With the weekdays busy, we decided to meet this Sunday to cook lunch together and then practice some songs and bhajans.
Paneer Butter Masala and Rotlis was the menu, for 24 people. 18 of us and other close friends including Sandeep Sood, my previous business partner and close friend from California, who decided to make a quick 20 hour pit stop in Ahmedabad to visit the kids.
All of us got busy. Cutting onions, peeling and chopping garlic, cutting tomatoes and paneer, chili and ginger, making dough and rotlis.
20 of us working hard for over an hour straight to make a great lunch dish. When all the tomato puree was ready and the onion-garlic-ginger-chilli paste was ready on the stove, I added some spices and finally some salt. After some cooking, I went in for a quick taste test…Tasted good, now just add a little sugar for a sweet tinge. Cook again for a little while and taste…This time just a tad bit sour. So added a little bit cream and a little more sugar. Cook again for a while and taste…Hmm…a little more sour this time. Okay, a little more cream and a little more sugar. Cook again for a while and taste….Oh my gosh! Super sour!!! What the heck just happened! A great lunch for all of us, has turned into a super sour tomato dish. I shared the dish with others and everyone had this crazy, super sour reaction on their faces. Worst was, nobody understood how it got so sour. We had all types of hypotheses: Maybe we added too much tomato from the beginning; The cream was old and spoiled, etc…Finally Roshni comes by saying to me…”This isn’t sugar! This is Limbu nu phool (lemon crystals). These lemon crystals look very similar to the sugar crystals and I had mistakenly placed lemon crystals, on and on, in the place of sugar.
Now with everyone’s hard work and hunger on the line we all tried to think of ways to save the spoiled lunch. We finally tried to add as much ‘real’ sugar as possible to offset the taste as well as cream. It didn’t really help much at this point. Sandeep went to go get paneer butter masala from a local restaurant to mix in to ours. We drained as much of the sauce as possible and were left with paneer coated with the sour sauce that I created.
A disaster ending in beauty:
I told the kids, that it was my mistake and they could give me any punishment they’d like to. It was a mistake I could have avoided if I had tasted everything before throwing it into the dish. But the kids responded with just love and understanding. “Nimesh sir, its perfect the way it is. We’ll eat and enjoy whatever we have. Don’t worry!”.
Truly amazing to see their spirit. As a group, we continue to have our ups and downs. But these type of experiences shine strong in my heart as reason and inspiration for our collective journey.
The Power of Love.
The Power of Kids.