My witty Uncle M is a cheese freak. Having travelled the world and being a vegetarian cheese has come to be his lifesaver many a times. This recipe is not a genius creation by him but enjoyed by all at our home. Before we move on to the recipe I would like to share with you this experience in life when I felt so valued.
On Nov 6th 2006 my uncle got a stroke. I had to rush to his side immediately. He is a fighter and his spirit gave all at home the edge to fight the stroke along with him. He was in hospital for 3 weeks and was sent home in Dec. Meanwhile I had returned to Blr after the first week and just put a word to my Head at work that I needed a three week holiday to be with my uncle M in Mumbai. Since it was the festive season in the west and we were not expecting any work from our clients in Europe he allowed me to take the vacation even though it was not planned ahead.
As I landed in Mumbai the city that I call home my cuz S came to pick me up at the airport. He too had taken a break for a month to be with Uncle M. Together we decided to make it a time my Uncle will remember forever.
Now we strategized on a few things:
- Me to take over the kitchen so that my aunt would be free to be at Uncle M's beck and call.
- Cuz S to do accupressure for uncle M twice a day and help him with the physiotherapy.
- My Dad to give Yogic therapy like ashtanga yog and pranayam.
- We would follow the diet precribed by the dietician that was helping Uncle loose weight and yes weight was one of the culprits in his case.
- Never to make him feel he is ill.
- To cook the same food for all.
The next day began with me planning meals for my uncle, S and Dad carrying out their tasks. This went on for the entire three weeks. My Aunt was relieved to have me with her.
Each day we did some interesting things. Like reading of our favourite passages from books. Endless talking into the wee hours, recounting memories. Trying to make interesting meals for him to enjoy and yet follow the diet. It is not at all easy to manage cooking with restrictions for a gourmand. All gave ideas so I was relieved. Inspite of the busy schedule that we had to follow we also managed to redecorate Uncle's home and he was thrilled. We wanted to take him on a drive but doctor did not permit until the next week. He actually jokingly reminded us that did we remember that we was not well.Uncle M was so happy with all of us that one day he exclaimed that we had looted his heart!
If it is possible reconnect with family when you get the chance this is what I learnt and see for yourself what you will earn.
Since we were all eating the same diet that was prescribed for my Uncle one day he ordered my Aunt to make our favorite Chipoto for us. We did not want to deviate from the diet so we argued with him then he said I too would like to taste it. We really thought may be the cheese freak in him is surfacing up again. We could not believe it he just watched us enjoy it and he did not even taste it. That is my Uncle M.
We had been away absorbed in our own lives for very long in far places where our careers took us. The sad incident has rebound us like Fevicol ;). We returned to our own faraway homes winners and with memories that we will cherish all our life.
Finally here is the recipe:
1/2 kg baby potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
100 gms Cheddar cheese
oil to fry
Boil the potatoes in a vessel with salt till half done. Meanwhile grate cheese and keep aside. Now keep 4 quarter plates ready. Remove and pat dry potatoes on a towel and deskin. Prick potatoes with a fork and deep fry till golden brown. Remove on absorbent paper to drain excess oil. Put the potatoes on the quarter plates while still hot and assemble the dish. Top the hot potatoes with grated cheese, chat masala, cilantro. The cheese will melt on the hot potatoes just a little bit.
Pop the potato in your mouth and just enjoy the smells and tastes of the individual ingredients. Don't bother about the guilt pangs you will have after that.