Saturday, June 26, 2010

Maybe I'm Not so Smrt

I went out to lunch with some co-workers in the oldest part of the newly developed Gurgaon, DLF Phase 1. The restuarant, Yumz!, was in an older shopping arcade called Qutab Plaza. It's not a place I would take Lindsay and probably not a place I would have chosen to venture on my own, but I was up for a little adventure. In addition, based on my slim efforts to learn Hindi, the primary means for me to earn credibility in the office is to basically eat anywhere and eat anything people deem appropriate for a meal. Upon arriving at the restuarant and not surprisingly, someone volunteered to do the ordering. I stated my requisite, "I'll taste anything once; if I don't like it after that, I won't eat it." Little did I know his plan for the appetizer was....fried sheep brain. 

Upon hearing the order and thinking I might be able to add to the conversation with some edible sheep part experience, I described the one time I've had Rocky Mountain oysters. All of the others, including the one that had just ordered the brain of an animal, looked at me like I was describing how the average American revels in a nice New York strip done medium rare. Little did they know that the sheep brain actually more resembled that you'd expect the Rocky Mountain oysters to look like. From a taste standpoint, the brain itself wasn't anything too terribly different. It was fried, so it kind of tasted like fried stuff and had the general consistency of a hush puppy. 

Surprisingly, that wasn't the most dangerous part of the meal. For desert, we ordered, philri, which is a rice and milk-based dish. It was an odd yellow color and had flecks of the shiny film associated with many Indian sweets. The shiny film doesn't taste like much but looks like a shiny fish scale. Appetizing. At any rate, I dug into the philri which basically tastes like rice pudding. I didn't particularly enjoy it but knew I pretty much had to finish the bowl. One of my co-workers quickly said, "Stop! Don't take another bite, I think the heat has gotten to it." Awesome. I was at least two bites in. At this point if I happened to get sick, there was now no way to tell whether the culprit was the mutton brain or the rancid philri. 

We decided to skip dessert at Yumz! and instead headed out to try and find gulab jamun (delightful dough balls soaked in sugary goodness). While the establishment where we stopped wasn't technically a street vendor, it was probably about as close as you can get. Bottom line, I still haven't sampled the street food, but based on today's lunch, I think we're inching closer and closer in that direction.

1 comment:

  1. OK, I can handle the sheep's brain (especially if there's ketchup to dip it in, but I digress), but there's only one word for the philri as you have described it ... five or six syllables of "speeeewwwww"!