I’m a junk food addict. I get my highs from the salty fumes of a just-open chip packet, the heady play of salt, sugar and fizz in my mouth from chips and Coke, and the mind-dullingly bland flavour of starch deep fried to oblivion. I measure the worth of an object by the number of Kurkure packs it’s theoretically worth. Only yesterday, I desisted from splurging on a Tantra tee because hey, I could well buy myself 20 packs with that money. Here’s more proof that I’m not simply your average junk processing unit, JPU for short.
But on some days,
my face is so greasy even a mosquito can’t get a decent foothold on it, so I freak out I’m a good girl. I begin my days with green tea poured on to ginger shavings, and eat a healthy lunch and dinner with a side of low fat dahi. On days like these, stuff like lazy puliogare helps me turn over a new, non-greasy leaf.
I call it lazy puliogare because I use good ole MTR, but please do not let that put you off. I make it with brown rice, which everyone knows is the smarter country cousin of white rice, the one that white rice secretly wishes were dead or adopted, because comparisons are so unfair. I fortify the rice with soya granules for protein and a more substantial mouthfeel. And I flavour it with MTR Puliogare mix, a dry rust coloured paste that smells like heaven and includes the occasional roasted peanut and desiccated ginger.
Here’s what you need for two hungry bellies-
a cup of brown rice- not a fancy-schmancy brand like Daawat, their brown rice is a hoax
a cup and a half of Ruchi soya granules
a small scoop of mustard seeds (raaee)
a large onion, sliced thinly
refined oil- 7 tablespoons
MTR Puliogare Mix- 7 tablespoons (the rule of thumb is ‘a tablespoon to each tablespoon of oil)
salt (to taste)
And here’s what you do-
Soak the Ruchi in water for 20 minutes. (It’s fun to say that, instead of ‘soak the soya’, which is SO yesterday, and SO Sanjeev Kapoor.) Then take it out, and squeeze the water out of it. Don’t throw away this water, use it to cook the rice.
Wash and put the rice in your cooker ( I use an electric one) and throw in the now moist Ruchi (eww!), mix them well, throw in some salt, and add a little more water than you’d normally add to the rice while cooking it. Do your thing while the rice cooks. One it’s done, put on your apron again for the next phase.
Heat the oil in a kadhai. Throw in the mustard seeds when the oil’s decently hot, and wait for them to pop and release their flavour into the oil.
Throw in the sliced onions, and let them brown.
Mix the puliogare powder in. Let it soak up the oil and turn into a paste. Chase it around the kadhai so that it ‘cooks’ evenly. Try not to orgasm at the amazing aroma. Now, open your rice cooker and ease the rice-&-Ruchi into the paste. Chase and stir till the rice is nicely coated with brown.
Ladle into your favourite china, along with cucumber raita that you’ve chivvied The Husband into making while you risk life and limb near the kitchen fires.
Discard your apron with a Gordon Ramsay-esque profanity, but inverted. (This bastard smells so good I wanna bottle up the scent, call it Eau de Puliogare and sell it to Dior.) Tuck in, pay no need to The Husband as he dissects Kejriwal’s New Tamasha Of The Week, and let the the nutty, tamarind-y deliciousness overwhelm you. Remember- lazy puliogare tastes even better after hours of keeping in the fridge, so you’re covered there as well.