onions sliced thinly
  • 3 tomatoes puréed
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 crushed cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coriander + 1 cup mint ground together
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup curd


  1. Add the oil and and ghee into a pressure cooker. Added the spices. When they crackle add the onions, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste. Stir well.
  2. Add the tomato purée when the onions turn translucent. When raw smell vanishes, add the powders. 
  3. When oil separates add curd and cori-mnt paste. Stir for  3 mins.
  4. Add the baby corn, salt and rice. Add water bring to boil.
  5. Close the cooker, put the weight and keep on high till first whistle. Then simmer it down and cook for 10 mins. Turn off gas. When it cools down, open it and mix well. Squeeze some lemon if you want and serve with raita.


The biryani is wonderful but I just can’t eat. My eyes keep looking at my phone for a reply from Ray for the pic I sent. It gets two tics all of a sudden, but he doesn’t seem to reply. I leave my food untouched and walk into my room. No one knocks this time. Probably they know it’s better that way.

……to be continued

47 thoughts on “The 7 to 9 Chef/ Chapter 14/ Babycorn chettinad Biryani

  1. Thanks for bringing your story and recipe to the fiesta this week! With all the different seasonings, this is bound to be one flavorful and delicious dish! Hope you have a wonderful week, and enjoy college. I certainly miss heading back to school sometimes. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for bringing your story and recipe to the fiesta this week! With all the seasonings, this is bound to be a flavorful dish! Good luck with the start of school as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah! My heart! The ring box note was so sweet… this chapter made me a bit sad and now I want to know what happened that no one will speak about! The biryani sounds delicious and I hope college is going well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful writings Lina, and what a great dish to accompany it. I’m in awe of this wonderful meatless biryani, so much flavor and different textures. Good luck with college 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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