Having a frequent flyer husband means having the recliner all for yourself, not making coffee three times a day, making the most lazy ass meals and not picking up pant, underwear, lungi and shirt off the floor.
But you’re incessant yelling is not as good as that one thunderous dad’s command. You are forced to deciding to change the alternator belt in the car, drive during the weekend, brave kids injuries and wrangle with carpenter, plumber, electrician and appliance repair man as every appliance takes its turn to break down one after another. You are left as the sole PRO for all family communications which you’ll avoid at any cost.
And then there are the women who’ll tell you how easy it is for you to be away from the husband, how they cannot imagine themselves being so business as usual. I’ve come to see this as one of those “put-down-compliments” that women say a lot. What they’re actually saying is “You’re such a bitch. I am such a good-wife/good-woman/good-mother/good daughter-in-law.” I say I enjoy the recliner. I like it that it upsets them.
The day I realized I wasn’t going to compete, that I didn’t want to be the good wife/mother/daughter-in-law, that I didn’t care about others’ standards, that I wasn’t interested in fitting in, I was free. It was the most liberating thing ever. Don’t try so hard to be so good. It is ok.
Mommy meetings will be especially painful. You’ll have nothing to say. You’ll die a slow death listening to the mommies one-up each other on their kids achievements or fret over their poor kids going to school five days a week.
Small talk will be excruciating.
Relatives will think you are haughty. They’ll avoid you. You’ll enjoy the peace.
You’ll realize you need not make sambhar every Friday. You’ll discover that making seedai instead of the family tradition ribbon pakoda for Krishna Jayanthi didn’t kill you. You won’t feel the urge – to photograph your puja arrangements and share them with relatives to register your participation, brag-bore guests about how your kid scratched up the neighbour’s car (Ha Ha.. so naughty!) and mentally go through who will say what before making every decision.
You’ll do only what you believe in – whether it is not wearing a saree when you don’t feel like it or making a mutton keerai curry during puratasi. Go on.
This one is my Ammama’s recipe. If there ever was a way to make keerai sound sexy, this is it. But this isn’t about sneaking in nutritious greens in the curry. This curry is as much about the keerai as it is about the mutton and the combination of them. There are no tomatoes in this curry. If you want more of the lip-smacking masala, add in more onions to bulk it up. It is luscious, spicy-hot and flavour packed, perfect with rice or chappathi.
- Mutton – ¼ kilo
- Keerai/Greens – 1 cup rinsed, drained and chopped
- Ginger – 1 inch piece
- Garlic – 4 pods
- Green chillies – 3
- Onions – 2 medium chopped fine
- Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ¾ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Water as necessary
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Grind together ginger, garlic and green chillies to a fine paste.
- In a small pressure cooker, combine cleaned mutton pieces, chopped onions, ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and enough water to immerse the mutton. Mix well, cover and pressure cook for 15 minutes.
- Once cooked switch off and let the pressure subside. Open the pressure cooker and check if mutton is cooked through.
- Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, reduce heat to low and gently pour the contents of the cooker into the pan. Increase heat and cook on medium-high flame till the liquid evaporates and it reaches a curry consistency.
- Add the chopped greens and stir into the curry. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes on low heat stirring and scraping every now and then till the greens are wilted and cooked through and the curry is nice and thick. Switch off. Serve hot with roti or rice. Enjoy!