The eight years or so that R and I have been together, trying out new foods has been a thing. Both of us enjoy trying out new cuisines, new ways of preparing traditional dishes, and cooking with spices we haven’t tried before. Before we got married, exotic restaurants – European, Mexican, Chinese, Vietnamese – would be our date-night idea. And we spent as much time analysing the menu, or maybe more, as we did looking into each other’s eyes. We ate out at a lot of Indian-food restaurants too – from Bengali to Gujarati to Maharashtrian and others. Ever since, though we don’t eat out as often, we keep experimenting on our travels.
Indian food here in Vienna is very curious.
There are a lot of Indian food restaurants, delivery places and takeaways, and chicken tikka and chole masala seem to be fairly popular among the locals. Samosa and raita too. There are evenings when both of us miss our strolls through F.C. Road in Pune or C.R. Park in Delhi – both of them gastronomic heavens. On such evenings, we sometimes decide to order Indian food. But here’s the thing – most of these evenings end in surprises, usually unpleasant.
Born in Bihari and Bengali households respectively, both R and I love spicy, chatpata food. And the highest degree of ‘spicy’ here is about as spicy as butter chicken. Which means, hardly at all. Most of the curries taste alike, reminding me of my hostel cafeteria where all the gravies were exactly the same, never mind if you had egg or paneer. The biryani dishes are just fried rice or pulao, with chicken pieces added to the rice. It is almost sacrilege. When we come across a place that actually sells ‘authentic’ Indian food, it is a find. We talk about it for days. (Try ‘Taste of India’ in case any of you visit Vienna and want to eat Indian).
Last night, we ordered Indian food. North Indian style chicken curry and rice. It was ordered from our kitchen, and though I say it myself, was perfectly flavoured and mouth-watering. 🙂
Even though cooking often seems like a chore, considering the number of meals to be prepared day after day, and everything else it entails, it can also be therapeutic. There is something relaxing about seeing a curry come together in just the right consistency, the fragrance filling the winter evening, the colours blending together…
…and R telling me this was one of the best Indian foods he has ever ordered. My happy little chicken-flavoured moment.
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