Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Blues and Corn Curry

Yup, last week I entered the 3rd decade of my life... I was down and out for quite a while and the run-up to my 30th was anything but fun :( I was experiencing the blues in a bad way and just knew the birthday would be as anti-climactic as ever.

My birthdays since childhood have never really stood out as days to be remembered. I just have memories of snatches of conversations, or fun moments; but nothing that's a memory to cherish forever. I think it all started with my very 1st birthday which, I believe, was a very big deal with "foreign" clothes and toys, a humpty-dumpty confetti bag that showered chocolates, and a really big cake. And what do I have to show for it? Nothing! Yup, nothing. Coz my dad forgot to load the camera with film reel and just kept clicking away into nothingness! So now you know anti-climactic.

In school, there was the tiny excitement of wearing new clothes, the anticipation of gifts and the hope of getting noticed by the boys; but it never really culminated into any birthday worth remembering... (unless you count the one where we were playing dark-rooms hide-n-seek and I spilt an entire bottle of ink on all my books and my new pink jeans... or the one where I got pinched by my mom in the middle of the party for asking everyone how much my gifts cost. yeah, I was right. they don't count.)

I think the best birthdays I actually had were during the 2 years spent in this godforsaken women's hostel ironically called 'Stree Seva Mandir' during my undergrad. I had an amazingly cool and diverse set of friends in Shy, Hemu, Paro and Appu who remain friends for life... All our birthdays here were replete with Enid Blyton style secret midnight parties, birthday bumps, cake-smearing, cheap but thoughtful gift-giving, and crazy dancing!

You can't blame me now if all my birthday celebrations post that seem staid and boring. What's to compare with a bunch of young girls flailing their arms to muffled Bollywood music in a sweaty, cramped, dimly lit 10x10 room and trying to keep it a secret from the cranky old warden??! The fear of getting caught always does add to the adrenaline rush, don't you think? :)

So anyhoo... birthdays are just birthdays and I didn't want this year to be just another one of those. And it wasn't... To break the suspense to you all who are patiently reading through my rant, I got the best gifts ever this year with Sid flying down a human parcel of my best friend from B'lore to Mumbai being the best one of the lot! :) Yes, as my beloved cousin and soul-sister U keeps reminding me, I AM a very lucky girl.... As gifts go, I couldn't be more satiated, happy, overwhelmed... But is it really horrible to say that I still feel a sense of anti-climax? Maybe there is no getting away from it. Or maybe, that's just how a birthday feels, you know. It could be just me who thinks this feeling is that of an anti-climax. Maybe its just the "birthday feeling"....

So D-day was spent catching up with my best friend, loitering at home while being given gifts by the hour by Sid, and me making a light and drool-worthy Corn Curry and slicing the top of my finger off in the process. Yeah, don't ask. But if you must, it was a huge, cool Chefline cheffy knife. Gaah! But the Birthday Corn Curry did turn out well in spite of everything.


Corn on the cob - 2
Onion - 1 large (chopped)
Green chillies - 4 (sliced)
Grated coconut - 3 tsp OR Coconut milk - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Cumin/Jeera - 1 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Vegetable Oil - 1 tbsp

Boil or pressure cook 2 whole ears of corn in water with a teaspoon of salt. Cool and slice each corn cob latitudinally into 3-4 pieces. In a kadhai or a non stick vessel, heat 1 tbsp of oil and splutter the cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and sliced green chillies. Once the onions turn golden brown, add a pinch of salt and the jeera powder and mix well. Now add the sliced corn cob pieces, the freshly grated coconut, and the milk.

Pour in some water if necessary. Cover and cook on a low flame for 6-8min till the corn absorbs the flavour of the spices, and its done!

The way I like it:
Serve hot with plain rice. It can be a little difficult to wield the chunky pieces of corn, so the best way is to use your hands :) Or just use a fork to spear it and make a mini meal of the dish by itself. It is a very light and flavorful dish and the coconut is not at all over-powering. Sid hates coconut in food and he slurped up the sauce willingly, so I think that's a good sign !

This Coconut Corn Curry is my entry for Priya's Veggie/Fruit a Month Event: Corn being hosted by Torview Toronto.

Oh, you thought that was the end of the post?! My handful of faithful readers, I'm in a positively rambling mode. So now is the time for you to navigate away from the page!
Ok, I did issue fair warning. So to continue with my down-in-the-dumps story to those of you still around, after the top of my finger was sliced off, things seemed to improve. (Strange are the ways of birthdays!) So I dressed up and cheered up - almost always interlinked, these two emotions - and off we went for a lovely dinner with our closest friends to a restaurant in Malad called 'The Laughing Cavalier'. Funny name, no?

After some so-good-its-not-funny wood-fired pizza, lasagna, fusion chicken kababs and fettuccine, it was time to blow out the birthday and bring in my 3rd wedding anniversary :) (Yup, I'm one of those freaks who got married the day right after her birthday).
More wonderful gifts ensued :) :) A long night of poetry and poker followed. And that was the climax of the birthday and of this post.

Cheers (*clinks glass*) to turning 30. All of you out there who get despondent on your birthdays, all I can say is - you have company. Lots of it. And as long as you have a loved one trying to make it special, that's all that matters... isn't it?

Though secretly? I was hoping for a surprise party with lots of mad dancing! Hmm... but well, I'm sure to get depressed next year around the same time again ;)


Priyanka said...

Happy Birthday and anniversary Swati! I love your honesty.

I hear ya on the finger cutting thing, I manage to bruise/scald/ cut my fingers once every week. And there is nothing like sporting a band aid on special occasions right? ;)

That corn curry looks so easy!

Torviewtoronto said...

Happy birthday and anniversary, welcome to food blogging lovely recipe thank you for sending it to the event

Priya said...

Happy birthday and anniversary Swati...corn curry looks yummy..

Swati said...

hey priyanka, thanks a ton for the wishes :) it really is a very easy curry! give it a try. and im real glad you liked the 'honesty' and i didn't put u off to sleep with my diatribe! lol!

@torviewtoronto, priya - thanks so much for the wishes guys! :)

Avinash said...

you completed the 3rd decade dear..pretty soon "u can say me welcome to the group"

Tejal said...

I joined the 3rd decade 8 months back, and already having mid-life crisis..and yeah! my most memorable birthdays were in my hostel(4 best birthdays of my life) sneaking in cakes and beer under the warden's eyes (which were usually at the back of her head) and dancing away at night! Never had another birthday that I would love to remember till date! (10 yrs). Hubby doesn't get me gifts coz he doesn't know what to get me, so instead of picking things that I might not like, he doesn't get me anything! Haven't got a gift in years!

Its always the anti-climax for me, I hope something wonderful happens and the day just goes by like it was anyother day! poof! The anticipation is the highlight!

anyways, after my rambling, you'd be yawning..before I forget, Happy birthday and happy anniversary!! have a great one and welcome to the new 20's.

p.s Is this restaurant anywhere near the Movietime complex..not been there in years..used to love the Sun, moon potatoes it still there??


PJ said...

Belated B'day and wedding day wishes Swati.Loved reading your post.Sure,hostel b'days are the best!
The corn curry looks very tempting and sooooo easy :)

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

My family never made a huge deal outta birthdays and the hubster and I are kinda meh about 'em now so I understand the whole anti-climactic feeling. But I imagine I'll make a huge deal outta 'em for my kids :)

Swati said...

@Tejal - good to hear from you after so long! :) this restaurant is actually in one of the nondescript lanes opposite the movietime malad one. i think its called ramachandra lane or something. and hey, i used to love 'sun, moon & potatoes'!! havent been there in ages now...

@PJ - Thanks so much!

@Azmina - I think its jus been the opposite for me :D family and hubby hv always tried to make my birthday special in some way, but i never quite feel the elation somehow :( sigh! hv stopped trying to figure it out now! hows the masterchef experience going??! jus downloading ep#2 as i type :) :)