Way back in the 80s and 90s, things like Nadhiya Kammal, Geethanjali / Idhayathai thirudade Salwar-Kurta-Bandini duppatta, Roti (useless) maker were a rage. Whether it suited them / useful or not, makkal went and bought it only to bandha adichify.These days makkal have truck loads of money. To make a call, we buy 40000 Rubees worth smart phone because namma pakkathu veetu Ponnamma and Edirtha veetu Ekambaram have ishhmart phones.
One such pisthu item that has made it to this Bandha list is Quinoa. It is some grain like crop like seed like item that grows in South America and gets imported for heppu makkal to eat it as a substitute to Rice, Roti, Mor kozhambu, Vazhakka Bajji, Paneer Butter masala, Tirupathi Laddu etc.
This Quinoa comes into the conversation on any topic be it Food habits, Diet , Coal scam, Rail scam or Saravanan Meenatchi episode 400. You are considered unhep / unposshhh / pisatthu / vettuvetthu if you don't discuss and haven't had Quinoa. "I ate Quinoa" has become very common like we used to say "I had Anjaneyar Kovil vadai" .
Having bought all of the above (in the first para) from Nadhiya kammal to unsmart phones, we also bought Quinoa. For practical pronunciation purposes, let me call it Koina. It is so difficult to think 'Keenwah' and write Quonia. So it is Koina and will be Koina for me.At this supermarket where we go to buy our salt, sugar and paruppu, was this lady who insisted we buy one packet of Koina. Since everybody was raving and ya let me admit we also wanted to be heppu , we bought Koina. In the 'we' I'm adding the paavappatta Purusan who didn't taste this bleddy thing when I tried to make it. Only at the billing counter did we realize we had been talailakattufyed this horribly expensive vasthu. Our dal, salt, masala powders combined was some 500 Rubees na this Koina itself was some 500 rubees+ for a packet that would fit into a shirt pocket.
This Koina packet was lying idle for almost 6 months. Not wanting to waste the hard-earned money spent on Koina, made some salad type thing boiling it, adding onion, tomato and all. Vaaila vekka mudila. I tried to have one half of what I made and left the other in the fridge which was consumed after 2 days, adding the same to Thayir saadam. Kodumai. Uvveck.
The sad part was only 1/4 of the packet was used in Koina salad. What to do with the rest? As I was trying to think keeping the packet in hand, it slipped and more than 1/2 fell on the ground. " Haiiyaa Jaali ! Ozhindadu Koina!", I told myself. The rest- one tiny bit was left in the packet. So I've come up with this brilliant idea of gifting the minjina packet to the one who sends me a brilliant Koina recipe for a contest on this blog.
But I'm sorry folks, this contest is not open to all silly cooks like you. Only the best of the best of the Master Chefs of Madras will be participating in this contest. And a Mega Master Chef will judge the entries. Going by their twitter / facebook posts and my personal interaction with the Master Chef of Madras, I've already short listed three esteemed Chefs who will be sharing their Koina recipes that will be posted on the blog next week.
The best of the three will win my coveted Minjina packet of Koina and (ponaapogattum) a book of their choice. As mentioned earlier, the winner will be chosen by our Mega Master Chef (surprise!!!!!) along with me. To know who these elitist contestants are, please come back next week. Till then, enjoy a picture of the Minjina packet of Koina.