Monday, August 25, 2008
The Sixties, Sobre las Olas and Raja's Special
It was the early sixties. Father took us on long drives almost every day, in spite of his multifarious activities. His blue coloured Companion van was perfect for our family. The four of us brothers and sisters fitted well in the long back seat, while father drove with mother by his side. My brothers monkeyed around by jumping back into the open boot and hopped back to the back seat as and when they liked.
A picnic dinner at the grand Lalitha Mahal Palace (it was not a hotel at that point of time!)which stood at the foot of Chamundi hills was a frequent agenda. Mother packed our favourite sambar rice and curd rice, with vadams (rice crispies) and pickles for the much awaited dinner. But the high light of the dinner was the special parcel and a crate of Fanta Orange which we picked up from the Sports Club on our way.
There was a sprawling lawn and a grand fountain in front of the palace. On the opposite side huge flights of steps landed us in different levels of gardens. The domes on the lamp posts at frequent intervals shed cool dim light like the moon. We parked our Companion Van in front of the stairs and carried all our paraphernalia to one of the landing which again had a huge fountain in the center.
Father took out the gramophone from the boot and turned the handle to play our favourite records. We loved to dance to “Chinkey Butterfly” which was a fast number, and “Over the Waves or Sobre Las Olas” which was a waltz. Father joined us in the fun while mother filled up our dinner plates. The lone watch man or the occasional wild wolves which came down the hill did not interrupt our merriment. The cool breeze and the privacy in the expanse of nature, under the star lit sky is most unforgettable.
And then it was time to open the parcel ! All of us pounced on it to take a big helping of the Raja's Special and Peas on Toast. Raja's Special of yore is masala nuts of the present day. It seems this was the Raja’s favourite dish prepared at the Sports Club, and hence goes by the name Raja's Special.
Peanuts – 500 gms
Onion – 2
Green chillies -3
Salt – 1 tsp
Lime – 1
Cooking oil- 1tsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Fresh chopped coriander leaves -1/2 cup
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2. When it splutters add finely chopped green chillies.
3. Add peanuts and roast till they crack, and allow to cool.
4. Add finely chopped onions, salt and the juice of lime.
5. Shake all ingredients in a vessel covered with a lid to blend well.
6. Top it with coriander leaves.
Munch along as you watch your favourite movie, or as you watch this quaint version of Over the Waves or Sobre Las Olas!