Next stop, insanity

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Those sexy, supple, white things

(You heard about stuffing a turkey. Have you heard about “Guest stuffing?” It is a well known phenomenon for anybody who grew up in India. Forcing the guest to eat until the guest is an inch from throwing up is considered a hostly thing to do. Leaving any food that the host gratuitously pushed on to your plate is considered very barbaric)

An (Indian) acquaintance of ours invited us for an informal dinner. The moment I entered their house, the sexy thing on the table caught my eye. I mean the dessert, “Rasmalai.” I told myself that all I have to do is pretend to be eating the entrée for a few moments and then I can get my dirty hands all over the Rasmalai.

The dinner featured South Indian delicacies Idly, Sambar and lemon rice. My dinner plate came pre-configured with 4 idlies. Damn, I didn’t want to fill myself with idlies. Ok, not to worry. If I go easy on the lemon rice, I can do some well deserved justice to the Rasmalai.

I polished off the idlies with the deftness of an experienced South Indian. *plop* *plop*. Two more idlies magically appeared on my plate. I looked up in horror. The spatula wielding hostess was standing right next to me with a bowl menacingly full of idlies. “Oh, you are a young man, you can eat two more idlies,” she dismissed my horror with a wave of the spatula. I begged the hostess to control her effervescing hospitality.

I ate the bonus idlies too. As I was serving myself a carefully measured portion of lemon rice, I heard the host guffaw. “Don’t eat like a bird. That is why you are so thin.” Before I could fully comprehend the ominousness of his statement, the host moved with dizzying alacrity and before I knew, a lemon-rice-heap of the size of Gibraltar was sitting on my plate. I am sure a tear trickled down my cheek as bid farewell to any remaining hopes of getting to the Rasmalai.

I laboriously finished the lemon rice. I was so full that I could not even laugh at my wife throwing herself on her plate in an attempt to prevent the host from serving more idlies. But, like a wounded soldier crawling towards home country, I reached out for the Rasmalai. I had them in a cup and was about to eat when I heard, “What? You are already having dessert?” *Plop* There was Sambar on my plate. “I saw you didn’t eat Sambar.” At which point, I gave up.

Well the silver lining is the hostess gave me my Rasmalai to-go. So I did enjoy the sexy, white, supple things the day after.

51 Comments:

  • Haha..I know what you mean! Some hosts are so engrossed in being hospitable that they end up making you eat everything but what you actually wanted. I guess it's the whole "if I don't stuff my guests until they pop, I'm a lousy host" mentality. I'm glad you got to eat your rasmalai finally though. :)
    Thanks for the comment on my blog!

    By Blogger Wolfsong, at Tue Sep 19, 01:49:00 AM 2006  

  • lol this was funny - good one

    By Blogger visithra, at Tue Sep 19, 02:17:00 AM 2006  

  • :-)

    They kill you with kindness, don't they?

    By Blogger Nee, at Tue Sep 19, 02:23:00 AM 2006  

  • Good story. We have about seven Indian restaurants within a 10 mile radius of our house, but I hadn't heard of Sambar, Idlies or Rasmalai. I guess none specialize in southern cuisine. I Googled the items. Rasmalai sounds really good!

    By Blogger Alan, at Tue Sep 19, 05:29:00 AM 2006  

  • LOL TD! BTW, Good that you ate everything, doesn't mean you get to tease the rest of us by posting pics, you know!

    By Blogger Anu, at Tue Sep 19, 05:53:00 AM 2006  

  • DNA: Hmm good you ate those rasmalai thou'. Sometimes it is a test for their cooking to improve next time:-))
    Its just their feeling, if we do not eat full, they think we do not like their food.

    You made me hungry looking at idlis now.

    By Anonymous priya, at Tue Sep 19, 06:07:00 AM 2006  

  • hmm the menu is good...
    but thats the thing though with inidian hosts right?U enter their homes..they comment on your weight...then if you eat "less" by their standards...they ask if you are on a diet/why do u need to be on a diet etc.
    god I am apprenhensive about my visit to india in dec (my first home coming)

    By Blogger La vida Loca, at Tue Sep 19, 07:11:00 AM 2006  

  • Wow, this brings back some memories. I had 2 Indian Mama's in town at the same time this spring, and had to have tea at one's place before dinner at the next. Tea was tea and rice and some potato ball things and a dessert, and, as you said, refill after refill despite protests.

    And then a walk over to do it all again with the Idlies and goan fish, and...

    MAN, it was good!

    By Blogger gnightgirl, at Tue Sep 19, 10:55:00 AM 2006  

  • :-) I think its in our blood to stuff our guests like turkeys:-)Although my maharashtrian hubby thinks I overdo. There is no such thing as overdoing when feeding your guests,right. We are all trained for that.. lol.. I do ask him if they starve their guests in maharashtra;-))

    take a look at my rasmalai post and you can have rasmalai everyday without any work & much better than you get from outside:-)

    http://babymomblog.blogspot.com/2006/08/quick-yummy-rasmalai.html

    By Blogger mommyof2, at Tue Sep 19, 11:18:00 AM 2006  

  • As usual, ROFL with this post.. and so loudly that i had to disconnect the phone on the conversation i was having with someone!

    Rasmalai.. ahem.. and idlis and .. sambar.. and LEMON RICE!! some ppl dont realise how lucky they are to get ghar ka khana! :-)

    By Blogger How do we know, at Tue Sep 19, 12:51:00 PM 2006  

  • yes i am a true bengali and i LOOOOOOOVE my rasmalai :) however, if the hostess happens to comment on my weight (esp. if she happens to be my aunt) in the same breath as asking me to "eat properly" i tend to lose my appetite very quickly :(

    By Blogger Shilpa, at Tue Sep 19, 02:09:00 PM 2006  

  • Wow! Rasmalai...glad to know your taste buds had a great time.:)

    By Anonymous Lera, at Tue Sep 19, 07:42:00 PM 2006  

  • lol... im not that adventouros when it comes to food

    By Blogger Dr@ma Div@, at Tue Sep 19, 07:48:00 PM 2006  

  • LOL! You could have just said u r allergic to salted food for few days n ur doctor has asked to eat sweets till u recover!

    By Blogger Pallavi, at Tue Sep 19, 07:50:00 PM 2006  

  • Well, had fun at your expense... even I love rasmalai... yummmy yummy... :-).

    By Blogger Sush, at Tue Sep 19, 11:12:00 PM 2006  

  • LOL. how typical. hav u been to a bengali wedding ever? they serve the best in the end. so just nibble at whatever comes in the beginning. & btw, i use this strategy that works pretty well- i say i won't have all this but will freak out on the dessert

    By Blogger itchingtowrite, at Wed Sep 20, 01:31:00 AM 2006  

  • This is nothing compared to the ‘Guest Stuffing’ that happens in Rajasthan. They insist on re-filling your plate despite your vehement protests, squeeze stuff onto your plate between your fingers that are outstretched over the plate in the hope of getting them to stop and will not stop until you literally place your whole body across the circumference of the plate to cut off any supplies whatsoever

    By Blogger Rohini, at Wed Sep 20, 08:54:00 AM 2006  

  • NExt time, can you pack the excess food and parcel it to me? Will keep us both happy.

    By Blogger Shreemoyee, at Wed Sep 20, 09:56:00 AM 2006  

  • My first comment on your blog - couldn't resist after reading the hilarious post. You captured both the host's hospitality and the guest's discomfort quite well.

    By these standards of stuffing your guests, I would be an awful, rude host...lol!

    By Blogger @, at Wed Sep 20, 12:41:00 PM 2006  

  • Next time you are invited, please to tag me along with you :)

    By Anonymous Prasad, at Wed Sep 20, 02:03:00 PM 2006  

  • talk abt South Indian food and I droooooooooooool! Goshhh I love Idlis and Dosas...yummmmmmmy!!

    **a lemon-rice-heap of the size of Gibraltar was sitting on my plate

    LOL!

    Why did u eat so much? U dun have to listen to the hostess. I know that Indian/Sri Lankan hosts wont let u eat the quantity u want...they serve u till u die a food death. My aunts do that to me when I go to NZ for holidays and I run away from their houses. I did that last time cos I was suffocated with too much food. So finally I told them that if they r gonna do that to me, I wont visit em at all. I dun think they got the msg but.

    I dun think I have eaten rasmalai tho that pic is familiar...

    Keshi.

    By Blogger Keshi, at Wed Sep 20, 05:49:00 PM 2006  

  • btw cos u said 'sexy, supple...' that means u get turned on by rasmalai? So this is one of ur erotic foods :):)

    Keshi.

    By Blogger Keshi, at Wed Sep 20, 09:27:00 PM 2006  

  • This is why I normally eat very slowly, my plate always looks full so it isn't loaded with extra food and there's always room for dessert.

    By Blogger The Agony Aunt, at Wed Sep 20, 10:54:00 PM 2006  

  • visithra:
    Thanks :)

    wolfsong:
    Ya, that is the problem. Why don't anybody force me to eat Rasmalai ;)

    nee:
    Haha. Yes, is that what is called Mercy Killing? ;)

    alan:
    Rasmalai sounds good and tastes better :) You gotta try it some time!

    priya:
    What you say is true, that is why I compliment hte cooking profusely even before I start eating hoping they would go easy on me :) Never works :)

    I won't be touching idlies for a couple of weeks ;)

    la vida loca:
    Haha. Exactly! They look you as if you murdered somebody if you lost a pound. And in my case, I am not really thin but when compared to the host I am and he keeps saying I am thin and I am on a diet. I think he wants me to look like him (pot-belly etc.)

    Hey I am going to India in December too. Just pray that you are not on the same flight as me and my toddler kid ;)

    gnightgirl:
    "MAN, it was good!"
    LOL.

    Those potato things - what's better than deep fried carbs ;)

    Good that you are enjoying it, you are an ideal guest :)

    mommyof2:
    It's exactly the same problem at our place. My wife believes in stuffing people and I don't. In fact I keep telling them "Eat only as much as you want." Every time I say that, there will be a lecture at the end of the day from my wife :)

    Thanks for the Rasmalai recipie. I will give it a shot (as soon as I figure out how to boil stuff)

    how do we know:
    Oh thank you so much. you are so kind.

    ghar ka khana is in abundence these days. I am craving for good burrito :)

    shilpa:
    haha. And that's why I loooooove bengalis ;) They always feed me the best food.

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Thu Sep 21, 01:19:00 AM 2006  

  • lera:
    LOL. They had a great time! When I am eating such good stuff to my heart's content, I shut out rest of the world especially things like "Do you realize how many calories those things have?! AND ANOTHER ONE?" from a certain woman in the house.

    drama diva:
    You just have to go to some of the dinners I go to, you will be made adventorous and defensive :)

    pallavi:
    Haha! That's a very good idea! The way my wife is depriving me of sweets, I might actually become allergic to salty food ;)

    sush:
    Two words: "Pulla Reddy" ;)

    itchingtowrite:
    Never been to a Bengali wedding. One friend told me they have copious amounts of "Bong" ;) I can imagine how good the desserts in a Bengali wedding could be!

    rohini:
    LOL! I have been through some such experiences. The funny part is, when I went to that kind of extent (throwing myself on the plate) out of sheer desperation, the host was actuallly offended! What am I to do!

    shreemoyee:
    Sure no problem, as long as you don't come for share in my Rasmalai ;)

    @:
    Welcome to the blog :)

    "these standards of stuffing your guests, I would be an awful, rude host...lol!"
    No, you will be my dream host :)

    prasad:
    I actually might ;) I think you and I live close by.

    keshi:
    "Why did u eat so much? "
    It's not the question of listening. It's the question of convincing them I am full. They just dont' believe me!

    "if they r gonna do that to me, I wont visit em at all"
    LOL. Ya, I have such standing warnings to some of my relatives!

    "I dun think I have eaten rasmalai tho that pic is familiar..."
    That's ok. It can't be sweeter than you ;)

    "So this is one of ur erotic foods :):)"
    ROFL! Touché. It is. But not as much as the apple pie being an erotic food for guy from the movie American Pie ;)

    the agony aunt:
    That is a good technique. It works quite well with rice. Doesn't work with rotis and idlies though ;) Some hosts count the number, you know :D

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Thu Sep 21, 01:19:00 AM 2006  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Shadow in the Moonlight, at Thu Sep 21, 04:00:00 AM 2006  

  • yeah I know the relatives out here are ... incessant with their hospitality. That's how I got to stitching pockets in my salwar kameeze's. So if I am forced to eat halwa or ladoo, I wrap them in a paper or tissue and drop it in my pocket (of course stealth is required). Solids are easy to dispose... its the liquids that pose a problem. So I tell them this, which always seems to works... The doctor has advised me against drinkin tea/coffee/ or whatever concoction they happen to be serving at the moment.

    By Blogger Shadow in the Moonlight, at Thu Sep 21, 04:02:00 AM 2006  

  • oh gosh! though idli and dosai are norm food for Indians, i can t seem to consume flour related food...sadly to say that i can t even finish half an idli...coz of my distaste to flour related food... once i went to my Muslim best fren' s house for Hari Raya ( Muslim festival), she forced me to eat all the food till i almost vomitted despite telling her that my poor stomach will shed tears shld i force more food into the stomach bag...she didn t heed me and in the end, she fed me till i almost vomitted and felt bloated like a boar ... where did this culture of forcing ppl to eat "till you vomit" stems from?i am curious

    By Blogger my life...., at Thu Sep 21, 06:27:00 AM 2006  

  • **Hey I am going to India in December too. Just pray that you are not on the same flight as me and my toddler kid ;)

    Why?why?why??

    By Blogger La vida Loca, at Thu Sep 21, 10:02:00 AM 2006  

  • brrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiilllllllllllllllllllliiiant post! luved reading it!!! kept me smiling all along.. :)

    oh rasmalais roccckkk! totally! :)
    and yeah.. you must eat... its better to be obese than anorexic! :) what say?

    btw -- how do you upload music on blogger?

    By Blogger Harini, at Thu Sep 21, 10:21:00 AM 2006  

  • I just love those sexy, little white things. my favorite too. actually would love to have some right now. Very well written, I know what you mean by the hostess forcing you to eat. I know we all do that. I have stopped but still will always encourage the guest to have a second helping.

    By Blogger starry nights, at Thu Sep 21, 12:46:00 PM 2006  

  • awww u think Im sweeter than rasmalai? LOL u dunno me!

    btw Apple pie ha...ROFL I rem that scene from the movie OMG it was just YUKKKKKKZ!

    So for u it's rasmalai - I can imagine wut u do with it! ah ah ahhh rasmalaaaaaai LOL!

    Keshi.

    By Blogger Keshi, at Thu Sep 21, 07:35:00 PM 2006  

  • that was hilarious! great writer, you are. I don't know any of the food you mentioned, though I'd love to try all of it, but I have to say---that lemon rice looked awesome.

    By Blogger jay are, at Thu Sep 21, 10:35:00 PM 2006  

  • shadow in the moonlight:
    LOL at pockets. This reminds me of a Seinfeld episode. Make sure there are no dogs around whne you stuff your pockets :)

    my life:
    That is the saddest part, people don't understand it if you say there is a certain dietary restriction. One my uncles has diabetes. Whenever somebody offers him sweets, he refuses. They quite casually say, "Oh, one sweet won't matter!" YES IT DOES!

    la vida loca:
    Read the line carefully. It contains a word "toddler". Not many people include "a screaming toddler throwing food around" in their list of pleasant travels.

    harini:
    Thank you very much.

    "its better to be obese than anorexic! "
    LOL. Agreed. I am the opposite of Anorexic. I always look too thin to myself ;)

    starry nights:
    Encouraging is OK I guess. It becomes a problem when food appears on the plate wihtout notice :)

    keshi:
    LOL! Man, I can say so many things.. but don't get me started on double entendre ;)

    jay are:
    Thank you very much. You gotta, gotta, gotta try Rasmalai. It's just pure sugar and cream... it can't go wrong!

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Thu Sep 21, 11:45:00 PM 2006  

  • Very irritating but true !

    By Blogger Cyberkitty, at Thu Sep 21, 11:58:00 PM 2006  

  • Mmmmm Food.. i love food. hahaha

    By Blogger Tara, at Fri Sep 22, 08:39:00 AM 2006  

  • Mouthwatering stuff man....waah waah

    By Blogger dumbdodi, at Fri Sep 22, 09:25:00 AM 2006  

  • oh my god! haha i loved that! wow i thought i was the only western Indian feeling this dazed confusion of being stuck in both worlds...lol...i decide to look at it like "best of both worlds", its great u learn something about urself everday! We should be considered LUcky..now we have a broader perspective of life!
    I loved ur style of writing, simple though entertaining through the use of words!~
    out of curiousity how old r u? or is it as offensive as asking a woman passed her youth? hhaha jokes! no seriously! i would love to know if u've had an arranged marriage etc?
    keep writing, I'll be anticipating for your next entry for some good old CuLtural inspiration!
    Darshni
    http://aladolcevita.spaces.live.com

    By Anonymous Darshni a guju from Oz, at Sat Sep 23, 12:43:00 AM 2006  

  • i've my songs uploaded on http://hariniram.multiply.com/ will that suffice?

    By Blogger Harini, at Sat Sep 23, 09:56:00 AM 2006  

  • Back home, it's rude if the host doesn't offer something to the guest, which is inevitably followed by the stuffing session you mentioned. But also, it's considered rude if the guests refuse the food. So, I'm not sure where it's supposed to stop. I especially like it when they go all traditional and serve on a banana leaf. That way you can just fold it over when you're done and then run away.

    By Blogger video, at Sat Sep 23, 11:03:00 AM 2006  

  • generous shower of compliments indeed :) thanks so much!!! :)

    i used karaoke tracks for some.. got the original voice alone removed and sang over it for some others.. :)

    yep... how do i do the audio thingy?!

    By Blogger Harini, at Sun Sep 24, 12:10:00 PM 2006  

  • I'm starting to think me politly declining dinner from my Indian neighbors may have been taken wrong. Next time I guess I should eat even if it was just 30 minutes since I ate.

    By Blogger Liz, at Sun Sep 24, 10:13:00 PM 2006  

  • Wow!!! What a mouth watering post/blog..:)
    And you've gr8 friends too..:)
    :) :) :)....

    By Blogger Sunil Parmar, at Sun Sep 24, 10:39:00 PM 2006  

  • LOL! Chalo, at least you got to eat the Rasmalai! :D

    By Blogger Nirwa, at Mon Sep 25, 12:51:00 AM 2006  

  • double entendre? LOL whats that?

    Keshi.

    By Blogger Keshi, at Mon Sep 25, 06:07:00 PM 2006  

  • TDDDDDDDDDDD!! How can you do this to me???? I'm on a DIET!

    By Anonymous OrangeJammies, at Fri Sep 29, 10:04:00 AM 2006  

  • Whenever I go to anyones house it is just the same. I love to eat but would like to fix my plate as I know I hate anything with vegetables and would like just the meat part of the meal.


    ./thanks
    ilaiy

    By Blogger Ilaiy, at Fri Sep 29, 03:40:00 PM 2006  

  • LOL! My first time here too, very witty post :D You can make up for lost time getting all the rasmalai you can eat on your trip to India!

    By Blogger Janefield, at Mon Oct 02, 12:03:00 PM 2006  

  • Oh ya...Indian hospitality does hurt sometimes... although that very thing made her give you the rasmalai for the next day!

    By Blogger Varsha, at Tue Oct 24, 01:43:00 AM 2006  

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    By Anonymous Celia, at Fri Mar 23, 04:50:00 PM 2007  

  • Rasmalai bet basketball (rasa malai to some) is an Indian delicacy often categorized as a Milk Sweet. It is made from Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) sportsbook and it makes a great dessert and is served chilled. Just because this dessert is so delicious, I thought it would be difficult to make. But, it turns out to be quite an easy recipe. march madness One of my friends recently shared this recipe with me. It’s my husband’s favorite dessert and he loved it. We have always bought the canned ones but never made it at home. But, this time I made it and he kept asking me where I bought this and that it tasted better than ever.
    http://www.enterbet.com

    By Blogger pedro velasquez, at Mon Apr 19, 08:35:00 AM 2010  

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