Bring on the hot chocolate. WE WON THE WORLD CUP!!!!!!!!!!!


What were you doing the day India won the CUP?

Well last time around I was too young to stay up. I knew something big had happened. That we had won. That we all wanted to be Kapil Dev. And that the world had changed. My dad had just passed away and we watched the game at my grandparents where we stayed for a year.

Twenty eight years later I can’t claim to be ‘too young’. I returned in time to my adopted city where the Word Cup final was being held. It was in the country of my birth last time around. The cricketing world has turned a full circle since.

I’d just returned from Australia where India’s only other World Championship win had happened if you count 1984. A hurried trip to Gurgaon after Australia and I returned to Mumbai bleary eyed two hours before the match would start.

K and I watched the match at home except for a short bit where we went to CBTL for a cup of coffee. We watched the beginning of Inda’s innings at the coffee shop with the volume off and mosquitoes giving us company. A few young girls came in asking if they could get a table of eight and if they could ‘whistle’. They were politely turned away. Next time they will probably be old enough to watch it in a Pub & whistled. Hopefully they would not be whistled at.

We came home and watched the new Indian team stride to victory. Old timers like me got a bit nervous when Tendulkar and Sehwag got out but those days of Tendulkar or bust are thankfully over. Zaheer and his maiden overs, Gautam and his big match epic, Yuvraj who lived up to the ‘Singh is King’ cheers of the cabbies of Perth and Dhoni ... what a man, what a captain. They say that a man’s character shows up when challenged. Well Dhoni and his team had proved every cliché in the world right.

The Victorious Indian team. Pic Source: http://www.kochituskerskerala.co.in/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/india_win_icc_world_cup_2011.jpg


The streets had gone berserk and from our house K and I looked at folks driving by at cars with people spilling out of them, draped in the national flag. I was tempted to go out but then stayed in. This was personal.
I looked at the mirror and the grey stubble and thought of all those years since ’83. When Gooch & Gatting swept us out at Wankhade. When De Silva batted us out and then the Lankans spun a web and made Kambli cry at the Eden Gardens. When we wore dark blue shirts, Kapil Dev opened the innings and our Cup was over soon in England. 2003 and Ganguly and gang fought back till Ponting clobbered us at Wanderers. Windies when Bangladesh and Greg Chappell knocked the wind out of us. All those years where the media made us believe that we were the best in the world till it took a six from Dhoni to prove them right. It was worth the years of heartburn and pain and disappointment.

And ‘celebrate’ we did the next night with some close friends at home. Dinner was from all over the world for we were the world champions after all. There was Kangaroo meat from Melbourne’s Vic Market. A big thanks to Derek Jones of Sydney who told me he would barrack for us after we beat them. “You guys wants to win so much, you deserve it”. 

There was chicken in Peri Peri sauce which K had got from SA. Perennial favourites who leave will before the party closes. I added some Australian bush salt which Kunal gave me to me in his pack of Aussie goodies. Char Siew pork. The sauce was part of Ranjit’s goodie bag to me. I seemed to have finally got pork right. Pork chops, cut into cubes. 12 minutes in the micro Another fifteen minutes on the pan. It cooks. Sassy Fork came and made an amazing Singaporean laksa with great prawns. Shanghai might be a better city than Mumbai but the Chinese can’t play cricket can they?

 Some South African wine that K got from Cape Town. And then a  first time ever in the Finely Chopped kitchen. Rocket leaves, cherry tomato and lettuce salad with peccorina cheese from the Vic Market and raspberry balsamic that Maunika got for me. M or Cookinacurry’s Marks and Spencer cherry liqueur dark chocolates brought up the finale along with some excellent anjeer ice cream from Snowbites that Ranjit got and MOD donuts courtesy Rahul and Irin. 

Sassy Fork's delectable Laksa

Salad with Cookinacurry's Raspberry Balsamic

Pork with Ranjit's char siew sauce

More laksa

Chicken with K's SA Peri Peri, Ranjit's Spanish Olives & Kunal's Australian Bush spices


The original Finely Chopped Knights Soumik, Ratoola, Rahul and Irin with new and active entrants Sassy Fork & Ranjit, K who gave the name Finely Chopped... we hardly drank, we didn’t scream but you could say that we came to the party too.

A couple of  food tips. Cook meat in the micro in a marinade for 10-12 minutes and then shift to a pan on a flame. You will get an oil free dish with a nice texture too. And if you feel the meat might not be enough for guests then thrown in some chopped mushrooms to add to the body. I used shitake

Recipes? The dishes were all made with readymade sauces and spices. The pairing was mine. So go ahead and make your own dish. It will be a winner I am sure.

The dinner reminded me a bit of the character of Julie in the film Julie and Julia. If you remember her readers sent her ingredients through post so that she could continue to cook and write. Well last night’s meal, and many more, are courtesy to some of the most thoughtful and exciting food gifts which my friends have given me. 

I guess this was the best way to say ‘thank you’.

My cup runneth over



7