Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Bulls in Bowties: The Koramangala Test Kitchen

1/2 a pack of Sunfeast Benne Vita farfalle, though you could use pretty much any pasta
2 coffee mugs of water
1 helping of dry Mallu beef curry (olathiya erachi) that your aunt made for you a week ago and has been lying in your fridge ever since
1 brand new, unopened jar of salsa
2 eggs
1 album by the Rolling Stones, preferably Exile on Main Street

Bring the water to a rapid boil in the deepest vessel you've got. While it's boiling, start playing your Rolling Stones album. This will accomplish 2 things, namely (a) get you in a nice and enthu mood, and (b) remind you that no matter how bad the shit is that you might end up eating today, Mick Jagger's probably ingested worse into himself, and yet he's still bouncing around and getting action from women old enough to be his grand-daughters, so you're probably not going to end up too badly. Once the water is boiling, drop in the pasta and start stirring. You need to stir for about 10-12 minutes, so you better have the music on to keep you entertained. As the pasta gets softer and more cooked, i.e. chewy, drop in the beef and keep stirring till there's hardly any water left.
Serve on whichever plate you've got. It will look like this*:

Serves 2, or 1 if you're really hungry**.


Real men don't use garnish.

**Astute readers might notice that 2 of the above ingredients were never mentioned, and may hence consider them superfluous. In fact they serve a most important function: backup. If you can't cook anything else, break a couple of eggs into a pan with some salsa and oil or butter, scramble until cooked, et voila, you have a meal.


  1. you don't need to keep stirring. adding salt and some butter/olive oil will ensure the pasta does not stick.

    and, umm, you can be a little more adventurous. you know, add a sauce or something. you could for instance fry the beef a little and add some tomato puree with garlic in it, and maybe some onions, and some capsicum.

    then sprinkle some basil/oregano. and a little parmesan.

    yes that will do very well. i'm hungry now.

  2. Mallu style pasta! Wow.

    I never figured you for the cooking type. Or the Rolling Stones type. Very nice.

  3. ha ha. i dont think i'd like to be invited to a meal by you. btw can real men differentiate between garnish to be able to use them?

  4. @K: I guess you've never really had much Mallu beef, have you? The seasoning itself gives a very potent, peppery flavour, and once you add it into the starchy water of the pasta, it forms a sort of stock in which the whole pasta cooks, not to mention that since it is pre-cooked, it already has bits of onions and stuff, that mixes in well. Adding any other sauce would kill the flavour. Throwing in butter would make it too thick, and salt would kill the peppery flavour.
    Olive oil? Pureed tomato? Parmesan?? What place does that have in authentic Mallu bachelor food?

    For what it's worth though, the beef is also an excellent substitute for synthetic taste-maker if you're cooking Maggi.

    @han: Yes I've been a Rolling Stones type guy for a while now. What did you think I was? After all, the guys from Soundcheck play 'Can you hear me Knockin'' across the corridor in Karma's room in Muk West pretty much every other night.

    In case you guys haven't figured this out, I was trying to be funny in this post. Sort of like describing the travails of the gastronomically-challenged Mallu bachelor. It doesn't take too much effort or imagination to throw some beef into a pot of pasta...
    Basil/oregano, it seems.

  5. Fear not. Your sense of humour did not fly over (or under) our heads. Or mine at least.

    Come to think of it, in college I had no idea what you used to listen to.

  6. salt/butter was too make it not stick so you dont have to stir it, you only have to add a drop+pinch.

    wat macha you must experiment with the eats; after all the italians put their cooked beef in a tomato sauce dont't they. so you could have mallu/italian food. variety is the spice of life.

    cool that you took me so seriously though he he

  7. Thats not cooking.....

  8. Of course it's cooking. Anon, shoo.

    I like putting badige chillies in my pasta. Never tried it with beef (shantam paapam) but I'm sure it'd be awesome.

    How about a Mallu bachelor dessert recipe with:
    a. Lots of alcohol
    b. Lots of dark chocolate
    c. 2 eggs (not scrambled with salsa)
    d. No beef