Fear or hope?


In big cities in India, almost every household has a maid, who does the basic home chores. Maids are crucial for these homeowners. Women, in the metro cities, run their houses successfully because of their maids. And nobody is even shy to accept it. Women can’t function without these women. Which is why, I couldn’t believe my ears, when my maid announced that she is going to discontinue work, from the 1st of January. New Year blues were about to set in. And, that was just the beginning.

It’s been almost five days now, and I have been doing all my work myself. I must admit, I like it now. I wash my dishes the minute the sink becomes half-full, wash all the kitchen linen with my hands (the rest of the clothes go in the washing machine), sweep my floors and mop them too. Doing your own work does make you feel content. I shall see what happens ahead, though.

Last evening, I felt like a perfectionist. Had it all sorted. The hot and sour soup was ready and I was about to make my dinner. And. Suddenly. My hand has a habit of hitting things. I dropped a jar of black pepper seeds onto the floor. And the seeds were spread all over the kitchen and dining space. “Do I have to pick them each up?” I thought. I took a deep breath, and with a long, sad face, started collecting each seed. It required a hell lot of patience. You see, when you try to act like a perfectionist, this is what happens. Life is unpredictable, I thought, and kept picking each seed from the floor. I did wonder, once, if had it been my maid, I might have given a big scream or a big laugh (for I’m unpredictable, too). But I easily forgave myself. Why?

Moving on to this morning. I had a fresh, green ball of cabbage looking at me from one corner of my kitchen counter, and I decided to make a side-dish called Sambharo. I went to my neighbour’s curry tree (yes, it’s that huge) down the stairs, quietly cut a small batch of curry leaves, and placed them on my kitchen counter; it was time to do the important and fun task of tempering the spices!

I loved this cabbage this, and promised to make it more often. This is the quickest cabbage recipe you’ll find and the yummiest as well. I can’t stop eating it! It tastes tangy, and you’ll never get over it. I dislike almost all versions of this veggie, except for this one. And, again, my mum learnt this Gujarati style of cabbage in Surat (Gujarat, India), and I love it to death.

Recipe: Sambharo


Some chopped cabbage
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of asafoetida
A few curry and coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
roughly sliced green chillies
oil for tempering
salt to taste
juice of a lemon


Heat oil in a kadai or skillet. Once it’s hot, add asafoetida, mustard seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. After a few seconds, add the chopped cabbage, green chillies (I chopped them this time, as you can see in the picture) and salt to taste. Toss this mixture and give it a good mix. Now, you don’t want to cook the cabbage, but just toss it and mix the ingredients. I take about 30 seconds to do so, and switch off the flame. We want to keep the cabbage as crunchy as possible. Finish it off with the lemon juice and coriander leaves, and give it all a last mix.

By the way, I read my horoscope for this year, a few days back. And it wasn’t great. It said I had to let go of many things and learn to forgive people. I was excited for this year, but now, I don’t know, what events will unfold ahead. Do you believe in horoscopes? What do they say about your zodiac sign?

PS. I plan to hunt for a maid, soon. Can’t do without one. Wish me luck.

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