It sounds easy enough. A cup of mint and another of coriander all topped with dashes of ginger and lemon blah blah. But making the perfect mint chutney is indeed an art. Mostly because no matter how well you follow the recipe and how fresh those leaves are, without experience, you are definitely screwed.
Last night we had an episode of ‘Too many cooks spoil the chutney’. The plucking was done by me ( of course i have to pick the one task that takes me out pf the kitchen!) .The recipe dictation by my sister, a supposed nutrition expert who still doesn’t know squat about accompaniments. And the actual blending, by the main stakeholder, the girl who was risking it all to make vegetarian chutney sandwiches for her office potluck- my dear friend Ami. The blender whirred a couple of times. Tasting and disappointment later, more things were added and off it went again. I had conveniently extracted myself out of the process with my blanketed ignorance on culinary related things so I lay on the sofa, giving my tired hands a rest, watching ‘FRIENDS’.
Half an hour later, a sullen Ami carrying the blender came and offered me a taste. Decent enough, I told her. But no, she wasn’t happy. As she sat in a state of absolute dejection, I offered useless ideas to help her feel better. Some were dumb. ‘It’s really not thaaaaat bad.’ And ‘It’s not your fault.. You should have googled how to make sandwich mint chutney recipe! ’ Clearly I’m no friend to be had around in these sort of fixes. I think the upsetting aspect for her was that she had spent hours slaving over all the other dishes she had offered to make, and ultimately this green concoction was a blotch to the perfect spread.
So I’m sitting beside her thinking – seriously man who cares ? It’s for some chick you hardly know and all the other dishes turned out great so forget about it. It’s not that I lack a commitment to getting a task done well, it’s just that I’m selective about the things I care about! But as I watch Ami run back into the kitchen and make one last attempt to save the mess, I felt happy. You see in a world where we use indifference as a survival tool, when you find someone who at 12am is still struggling to perfect something for an event that really isn’t going to bring about any outcomes for them, you have to smile.
This is a salute to all my friends who are caring, lovin and the weirdest of committed perfectionists I’ll ever find. Last night we couldn’t save the chutney, but we now can live with hope that one day.. some day.. It won’t need saving.