FORBIDDEN FOODS

Have you ever ogled at and salivated over something from a distance, but never had the guts to go the whole hog and sample it?
Has something teased and tantalised but failed to tempt you into trying a little bite?
Have you walked past something and often wondered ‘ “Hmmmm, wonder what that tastes like?”
Here is my list of forbidden foods. Some remain untried, untested, untasted and some are tried, but never to be tried again.
1] There is a certain type of egg bhurjee vendor who set up a tiny stall atop a wicker stand, in a bylane near VT, at twilight. The eggs sat at the corner of the round flat frying pan, they are cracked open onto a bed of masala of onions, tomatoes and what not and then ‘THAK, THAK THAK’, the metal spatula aggressively, but expertly scrambled the eggs into a bhurjee. A sight to behold, but not sure if the gut would hold up!
2] Neera: This summer drink is derived from ‘Tadgola’ which is toddy palm and then fermented. How many times, I have looked at a Neera Vikri kendra on the Bombay Pune road and wondered what it tastes like….is it like coconut water? Does it have a kick like alcohol? Why have I never seen a picture of it or seen a glass of it?
3} ‘Gola’: yup, never had one of those. School friends would eat these beauties which are simply compacted shredded ice balls with coloured sugary syrup poured and squirted on to it. Purple, dark green, canary yellow, bright red, even black[ kala khatta……….I’m still drooling on this one]…….the girls would slurp on these cold treats in summer and I would just ogle, but think of what bugs were in that icy water. Sigh! I haven’t LIVED!
4] Our maid used to eat a certain dessert on certain days. It was sabudana[ sago] kheer with jaggery in dilute milk, I think.
Every time she had it and I passed by, I wondered what it tasted like. I think I’m going to make this one day.
5] In First standard, there was a child in the playground who used to get rice with some kind of curry on it. I drooled over it and wanted it so badly. At the age of 5 I had no idea of the culinary delights of this world, so I asked my mother to give me rice and tomato ketchup in my lunch box…In fact I insisted on it…..obviously not the same thing and not a combination I will ever have again. The mystery baffles me to this day.
6] At that same age, our neighbours had lots of guests and they were eating some kind of gooey, cubical, sticky sweet-looking, jelly like food. They ran around playing and biting enticingly into the green and orange. For years it haunted me, this sticky toffee in different colours. I was sure it was sweet and finally I described it to my Dad who instantly knew what it was. Badam halwa? Don’t know I said but when we went to Chitale Bandhu and saw those delicately wrapped, cubes of translucent coloured thick jelly like sweets, I knew I had found it. Yes it was Badam halwa and it was as yummy as it looked.
7]Okay now the piece de resistance…… I was about 10 and my baby cousin from America was visiting. She ate this delicious looking carrot puree from a bottle. It was Gerber baby food.Forbidden food for a 10 year old. But I had to find out what it tasted like, so I helped myself to a spoonful……OMG! never again , will I do that again…..sugarless, saltless and tasteless! Serves me right for stealing a baby’s food!!!

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