by Mamta Muttreja
COROLLARY—MURPHY’S LAW IS IRRELEVANT WHEN IT COMES TO SUPREMELY ORGANISED PEOPLE LIKE ME
And so I set out to disprove it late last Sunday. Should be an absolute cakewalk!
Experiment—- Boiling of milk ; have done for donkey’s years and am quite the expert !!
Four pouches of Mother dairy double toned milk (absolutely hate the thin film that forms on my morning cuppa)
One scrubbed and spotless clean pateela
One kitchen scissors
Procedure—- Bhimsen Joshi’s “Babul mora najhar chhotu jaye” 10.23min on YT and set it to auto replay ( contingency planning ). Rinse the already scrubbed pateela in RO water, rinse the scissors too. Slit the pouches and carefully pour the milk into the pateela and happily watch over it. Just as Pandit jee’s begins his first taan, there’s a suspicious burp from the milk, and a golf ball sized bubble rises to the top . “The milk must have been stale” … no worries. There are these recipes of “Balti Paneer and Rossogollo” trending in my foodie group on FB. Good opportunity to try out both. Need some nimbu or dahi to properly *phado* the milk. Check the fridge and as luck would have it; both are out of stock. A tetrapack of Amul lassi catches my eye; what the heck;it’s dahi too just watered down and sweetened. Should do the trick; add a generous portion to the boiling milk.
Tough luck,the lassi doesn’t seem to be working. MIL suggests adding a little salt to speed up the *phadna* process. The milk is a bit stubborn and not responding as it should…. No worries; nothing that a good squeeze of nimbu juice cannot remedy and there’s always tomorrow. So I stowaway the pateela in the deepest recesses of the fridge to keep it away from the hands of late-night snackers and possible catastrophes’.
Next day ,fresh nimbu and dahi both brought in and the experiment resumed after breakfast. No music this time…gotta concentrate. Brittany my pooch settles into her favorite position just inside the kitchen doorway. Juice of half-a-lemon added to the pateela and project “Balti Paneer and Rossogolla” resumed with fresh gusto. Damn!! the nimbu juice too hasn’t been able to get the desired results. I decide to strain it anyways. Carefully arrange a large enough bowl and line it with fabric. Very cautiously pour half of the very much double boiled milk thro’. Success at last, lift the edge and see golden yellow clear liquid in the bowl and creamy white chhena /paneer collected on the fabric. Carefully pour in the remaining lot and watch the precipitated chhena with pride.
I raise the precious fabric six inches to let all the liquid drain out. Double Damn!! One edge slips from my grasp and warm molten white lava rushes out and floods my counter top overflowing onto the sides and dripping onto the floor. With a whoop of joy Brittany scampers in as I watch in anguish with just the fabric in my hand. There goes my “Balti paneer and my rossogolla’s” into Brittany’s stomach.
MURPHY’s LAW… MAYBE ANOTHER DAY!!
PS. Scraped the paneer clinging to the fabric added some chopped onions and fresh coriander and Voila! Paneer paranthas!!
Editor’s Note: We wait. Brittany has been acting funny. She needs more…
*Pateela- A large bowl or container for boiling and cooking
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