Monday, April 28, 2008

My Bombay Kitchen: Poison of Delight

In Parsi legend, wine is called "poison of delight."

Justine and I have a rule, which is that when you go to someone's house for dinner you always bring two bottles of poison of delight. One bottle is never enough, two is festive and generous.

Yesterday afternoon, I turned up at Justine's house with zero bottles. Sometimes within a family you forget, or neglect, your most basic rules of etiquette. But shouldn't one treat the people closest with the most regard? Why don't we?

It was probably the excitement of pulling together my contributions to the family pot luck: the spice rub for grilled seafood masala, and the cardamom creme caramel. (Both from Niloufer Ichaporia King's Bombay Kitchen, of course.) Justine supplied margaritas, poison of delight, rice pilaf, and salad.

Fish. Wouldn't one always secretly rather have a hot dog? That is Justine's contention. Michael had purchased the pearliest white halibut, the most gorgeous scallops and shrimp, and it was all grilled to perfection.

But how good can fish ever be, even when rubbed with Parsi-inspired masala? Pallid, a little watery, flabby -- or bone dry. Most of us agreed with Justine. Or at least I think we did; some of us were poisoned with delight. Grandpa John, down from Petaluma, may have spoken up for salmon, which apparently none of us will be eating any time soon. Grandpa John also spoke up for whales.

The children were definitely pro-hot dog.


  1. Well, you've succeeded in making this reader want nothing but indian food! all the time! Just went to get my usual subway sandwich then remembered the indian restaurant up the block.

    So, I went, and now I am sitting at my desk eating it. Tofu curry. Very very delicious. Very spicy. Though sadly i only asked for 1 tub of tamarind chutney and for my that is not nearly enough. Maybe if i dig around in the office kitchen i'll find some jam that would do the job...

  2. A hot dog once in a while is OK, but fish, scallops and shrimp are preferable 4 out of 5 days.

  3. ... unless of course, the dog is in its natural casing.

    But, referring to the Anonymous post above, (a different Anonymous) -- could we get a location please? Where are you writing from?

    Sandy, Dubuque

  4. Sandy,
    I prefer to keep my coordinates unknown.