We’ve invested an inexorbitant amount of time introducing the best in Eastern cuisine to our readers. We feel that perhaps for a much-needed change of pace, as well as for some personal amusement and venting, the blog should be steered towards the uncharted territory of dinner-table-horrors that have often left us opting to sleep on an empty tummy than to suffer by forcibly chewing on foods that are edible only by name. Here’s 5 desi foods we hate:
If you didn’t see this one coming, try not to cross any roads by yourself, please.
Yes, we’ve just named an ingredient here… But it is one that is so loathed by all and perhaps the least cooked item in any desi household – And when someone does actually want to cook this delicacy-from-hell, the plan is usually protested into cancellation by sensible food-enthusiasts of the household (mostly the children).
When you have an ingredient that is called ‘Bitter Melon’ in English and ‘Karavela’ (which sounds a lot like karva, meaning bitter) in Sanskrit, I will bet that you’re going to think at least twice if presented with an option, at gun point, to choose between eating either this or a bowl of buffalo diarrhea.
4. Kali (Black) Dal
Also known as “Urad dal”, this is a dish the eating of which is considered so torturous that it is popularly the staple food in prisons and jailhouses in India and Pakistan. Yes, black dal is so horrid that someone deemed it fit as an edible punishment for thieves, murderers, rapists and other delinquents in what are already considered to be abusive prison environments.
Our Punjabi readers are gonna flame us for this… But bring it on!
I have never been able to relate to people who appear to enjoy this dish. The soup tastes like salted oily water. The bones have almost-raw marrow that you’re expected to suck on. There’s never any goddamn meat on said bones. The only rational explanation for the existence of paaye is that someone in a disenfranchised household was starving and whining for dinner to be served and the cook resorted to boiling a bunch of leftover bones with lots of salt and gave it a name just to make it sound authentic.
Except that if I was starving, I’d saw off and eat my own paaye (feet) before I considered eating paaye.
2. Gram Flour Flatbread/Besan ki Roti
This one appears to be a favourite among older folks. Probably because along with their brain cells, their taste buds have started falling apart, leaving them incapable of processing the taste of sawdust while they chomp and ponder where all the good years of their lives went. (Hint: You wasted them chewing on rubbery sawdust).
1. Fried Kaleji
The ultimate no-thanks dish! Fried kaleji is at the forefront of street-food-vendor offerings in Karachi. If you’re unfortunate enough to be riding a bike or driving with the windows open and pass such a vendor, you’ll often find the pungent smell wafting in to your nostrils and giving your brain a good jolt equivalent of getting hit crotch-first by a speeding oil truck at 80mph.
Oh, and it looks like poop. Not just any poop, the black kind that some folks pass after suffering from typhoid untreated for prolonged periods. Have fun with that image in your head now.