In Old Hostel, MMV, Banaras Hindu University, we had this next door neighbor from room No.6. Lets call her…Miss Jha? It was she who introduced to the world the concept of use & throw utensils…which the industry picked up and translated into disposable thermocol and plastic utensils. Had she been aware of the concept of patent back then she could have become a millionaire. Well, the story goes like this…… the system was, we were supposed to have our meals in the hostel mess, and if we wanted to eat in our rooms in rare occasions of sickness or exams, we had to use our own utensils. Now this Miss Jha never washed her utensils if she used room service. The used plate and katori and spoon lies for days together under her study table, much to the chagrin of her disgusted roommates – Rinku, Jayita, Anupama. When vacations came and it was time to go home, the wretched set which has hues of blue green and grey by now, thanks to the fungi and mould that has grown on them has a shift in position…it is kicked hurriedly under her bed before she packs and leaves for the holidays, so that it is out of sight of her appalled room-mates, who might have even forced her to clean them. Guess what happens to those utensils ultimately? Opening day of every term saw the mausiji’s jostling to reach Room No.6 first. They know the fungi-infested stainless steel utensils waiting patiently since the previous term will now emerge from under the bed to be abandoned ruthlessly, and the mausiji who reaches there first would have the privilege of picking them up, scrubbing them and possessing them for the rest of their lives.
The agony that Miss Jha went through every term when she had to donate utensils after single use must not have been uncommon. Every hostel must have had characters like her which leads me to think that most of the lifestyle equipments that have made our lives easy today must have been conceived in a hostel.
Hostel wali Maggi-with a twist
All of us have cooked, eaten and shared Maggi during our stints in our hostels and during those days when we were alone in a new city in persuasion of our respective careers. I did so too. But how long can one keep following the instructions from the yellow plastic packet? So I decided to keep the Maggi and chuck the plastic packet and with it - the instructions. This is how I started making Maggi after I got bored of the standard directions.
What you’ll need:
Garlic : 1 fat clove, chopped
Onion: 1 (any size, chopped)
Egg: 1 (optional)
Veggies: Cauliflower/cabbage/carrot/French beans/spring onion/capsicum (any or all of these, any quantity, chopped – smaller the better )
Salt: ½ tsp
Sauce: Soya sauce/Worcestershire sauce/Tabasco sauce/Fish sauce (any or all of them – 5/6 drops max)
If any of the above ingredients are missing donot fret...go ahead with the steps with all that you have..only the oil and the onion are crucial here apart from the maggi and the tastermaker...absence of nothing else can really spoil the dish !
How will you go about it?
Step 1: Boil 2 cups of water and throw in the noodles in it. Cook for 2 mins, drain and keep aside.
Step 2: In a wok heat oil, throw in the garlic first and then the onions.
Step 3 : When the onions turn brownish, throw in the vegetables, add half the salt, mix and cover. If you are not adding veggies, go to step 4 directly aftr the onions turn brownish.
Step 4: After 5 mins, open the lid, break in the egg, add the remaining salt and stir.
Step 5: As the egg scrunch up add the tastemaker an stir.
Step 5: Add the boiled noodles. If you are adding any sauce, add it now, and stir.Your hot, steaming, incredibly tasty Maggi is ready. You can follow the same steps with any other brand of noodles – the results are equally remarkable. So go ahead and start your culinary journey….it’s an amazing feeling, to be gastronomically independent!