God has gifted us our senses so we can feel certain pleasures in life. Of course, we also feel pain through them but then it’s the experience of pleasure that keeps us going even through these tough times.
Eating great food is such an experience. It is not about the quantity but the quality here…I know that’s a cliche but it works a 100% here. Infact, when you do not have such a qualitative meal experience, you simply want more and more. Certain meal experiences have been embedded in my memory so well that I have tick-marked them like some people would mark the ’1000 places to see before you die’. Once I tick-mark them , I have no longer a need to have that food item simply because I have satiated my desire so well.
My list of sumptuous, gratifying and surreal Meal Experiences are :
1. Masala Tea – on a high cliff just after sunrise in Kathmandu, Nepal at a tea and breakfast local shop- the air was cold and the tea was so hot and spicy .
2. Gujarati fare – authentic and fresh ingredients- made by my gujarati friends at their lovely house.
3. Momos – at a yellow doored house restaurant in a village in Nepal- just me and my husband sitting on the ground with the table 6 inches high and juicy momos right out of the steamer.
4. Grilled Cheese – in Greece ,after an exhausting shopping spree, at a local restaurant with street kids playing music on the side. The cheese was large slices grill marked perfectly-lovely texture to it with a bed of lettuce and a side of peppered lime tomatoes and olives.
5. Rajasthani Fare – in Rajasthan wearing a turban and tikka with a ladle of pure ghee on my thali.
6. Grilled Pepper Chicken – by one of Epicurean’s cooks after a hectic event where we catered. The chicken was tender and the pepper sauce had whole black peppercorns.
7. Makhni Dal and Naan -made by the founder commis of Bukhara- the dal was so bukhara original and the naan was ‘creamy biscuit’ textured.
8. Biryani – in Delhi at a greasy local hole in the wall biryani shop under a cinema hall- surprisingly no delhi belly after that , just a wholesome very chilli mutton biryani experience. The rice grains were very long , cooked just right, and aromatic with the right amount of spices and too hot to handle red chillies.
9. Shami Kebab – the most creamy and soft shami that I’ve ever had at a sweet shop in central Delhi.
10. Pizza – just a simple cheese and tomato fresh pizza in a local restaurant in Italy where the waiter asked me ‘Finito?’ right when i was licking my fingers.
11. Kakori Kebab – at ‘chore bizarre’ in Gurgaon – the most soft and melting in my mouth flavour of kakori.
12. Chicken breast in lemon butter sauce – the tangy lemon in pure butter made my day and I just had to mark this off my list as it left me feeling ‘ there is just no better than this’ .
13. Fresh French Bread – in Libya( my birthplace,yes, that’s right!), off a small natural oven for ‘khubzas”.
14. Tuna and Macaroni – as my mom made it when I was a kid- the tuna in a curry form with turmeric and the macaroni was fat and just right.
15. Raw Mango Pickle – a traditional at home recipe of a friend, the mango was cut tiny and the masala was red chili paste- awesome for its freshness and texture.
What’s your ideal experience of a dish that left you feeling so happy that you don’t want any more of it as it would be injustice to what you have just had? A meal experience that you cherish through the years and if someone so as mentions the name of that dish, it takes you right where you had it , reliving the whole experience of the ambience , the place, the sounds and then the taste in your mouth? A feast for your senses. Tell me, have you been so lucky as to have had a Meal Experience?