My daughter has changed & how ? ! Well,she disliked a majority of the vegetables except aloo & bhindi.She loves aloo parathas but that also sans hara dhania.I had to remind myself that she will just not eat the aloo paratha if she discovers even a single sprig of corainder ! But I was also glad that, she wanted plain aloo paratha as this meant, that I need not bother about cleaning the hara dhania.Come to think about it,I need not buy it at all ! So much labour & money saved !
I hate cleaning all green leafy vegetables.I love hara dhania in rasam,sabzi,parathas,uttapas,batata wadas,etc but I hate cleaning up the green coriander.So, I thought, there was no need to bring coriander & spend an hour cleaning it & storing it in the refrigerator to forget all about it till it gets dried off to be completely useless ! I can take everything in my stride except my labours getting wasted like this ! I could have done so many jobs in that one hour which I wasted on cleaning hara dhania.Even lazing an hour away is better than cleaning dhania or for that matter any hara pattedar sabzi ! I feel that whatever health benefits I will derive by eating the dhania is lost as I get stressed about cleaning it ! To put it bluntly,the stress is many times more than any benefit derived by consuming it ! So not buying dhania de stresses me !
I like many things about the dhania - its aroma,the fresh feeling that one gets when I cast a glance at it in the market or in the kitchens of others.The green colour which it has, is something so attractive that makes one buy it on impulse! The aroma of fresh coriander chutney,I can sense, as I near any chaat shop selling pani puris,bhel puris, wada-pav,bhajiyas etc is too tempting to resist. But I control my appetite, & find comfort in reminding myself that dhania chutney eaten with the chaat far outweighs any benefits accruing by consuming fresh coroiander ! On second thoughts,I will outweigh more than I can sustain by eating dhania regularly in chutney form in chaats & with any bhajias,bata wadas & the like ! In this form ,the dhania is a health hazard !
But the love for dhania ends here.The fact that it has to be cleaned thoroughly of its roots,the yellow leaves,the shoots,etc gives me the jitters ! Actually it overwhelms me ! The clean up task at hand that is ! Moreover,the size of dhania leaves is inversly proportional to the cleaning up needed.Smaller the leaves,longer is the period required for cleaning it !
So my days consisted of making aloo parathas or rather getting them made from the servant in maid on a weekly basis.The aloo would be mashed & a minimum amount of spices added so as to make it just tangy enough for my daughter.No hara dhania was added so that she will devour the parathas ! But since all good things come to end, faster than we can even comprehend,my kids aversion for hara dhania has transformed into a love for it !
I just added lots of hara dhania to aloo parathas recently as I had cleaned up some dhania donated by my neighbour who grows it in her kitchen garden.I was actually thinking of giving my neighbour a good lecture on other vegetables she could grow instead of the hara dhania but since the donation to me was the first crime she had committed,I forgave her ! My daughter relished those aloo parathas & declared that they were the best aloo parathas eaten so far ! I was thrilled, that she failed to notice the hara dhania in the parathas .But I was wrong !
The next week ,I tried aloo ki tikkis .My kid gulped the tikkis by garnishing the tikkis with fresh coriander ! I was aghast ! What has come over her ? I started having nightmares wherein I was surrounded by mountains of hara dhania & my daughter who was chomping away at it like a cow, chewing grass ! My daughter also started insisting that unless green chutney is made,she will not eat idlis .So,I started visualising myself wasting away, cleaning fresh coriander all my life! The sheer wastage of my precious time depressed me no end.
I had to bow down to her fancy for fresh coriander though with a heavy heart! This is so, as I was happy that her fondness for dhania showed that slowly but surely, her tastes were changing for the better.Moreover,hara dhania is very healthy & useful in controlling cholestrol levels,improving digestion, healing mouth ulcers.It is said to be anti -carcinogenic,anti -convulsant,anti-histamanic,etal ! With so many plusses on its side,I have let my kid have her way with dhania.But I suddenly experience pains & aches in my body as I sit cleaning up the hara dhania.My back hurts & my neck stiffens.My hands get so dirty that I feel that I have just played in mud like a kid ! I am sad about cleaning up but happy that my daughter is finally discovering taste !
I have started watching a stand up comedy show on the idiot box whilst I am engaged in the utterly useless task of cleaning hara dhania.The humour makes up, partly, for the tediousness of the job at hand.
But I am also thinking of other options like outsourcing the cleaning work of hara dhania & all other hari paate wali sabzis to my maid ! That way ,I can laze away & my maid can earn some more moolah ! But what if she has similar hatred for such clean up ? ! Maybe , fresh & clean coriander will make its appearance in tetra packs ,very soon....
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