The making of the Finely Chopped Pulao Party

I made a childhood favourite dish of mine, the quintessential Bengali Pulao a few days back. I was mighty thrilled. Brought back a rush of memories. I had to celebrate. So I decided to throw a 'pulao party'. And then Dada scored 88 runs yesterday when all had written him off. More reasons to party.

So soon we will have about eleven and a half (a two year old) folks dropping in. Folks I like to refer to as my Finely Chopped Knights. Most show varying degree of love for food. From appreciation to obsession. Some love to eat. Would travel miles for a good meal. Or to buy the right cut of meat. Some love to cook. Some love to treat. Some love stories about food. And a vegetarian who can't stop talking about the dish I had once made for him. I love to cook for such people. All the preparations, shopping, sweat, anxiety and anticipation become worth it when they talk about the meal for weeks to come. When I see the not too heavy eaters take a second helping. And the hfood lovers polishing off their own plates. These are my kin. In spirit and mind.

Would love to make the guest list longer. But don't have the vessels for it yet.

A big dinner is all about planning. Estimating demand. Forecasting hunger. Checking for resources. Marshaling your troops. And executing a plan. And I love it.

I did most of the shopping yesterday. Including things like broccoli and baby corn which have never entered our house before. Which I have no idea how to cut. My mutton buying plans didn't work as I figured out that most of the fresh mutton is over by the evening. And cold storage mutton wouldn't do for my group. This is a set of people who go the extra mile when they host us. Many are excellent cooks too.

So I let K sleep late after she returned early in the morning from work. I went to the mutton shop. The ancient shop manager broke into a toothless smile and gave me khasi (castrated goat) mutton, shoulder cut with some fat throw in. I picked up some more veggies and went back.

I said 'marshaling your troops'. Well had to check if Banu was coming before planning this. Had to pre-pone the dinner by a day as she said she would take Sunday and Monday off to shift houses. She is my sous chef, vegetable chopper, cheer leader and dish washer after all. The soul of the party in a way. K was up by the time Banu was there and the two got to getting the house ready.

Thought I'll write a bit to destress and relax before hitting the pots.

Update: The first guests have arrived. Before time. The kosha mangsha is ready. Pulao is half cooked. Veggies for Thai curry chopped. I have never cooked this curry before. I don't have a recipe either. Banu has made the parathas, kebabs and alu. The booze is there. Enough of slack. Better get cracking ... will let you know how it went. I am getting enough subtle hints.

Will let you know how it went. Do excuse typos. Am ignoring guests as I write this.