Of exam fever and food

I woke up with a shiver. Scared, stressed but relieved at the realization that it was just a dream! Am prone to exam fever and anxiety, and 8 years after completion of my engineering I still wake up restlessly with a worry of appearing for semester 5 mathematics exam.

The good thing about exams though, it also brings along the happy memories of my Dad cooking for us, me and my brother, as we immersed ourselves into the intricacies of semi conductors and Fourier series – buried under the weight of books, literally.

Food during exams used to be simple but delicious. Our favorite being – steamed rice, tempered Dal and mashed potatoes, marinated and tempered with red chili powder and cumin seeds. It was served hot and had a distinct taste that i haven’t experienced anywhere else but most importantly we used to sleep like logs after guzzling it. Not much of an advantage during exams, but we enjoyed every minute of it.

My dad’s variation of tempered dal is a specialty that i haven’t mastered yet. I end up making various versions of it and in the process creating different dishes altogether!

Today i tried to recreate his version of mashed potatoes – but again with an uncanny innovation. Here is the recipe

  1. Boil 200 grams of potatoes and then peel of the skin
  2. Mash the potatoes or cut into small pieces
  3. Cut a sweet Guava into small pieces. Try and remove the seeds while you cut it.
  4. Marinate both potatoes and guava with red chili powder and salt. Keep it aside for 2 minutes. Be careful with the salt – too much of it can kill the dish.
  5. Heat up a pan with some clarified butter and temper with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander powder and asafoetida.
  6. Add the marinated mixture of potatoes and guava to the pan.
  7. Add chopped coriander leaves and keep the pan closed on low heat for about 2 minutes
  8. Serve hot!

Spicy Mash Potatoes with Guava

The aim is to feel the sweetness of the guava through the spicy marination and tempering of potatoes. One might add more spices but i didn’t want it to beat the sweetness of the guava.

Not the best of dishes but a little bit of experimentation never hurts! Will try some other combination next time around. Until then, am just glad that my anxiety is over with the scary exam dreams and i can still call on dad to recreate the magic of yesteryears!

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