Sunday, January 4, 2009

PEAS BIRYANI

A Bit Long but WORTH reading

Steaming hot Peas Biryani! Mouth-watering! Delicious! Mother usually made Peas Biryani on Wednesday afternoons in winter. It was her favourite dish to prepare, for it was easy to make, yet a hot favourite amongst the kids. Moreover fresh peas were in season and tasted heavenly!

She heated some oil in a pan and added a spoonful of cumin seeds. Then she added a handful of chopped onions. She proceeded to add some green peas and seasoned them with salt and turmeric powder. Having sautéed them for a couple of minutes she turned in the cleaned and washed rice and poured in a good amount of water. She covered the pan with a lid and let it cook on a slow flame.

Strangely, the ingredients in the simmering pot started a conversation. The rice was the first to say, 'I am the most important of all of us present here for I am pure white and wholesome. I am the key ingredient to making Peas Biryani. I am Sathya, this is the Truth.'

The yellow turmeric powder chuckled and said, 'No longer are you white my dear, for I have dyed you in my own colour. I am Dharma. This is my duty.'

The peas smiled peacefully and said, 'What is Peas Biryani, without peas, eh? We are the most attractive and delicious part of this preparation. We are shanti. We are peace. We are peas (peace) and our colour too is green that is the colour of peace!'

The salt mused to itself and said, 'Who would ever be able to eat Peas Biryani, without salt? I am the most important of all. If I were not there Peas Biryani would be unpalatable. My taste shall be infused in each particle. I am prema. I love each one of you equally.'

The onions said, 'We add the tang to this dish. We add flavour. We are the soul of all vegetarian food. We are ahimsa. We tolerate all other flavours, yet retain our own!'

The pan spoke up and said, 'It's I who is holding all of you in here. But for me, you would all have been separate identities. I have held you together, so that jointly, you can become a delicious dish. Where would you be without me? I am discipline and I am indispensable. '

The cumin seeds were dancing up and down in the boiling water and said, 'Try making Biryani, without us! It shall be quite tasteless. We sizzle in the hot oil first of all for we are devoted to spreading our flavour, wherever we go. We are devotion.'

The Biryani was almost ready and the oil glistened on every grain of rice. It said, 'I ensure that each grain of rice, each pea and each cumin seed, retains its individual identity. I prevent stickiness. I am discrimination! '

The water was almost completely absorbed by now. It smiled contentedly and said, 'I was determined to permeate into each particle of all of you. Without me could peas Biryani ever have been made? I am determination and I am the most important of all!'

Mother came by and checked to see, if the Biryani was done. The gas flame smiled quietly to itself and said, 'Each one is so full of its own importance. Without the power of heat provided by me, what would they be? It is the power of God vested in me that I can give the energy to cook. But alas, who remembers the power of God?' God smiled to Himself as the lady turned off the gas and waited, till He was needed again.

Each one of us in this world is so full of his or her importance. We conveniently forget God who gives us the power to do everything. Whether acknowledged or not, whether remembered or not, God is the power behind doing and making everything, even Peas Biryani!

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