Flattered by Chapathi

My mom and I are truly the impressions of each other. During my childhood I used to think of her as someone who imitates me, but later, I realized that this was not learned, but rather something that was acquired through bloodline.  Among the traits that were passed, the one thing that we had very much in common was the fact that we both were the buyers. We loved buying which included even the eatables.But we both tanked miserably in culinary expertise. Thankfully we had my dad to fill in there; a man with heightened sense of cooking.

It was his absence that pushed us into the kitchen instead at the tables. Being a Sunday it was a ritual for us to cook something special, and my resolute mother decided to do the shopping for lunch, leaving me with my long pending assignment work. An hour later she walked in without heavy shopping bags, surprisingly, and to my amazement she came to me and took out a bottle that read ‘sauce-pizza topping’.As much as I loved the idea of eating home-made pizza, I was also confused about who was going to make it. But as the clock and our tummies started ticking, it was imperative for us to proceed with cooking pizza. As always my mom was frank about it: “we will make it together since you eat a lot,” said my mom. I was speechless, but the hunger inside me prompted a “get back to the kitchen” movement.

In the kitchen, amidst all the memories of those good savories that my dad made, we turned to one deity that every single human being on this planet relied on, which is ‘the Google,’ and it did not disappoint us. A ‘simple pizza’ search gave us many useful responses. Aided with the information I got into the shopping bag for the ingredients, but to my shock I could not find anything else other than the pizza topping sauce, pizza cheese or the mozzarella and few veggies. “Where is the pizza base?” I asked her. “It is more like a roti, I think we can make it here, easily,” said my mom.  It was offending on several counts for a devout foodie like me, but I was famished to silence, after all we have loved giving the “Indian twist” to every cuisine that we are familiar with. Be it from Chinese to Arabia. I sighed before committing the treason.

We started off with the ‘roti’ base. We made the dough with the right amount of water, oil and salt much like how the chapathi dough would be made, but we followed my dad’s techniques to make it softer. First is one table spoon of milk and the second is to keep the dough under a wet cloth for half an hour. We heated the chapathi base for the right amount of time to prevent it from drying up. In the mean time we had sautéed onions, capsicum, tomatoes, and salt for a minute. And as Google told us, we spread the pizza sauce brought from the shop onto the chapathi while it was getting heated again.  We also grated the mozzarella cheese over it followed by the sautéed vegetables. To spice up things we added few chili flakes from our last week’s pizza delivery, and as cheese lovers we splurged another layer of cheese grated over the vegetables. After two minutes the canvas gave us a melting cheesy Indian pizza and the resemblance did not end with its appearance, it somehow did taste like a pizza except for the crust!

– Ajith M S

IV SEM MA, Journalism and Mass Communication

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