12 September, 2010

Tarnished Torai

The making of torai (sponge gourd or tori) is not as difficult as it may appear to some. That the idea of even embarking on as ridiculous a task as cooking the most pathetic of all vegetables may not appeal to your senses (gastronomic, cullinary or otherwise) is an emotion I can well comprehend. You may argue that no one in their senses would want to indulge in the seemingly useless activity of cooking something as banal and utterly uninspiring as the humble torai and perhaps I couldn't agree more. But anyone can make a great dish of the lissome  Bhindi or the Stuper Star Spud; our friendly potato. These limelight grabbers are pre-dispositioned to tickle the taste buds - they can't help being delicious. They are well-loved and have a dedicated mass of fans. They pirouette among the vegetables in the market, willing you to buy them, promising sumptuous meals of mouth-watering glee.

But what of the ignored Cucurbits? The Languishing Laukis (bottle gourd) and the Timid Tindas (Indian apple gourd). You turn up your nose at them. They are the taste bud tarnishers. With an appearance so unappealing one can barely imagine the horrors they could unleash in your gut. They are so watery! Wasn't such aqueous consistency reserved for things of dubious character? And even the spices, no matter of which exotic descent, retaliate in sheer disgust at these Cumbersome Cucurbits, refusing to grace them with any flavour. Who would want to associate with the scum of the vegetable world? The undisputed untouched outcasts. 

But making a good thing  better is mediocrity. Adopting the unloved is what my gracious soul sought to accomplish. And so I took up the cause of the torai: shunned and unloved. I tried to salvage the reputation of the Tarnished Torai. Which I did. With aplomb. The proof of the Torai is, of course, in the Tasting. And what a splendid taste it had! If I must say so myself. But then with these potatoes putting on such audacious performances, one has to blow one's trumpet. Loud and clear. After all, it is for the humble torai I speak.


  1. Lol!
    I want to read more posts under the label 'Crusades' :)

  2. Hmm...u got me this close to loving the humble Cucurbit...your menu, and a real pic would have just done the trick :) good to be back to haunt ur posts :)

  3. Abhi, I love them crusades too!
    Soul/Song/Curry: Good seeing you here after a really long while :)



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