You heard about stuffing a turkey. Have you heard about “Guest stuffing”? It is a well known phenomenon for anybody who grew up in India. Forcing the guest to eat until the guest is an inch from throwing up is considered a hostly thing to do. Leaving any food that the host gratuitously pushed on to your plate is considered very barbaric
An (Indian) acquaintance of ours invited us for an informal dinner. The moment I entered their house, the sexy thing on the table caught my eye. I mean the dessert, “Rasmalai.” I told myself that all I have to do was to pretend to be eating the entrée for a few moments and then I can get my dirty hands all over the Rasmalai.
The dinner featured South Indian delicacies Idly, Sambar and lemon rice. My dinner plate came pre-configured with 4 idlies. Damn, I didn’t want to fill myself with idlies. Ok, not to worry. If I go easy on the lemon rice, I can do some well deserved justice to the Rasmalai.
I polished off the idlies with the deftness of an experienced South Indian. *plop* *plop*. Two more idlies magically appeared on my plate. I looked up in horror. The spatula wielding hostess was standing right next to me with a bowl menacingly full of idlies. “Oh, you are a young man, you can eat two more idlies,” she dismissed my horror with a wave of the spatula. I begged the hostess to control her effervescing hospitality.
I ate the bonus idlies too. As I was serving myself a carefully measured portion of lemon rice, I heard the host guffaw. “Don’t eat like a bird. That is why you are so thin.” Before I could fully comprehend the ominousness of his statement, the host moved with dizzying alacrity and before I knew, a lemon-rice-heap of the size of Gibraltar was sitting on my plate. I am sure a tear trickled down my cheek as bid farewell to any remaining hopes of getting to the Rasmalai.
I laboriously finished the lemon rice. I was so full that I could not even laugh at my wife throwing herself on her plate in an attempt to prevent the host from serving more idlies. But, like a wounded soldier crawling towards home country, I reached out for the Rasmalai. I had them in a cup and was about to eat when I heard, “What? You are already having dessert?” *Plop* There was Sambar on my plate. “I saw you didn’t eat Sambar.” At which point, I gave up.
The silver lining was that the hostess gave me my Rasmalai to-go. So I did enjoy the sexy, white, supple things the day after.