Saturday, 27 August 2011


I often wonder how man used to season his food before salt was discovered or how long it took to discover the exact use of salt. It must have been an accidental discovery, I’m sure. Some Neanderthal idiot went to the beach and brought back some white salty grains to show his fellow Neanderthals. Those people didn’t know garbage from food and were in the process of tasting just about everything so that they could sort out the edible from the inedible. (They made some grave mistakes. They added bitter gourd and basically every other type of gourd to the ‘edible’ list.) So one of them put some grains in his mouth and spat it out because it tasted funny. But his female counterpart tried it with a piece of roasted root or roasted Dodo and found out that it enhanced the flavor of food. (Yes. The ladies were the smarter lot even back then.) This is my version of the discovery of salt. My younger college going sister still thinks it was Mahatma Gandhi who discovered salt (My sincere apologies to Mr. M.K. Gandhi. You see what this generation has become?) In case you think I’ve tried to correct her, I haven’t. I’m looking for the right family function when I can ask her about the discovery of salt in front of a good (and large) audience and have fun at her expense. I can be mean that way.
Coming to the main point, I am STILL trying to discover the exact and ideal amount of salt that when added to my painstakingly prepared delicacies, will make them taste the way they were meant to. Before you start questioning my culinary skills, let me tell you that I am a reasonably good cook and my dogs and His Majesty (aka my Husband) will vouch for it. His Majesty will also add for good measure that he is usually a very non fussy eater and eats anything that is served to him, at which point I will glare at him. Yes, it helps that he is not interested in food, but I am and I like making nice things. But I often end up adding too much or too little salt to the food and this messes it up. His majesty is very kind and never complains. He just comes up with his empty plate and gently informs me about it at which point I slap my forehead and get extremely angry at myself and apologize to him. He smiles. His Majesty likes my cutlets and curries and is offended if I add to many spices to his food. He likes it simple and healthy. He must have been a Mother’s Delight, eating all his veggies and clearing up his plate of everything that is served. I was my Mother’s worst nightmare when it came to food. I refused to eat most vegetables and had to be force fed almost every day. I hope my kids take after His Majesty. I also hope someone invents some sort of exact salt input measuring device so I can know how much salt has to be added to what dish. Till then, I can continue making occasional mistakes as long as His Majesty keeps smiling. :)

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