Polenta, Pudding Dhindo, Khole

Sunita Giri 10:05 PM |

David Rocco, is our favorite chef on TV and my fourteen year old niece is smitten on his look as well. Being an Italian his specialty is obviously; an Italian food.

One day, he was making polenta on my TV screen. It was an Italian name for our very own dhindo here in Nepal. Same way of making it, but polenta was better looking than dhindo. They had added a pinch of salt on it and before eating it he added some permezano cheese on top of it, making it look so yummy.

I have never liked dhindo and was never tempted to eat it but I know so many people who loves dhindo. I find its taste, so stale and bland, besides I never know how to eat it. I remember my friend's aunt saying to me when I had tried dhindo for the first time, she said “look at her, she does not even know how to eat it.” When David Rocco, was eating Polenta, I wanted to have it. It looked so yummy. Polenta, looked so yummy than that stale, bland tasting dhindo, not just it looked yummy; its name Polenta, also added an extra flavor to that food.

A good name can add extra flavor to a food, is some thing I should have known long before, but I am not that smart to figure it out, was never that smart.

In Bal Mandir, we used to eat pudding daily for years; as a breakfast. Each day of the week was allotted for different room nannies, we used to call them didi, and accordingly, each made it their way to give it a different taste to that food. Therefore we used to have different taste daily, thought it was the same food daily. Because, most of the didis, were from very rural area; who used to make and feed Khole to their cattle and did not know the difference between pudding and Khole. But they used the same word for our breakfast also. Therefore, we used to call, that breakfast ‘Khole’.

But if you are familiar with he way they make khole, it has nothing to do with what we used to eat daily. Khole, is a stale and bland food, which is made to give cattle’ in village areas. The food wears a very pityable look as well as the pot which they use to cook that food makes any one go, Yuke ! While pudding is a good food and they make it from the best flour; which an American Agency [sorry don’t know the name and cant even goog it; as those were not the time when Google was providing service to dig in] sent to Nepal Children's Organization. There used to be one different branch, called Nutritious Food in the Bal Mandir, which used to handle the food division. So that we the children wont suffer from malnutrition. The flour was made from five or seven different grains and then they roosted it; before converting it into flour. The same agency also used to send us the best fat [ghew] from America. Nannies used to put the ghew on hot pan first and then once its property heated, they used to add flour on it and then stir it for some time and once its done with golden brown color, they used to add some water and then sugar to make it thick paste like. It is in fact not a bad food from any angle whatsoever; but, the name made it worse food to say proudly; yes we eat it.

When I was growing up in Bal Mandir, after school program was at its pick then. I doubt there were any such training centers or institutes in the valley to train their children on extra curricular activities. But here in Bal Mandir, they used to run classes on singing, dancing, drama, sculptures and painting also. Not only that, the participants could take part in the big functions, which garnered nationwide coverage and attention then, organised my Royals, during the Muma Badamaharani’s ( royal grand mother ) Birthday, every year. On the big day they could compete with others who came to take part in from across the country.

I do not know exactly, whether those classes were free of cost or paid one but I do know so many big names in the art and creative society since then. they were either giving the training or helping to rise some really good talents to come out. Young students, used to come to Bal Mandir, to take part in various programs, direct from their school. Most of them were from well to do families, so they were provided light snacks also. They used to eat the same food, as we used to eat it in the morning as a breakfast. But there was a slight twist to it. They used to call it pudding and we used to call it khole, for the same food. All the ingredients were exactly the same. The only different in between is that some times they used to get lucky and Shushila Didi, used to add some dry fruit in it; to enhance its taste drastically.

Sushila didi, used to make tea for office staff. But when royals used visit the Bal Mandir she could not even think of taking leave during those days. So she is the one who made pudding for students. She was damn good on her work and so she made that pudding so well that we used to find it a lot better than what we used to eat in the morning. She probably, was not as good looking than any of the nannies we have in Bal Mandir, but she was the best when it comes to make that food tasty. She could have won the competition, if it was the food made for a competition, even if all were given the same ingredients and same amount of it as well.

Now, when I look back; I think its the name that added the extra flavor and taste to that pudding; making it so delicious yummy. If there was any difference in its taste, it was the name not the ingredients and at the same time the cook who made it. Who makes it and who will be eating it makes any food, a whole lot of different, than the ingredients in it.

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