Curry… cooked in a hurry

Posted on July 10, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Food, Humor, Society
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Owais Mughal

Our home in Karachi had a cricket ground next to it. Being a ‘puraana chaawal’ (seasoned rice) of the area, I became manager of this ground in early 90s. My duties included assigning the cricket ground to different local teams as well as arranging a match or two on special occasions.

Once I arranged a match for a neighborhood team but the local players didn’t show up on time. After doing a typical eleventh hour calling and rounding-up of players, I was able to field a ‘pakaR dhakaR XI’ (rounded-up XI). It was a very colorful team in a sense that eleven players spoke at least five different languages and yet understood each other very well.

At lunch break all the players gathered around me and demanded lunch. Some claimed that I owe them a lunch because they have done me a favor by coming to play to Federal-B-Area from far flung areas of the city such as North Nazimabad. Those familiar with Karachi geography may know that North Nazimabad is located right next to Federal-B-Area. Only a 30-feet wide drainage stream called ‘Gujjar Nala’ separates the two localities.

Being outnumbered 1 to 13, I gave in to their demands. I was still a student so did not have money to buy 13 people any kind of lunch. Not even the cheap ‘bun-kababs’. So I walked inside home to see what was ready for lunch. I saw cooked ‘aaloo-shorba’ (Potatoes with curry) on top of stove. It was of course not enough for 14 people. Since necessity is the mother of invention therefore I took a huge bowl out of closet and poured some curry in it. A quantity, that was just enough for probably 4 people.

Then I filled up a jug with water and mixed it in the curry. Curry’s volume now increased by a gallon and its density decreased to a state of matter called ‘Bose-Einstein Condensate.’ See to the left below.

I then sent our 12th man to the nearby ‘Gharib-Nawaz tandoor’ (Poor people’s clay Oven) to get a few naan (flat round bread). 12th man was an aspiring young cricketer and in an aspiration to debut from our team, he happily went to get the ‘naan’. Our team management used 12th man not only for on-ground services but off-ground services too. Long story short; when bread came; 14 people ate my specially prepared ‘pani-shorba’ (water-curry) without any complaint. I do however remember some of the remarks made at the occasion. They were a pure delight to hear such as this famous one coming right out of Urdu literature:

‘kiya piddee aur kiya piddee ka shorba’
(What little bird and its little curry)

Then there was a remark given in a complete state of denial and astonishment:

‘ye kis cheez ki yakhni hai bhai?
(What is this soup made of?)

Note: In an ideal world of culinary delights, a curry is supposed to be thicker than a soup.


ye tou shorbay kay shorbay kaa shorbaa hai
This is an extract of an extract of an extract of a curry)

And yet another was when somebody called this curry in Punjabi as lamma shora (tall curry).

The voices of dissent soon died down as getting free food was an incentive enough to shut up and eat whatever was available. To this day, whenever I remember this indigenous recipe’ of mine, it makes me smile. Conclusion is that curry is such a form of food which can be diluted as needed and can be fed to a varied number of people ranging anywhere from 1 person to many (or any).

For the welfare of general public I want to key down the recipe’ of Curry in a hurry:

Recipe’ of Curry in a Hurry

1. Volume of already cooked curry (any kind): 100 ml or as much as one can afford.
2. Count the people available: x (say)
3. Glass of water: One. It doesn’t matter if it is half empty or half full. We’ll fill it up to the brink in a bit.
4. Curry bowl: One and empty
5. Pour 100 ml curry in the empty curry bowl and pour a glass full of water into curry ‘x’ times.
6. ‘ae-lo mazaydaar shorba tayyar hai’ (lo-behold. tasty curry in a hurry; is ready)

The End

28 responses to “Curry… cooked in a hurry”

  1. ahsan says:

    And then there was always one “railoo katta” in the team. And the word became synonym to anyone who changes side /loyalty, especially to the batting side.

  2. Shazia R. Hussain says:

    @Rafay Kashmiri
    Okay, I checked with a punjabi linguist (who happens to be my dad. No, he doesn’t have any qualification in punjabi but knows more than any lingusit could ever hope to learn) and he confirmed that it means what I explained. I also found a website called where there’s a punjabi to English dictionary that explains the meaning of “chawal” to be “meanness” .

    “Chipakna” would come in the sense of being”leechar”. Well, “chawal” or “leechar”: The President of Pakistan is an embodiment of both.
    Regarding your poem about aam, lassi and keema bharay karelay: again, wah wah, wah wah. But please, don’t go on…

  3. Kiya yar yaad diladiya.Burns Road ki galiyo may ,polo ground aur dusre aas paas ke grounds may kailne may kiya maza aata thaa.fruit aur dusri items ke khali dabbe ki wicket banate thaiy.Polo ground may anginat teamay khailty thi bohat dar lagta tha baaz martaba sar may lag bhi jata tha aur tanke bhi ate thai.magar itwar ko zaroor khailtey thai .now those are only dreams.

  4. Tahira Khalid Hussain says:

    I like the way you tell about your past practicals

  5. ASIF says:

    Very funny story. I can identify with it in many ways. Those bonds of street cricket are still the best ones.

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