RomeIf you could have dinner in another country, where would it be?

My dream dinner abroad — it would have to be Rome, Italy or maybe even Paris, France since I don’t believe Indian food is as popular in those regions. I would consider England, but the Brits, they know Indian food better than most Indians! We’ll keep that off the table, so to speak.

Since this is my dream dinner I would start in Rome and end up in Paris. As a chef, I would of course be making the dinner rather than partaking in another chef’s efforts. I’d prepare a nice appetizer, entree and dessert to impress my Italian and French friends who are eagerly waiting to taste my food. 

For the appetizer a delicious Plantain Kofta with a Mango Chutney (and definitely, some Indian Chai Tea). The entree, Potato Paratha and mildly spicy Lamb Curry. For dessert, Ras Malai.  

Here’s the tricky part. Shopping for the ingredients would prove difficult for me because I speak neither Italian or French. I can imagine going online in those countries and looking up places to go shopping for the ingredients. Some Italian or French websites might already use translation software to have ingredients available in English or Hindi. But trying to find a website that was translated correctly would waste a lot of time. Who wants to be bothered with that?”

Just for fun I looked up the ingredients online to see what their Italian and French translations were. “Plaintain” was “plantain” in French – well, they say it rather strangely, but that’s ok :). In Italian it’s not so simple – “piantaggine”!!Paris

For the chutney I would have no problem in Italy since it is the same word, but in French I would have to ask for a “mangue”. “patata” and “pomme de terre” is potato in Italian and French, respectively. “Lamb” in Italian is “agnello”, in French it’s “agneau”. Isn’t it just wonderful to be able to have such technology at your fingertips to help you navigate so many different worlds? 

My dream dinner abroad would be a success for sure! I’d return from the market with bags full of veggies and fruits with a big, proud smile on my face ready to start preparing the dinner for my friends. Of course, I’d have to bring my own spices on the trip. I like to use a special blend that I create myself. 

It would be so wonderful to see the looks on my friends’ faces as they walked in to their kitchens as the aroma of herbs and spices engulfed them after a long day at work. I’m sure they’d be impressed that I was able to find what I needed all by myself.

Who knows, maybe one day I will take a trip like this…I can always dream.


Mango Chutney

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