I was making Vegetable Pilaff (aka 'Tarkari Pulao') as the Hyderabadi cookbook said.
Being a dish of rice, my apprehensions surfaced and glided over to take refuge in Mother's expertise on the Art of Cooking. It looks and reads (as in a printed recipe) easy - to prepare a dish of rice - or so I always thought - until I started cooking it myself. Even the simplest everyday rice-boiled-with-salt : 'chawal' as we call it, needs meticulous attention. If you want it 'perfect' - give it your absolute focus and care. Else , like me , if the less-than-perfect standard , set by Lord Knows who , is nevertheless enjoyable to eat : Forget asking Mother for help.
She harangues on simplicity, my mother.
The recipe lay solemly intricate.
She protested against its handsome order.
It beeseched me,to give it a try...those dapper alphabets of its existence : thus wooed and won, I insisted on following the print.
She was adamant on experience.
Rice - three-quarters cooked - cooled.
Mother exits (from the perspiring Kitchen) .
And I attempted to assuage my dish's ruffled grace.
It was done eventually. A profusely (try 'overcooked') steamed Pulao. Had I served toddlers, I would have received those oh-I-love-you-so gurgles following a Cerelac session.
The family ate.
Meanwhile , I sought sanctuary under my blanket :
' Those who sow in tears , shall reap in joy. '
I doubt , the latter part ; sometimes.