Español: Cebolla siendo cortada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“I hate tears Pushpa, I hate tears”
These distinctly corny words from Rajesh Khanna‘s classic of the 70’s “Amar Prem” always come to mind when I am chopping onions through an endless stream of tears hoping and praying that I do not nick off a nail or slice a bit of finger. All the while I console myself with the old wives’ tale – that tears while chopping onions indicate good vision. ( Is it because if you don’t chop your fingers while crying, you obviously DO have good vision grandma??)
Well, whatever be the truth of that tale, I have always tried to minimize my onion chopping by either asking someone else to do it or using a food processor or a grater. However on Saturday I was stuck inside a shop while waiting for the Govindas to bring down a Dahi Handi when I spotted a strange looking contraption in my favourite shop – Arihant a tiny little hole in the wall owned by a goblin of a man selling the most up-to-date kitchen ware at the most competitive prices in the most unlikely of lanes in the heart of Mumbai. With Pappu his son doubling up as manager, salesman and general dogsbody, the wily old man has kept his costs to a minimum which is why he can offer his customers the best discounts in town. He also offers free advice which is most often invaluable. Whenever I want to check out a new gizmo in the kitchen, I drop by for a chat despite battling with “his fall in your face merchandise”, mainly because this old man has seen it all: from the old fashioned gadgets in my granny’s kitchen to the newest kids stepping out on the block. With all this wisdom behind him and all the time in the world to answer my inane queries, I much prefer shopping here than the glitzy new stores in ritzy new malls. Unlike the salesmen who are more interested in ringing up a sale, Mr. Arihant often advises me against several new gadgets/pots dismissing them as old wine in new bottles – ones that were likely to break faster than I kept them away.
So when I spotted this bright object that looked distinctly like a toy, I asked for it to be brought down. Pappu immediately brought it down and proceeded to show me with great enthusiasm how I could mince an onion in seconds and all by tugging a string. That was all it took to convince me and I quickly whipped out a thousand bucks and came home dying to chop my next onion.
This morning I finally took down this gadget and popped in a peeled and quartered onion , added three peeled cloves of garlic, tossed in two green chillies , secured the lid and gave it four tugs. Within seconds, the onion was finely minced so I put it in a pan where the oil was gently heating. With some extra flavouring of turmeric, freshly ground garam masala and red chilli power, I gave the onion mince a stir and allowed it to sweat while I chopped up a big tomato in my new vegetable chopper. Once again, I added the tomato and allowed the gravy to cook a bit before I put in the potato and fresh peas.
Then, I covered the pot and allowed it to simmer before finishing it off with a dollop of fresh ghee and a packet of Hommade Coconut milk to get a rassa bhaji almost as good as my granny made it.
I’m off now to enjoy my pea and potato curry with steaming hot white rice, watching the rain come gently down this wet and glorious Sunday.
PRESTIGE Veggie Cutter is imported into India by TTK Presitge and retails at MRP of Rs 995 at all kitchen ware stores and I can easily see it becoming a great gift item for your favourite sister -in- law this festive season!