- Welcome drink- hard drinks as per choice
- Starters- McCain cheeseshots (will be fried), tandoori kebabs (will be ordered)
- Main course- Biryani, Domino’s (will be ordered)
- Dessert- chocolate pudding with vanilla ice-cream
- Dips for starters- cheese dip (to-be-made by hubby dear) and avocado dip and hummus (to-be-made by Shonali).
“Hmm, the menu sounds great”, Shonali thought to herself, looking at the list she made on the notepad in her phone.
Puneet (Shonali’s husband) filled in her the previous day that he was thinking of inviting some friends for dinner over the weekend. Shonali had met Puneet’s friends a couple of times earlier so she was happy to be their host. Considering that Mehtas (Puneet and Shonali) were hosting a party at their house after a really long time, Shonali was a bit excited too.
The party was decided to commence by 8:00 pm. So Shonali wanted everything to be set by 6:30 pm, leaving her with enough time to get ready to welcome her guests. She looked at the clock, the needles showed 4:35 pm, stating that it was a high time she buckles up for the preparations.
“Okay! Chop-Chop. Time to go Shonali. Umm, let’s see what do we have here.
Welcome drinks are Puneet’s department- so check.
McCain cheeseshots would be fried at the moment- so check.
Tandoori Kebabs, Biryani, and Domino’s would be ordered at the moment- so check.
Which leaves the dessert and dips on my plate.” Shonali often spoke to herself aloud.
She quickly made the batter for the chocolate cake, poured it into the dish, and placed the dish in the oven for baking. While the oven was baking the cake, Shonali was being baked in the kitchen. “God! It’s terribly hot”, She grunted.
The heat was another reason why Shonali wanted to get over with the preps quickly and escape to her air-conditioned room for some relaxation and get charged up for the party.
Ten minutes later Shonali’s avocado dip was ready and refrigerated.
Beep! Beep! The cake!
She opened the oven door and got engulfed in the heavenly smell. The chocolate cake looked just perfect, so tempting, and totally inviting. She placed the cake in the serving dish and let it cool before refrigerating it too.
‘Cheese dip would be taken care by Puneet, and will be made once he’s home. Soo, means, I just have to finish with hummus and I will be done. Not bad Shonali!”, she said, surprised at how swiftly she completed the other tasks. Shonali patted herself while looking at the clock which showed 5:45 pm, way earlier that her target time as 6:30 pm.
Now, for hummus, she needs the help of Google for the exact recipe. She’d made hummus before (and hence had soaked the chickpeas last night) but as it’s been long, she wanted to consult a recipe to confirm the ingredients. Although, she always changes the recipe a little as per her cooking instincts.
‘Easy hummus recipe’, she types on her phone. Google gave her a number of recipes to pick from. ‘Recipes for hummus dip’, she thought of being a little specific to get the best results. Scanning through the blue links, Shonali clicked on the fourth one and took a screenshot of the ingredients mentioned in the article.
Taking the ingredients one by one she added them to the food processor (in the order) at an interval of a minute each:
- Tahini sauce
- Olive oil
- Lentil seeds
- Peanuts (Shonali’s personal pick)
- Garlic cloves
- Soaked and boiled chickpeas
Tahini sauce, Vinegar, Olive oil, and Lentil seeds went in together and were churned for a minute. Peanuts, garlic cloves, salt, and some water met the mixture a minute later and the machine was turned on again. After a while, Shonali stopped the processor to examine the mix and its thickness. The paste looked just fine and smelled amazing. It was now time to add the last and the most important ingredient, the chickpeas.
Chickpeas added. Food processor turned on.
Two minutes later she turned off the processor to examine her dip. The dip looked grainy. So, Shonali turned on the processor again thinking the paste needed more churning. After a minute or so it was again time for examination.
The dip was still grainy and, in fact, a little whitish brown, not at all the light brown color of the actual hummus dip. Something was seriously wrong! She could sense it.
To figure out what went wrong, Shonali tasted the dip.
THIS WAS DISASTROUS!
Puneet who was home by this time, came into the kitchen to check on Shonali. The perturbed look on Shonali’s face was enough to hint Puneet of a mishap.
“Kya Hua (what happened)?” Puneet enquired.
Shonali smiled sheepishly. She couldn’t really tell what had happened. But, she had to!
“Well… I… Umm… I forgot to BOIL the chickpeas”, There. She spat out the unbelievable.
Puneet and Shonali, for a fraction of a second, looked at each other with blank faces and puzzled mind. Both thinking, did this really happen and how?
Shonali was baffled and couldn’t believe that she actually forgot to boil the chickpeas, despite referring to a recipe for hummus. How could she overlook the fact that soaked and boiled chickpeas are two different features of the same ingredient?
What happened today was totally improbable and ridiculous, she thought.
Anyway! The blunder was done and the much awaited and delicious hummus was chucked out from the list of dips.
Her share of tasks ticked off and still perplexed, Shonali retreated to her air-conditioned den to get ready for the party, while Punnet got on with his share of preparations: the cheese dip and hard drinks.
While the food processor with the semi-cooked hummus dip, for now, was kept aside to be given attention after the party or probably the next morning.