Before we’ve left for the US, we were invited for home cooked meals made by our friends. The invitation was an honor in itself. And who in their right mind would decline an invitation to be served a meal made from ingredients carefully chosen by sight, touch and smell, which were mixed, rubbed, tossed with their own hands and painstakingly tasted by friends’ distinguished palates?
It was one of those once in a lifetime deals for us, who enjoyed eating out in restaurants a lot. So, of course, invitations were accepted with open arms, eager to learn palates and empty stomachs.
And so we (I think I did more than The Husband) hopped from house to house, enjoyed fresh off the grill melt-in-your mouth teriyaki salmon; addictive once-you-pop-you-can’t-stop South Indian fried munchkins slathered with creamy yoghurt, sweet and tart tamarind chutney, refreshing mint & cilantro chutney and a spicy kick of masala for breakfast; an Andhran (a specific state South of India) Hindi New Year’s feast made by friends’ Amma (mother), notably the festive chutney: a mélange of sweet (jaggery), sour (mangoes & tamarind), salty (salt & sesame seeds) & bitter (neem flowers) meant to give you a fresh start and a mix of different life experiences; and finally, delicate albeit primal falling-off-the-bone, slow cooked lamb shank.
New flavors introduced with love. Recipes exchanged. Endless mundane chatter and meaningful conversation over a feast of homemade goodness. Genuine smiles. Smart-ass remarks. Uninhibited guffaws. Intelligent banter. Invisible tears of separation anxiety rolled down my cheeks on those days. The most painful thing about saying Goodbye Dubai was leaving behind people whom you truly connect with on so many levels.
Someday, one day, when our paths would cross again in that one place somewhere in the world, I promise that I will invite you over and cook for you with the same intensity of passion I have for you. You all know who you are.
Again, thank you.
Delirious about delicious,