Sunday, August 14, 2011

Love Marriage Vs. Arranged Marriage over a Plate of Masala Papad

In India, a love marriage causes a huge scandal in the family, the proportions of which are unmatched by any other kind of scandal. Talk "love" to elders, and it causes them shock, shame, concern and high BP; shock because the son/daughter who was taught cultural and moral values right from birth dared to choose his/her own life partner; shame because friends and relatives whose children didn't do the same will look down upon them (the parents) and talk behind their backs and sometimes to their faces about their shoddy parenting skills (why else would the children have gone astray?); worry because kids will always be kids and they might have chosen wrong, an unworthy match; and high BP, well, I think all this will definitely cause some credible blood pressure fluctuations.

"Maybe, we can pass it off as an arranged marriage", muse the parents. At precisely this point, the children inform them in a small voice that the person they intend to spend the rest of their lives with speaks a different language, supports Bengal Tigers and not Kochi Tuskers, thinks Chiranjeevi is a better actor than Mohanlal (/Mamootty), does not have much of a bank balance, nor degrees adorning his sitting room walls, and worships Allah, not Krishna!!! Jesus Christ!

What follows is a long and hard battle:

-"Marriage is a union of two families, and not just two people. So the families must have similar socio economic, cultural and religious backgrounds."
"Mom, his/her family is very nice. They were not happy about it initially, but they have agreed for the sake of their son's/daughter's happiness."
-"The people involved will have to make a lot of adjustments and sacrifices. This will ultimately result in bitterness."
"Adjustments have to be made in any case, whether I marry him/her or a person of your choice."

-"People in love are usually miniature satans who show their true colours only after marriage." (This arguement is usually supported by a few real life examples).
"I have known him/her for a long time now, and he/she will never hurt me in any way. And how can you be sure that the person of your choice is an innocent little lamb?" (Real life examples again)

-Emotional Blackmail: "I had a vision of you in a red madisar marrying a man I chose for you. You want to rubbish my dreams and get married in a church, wearing a WHITE gown? (Tears)  Don't you have any love for your mother and father?" (More tears).
"My intention was not to hurt you. I love you but I cannot forget him/her either. Do you want me to sacrifice my dreams and wishes and be unahppy all my life?" (Tears again)

-Threats: "I will cut you out of my will."(The tears have dried up now)
"I don't want the money, I just want your blessings and to be with him/her. Else I will remain single all my life!" (Angry)

Finally one side relents, and irrespective of whether Ashwathi converts to Aysha or not, let us wish the bride and groom and their families luck, love and happiness, the only ingredients I think make a successful marriage. 

I rarely order vegetarian food when I go to a restaurant, infact, nobody in my family does. But my cousin is married into a vegetarian family, and they almost always order masala papad as a starter. And I found I liked the papads very much, maybe not as much as the chicken kababs I would have normally ordered, yet, they were quite good.

For masala papad, you will need:

4 Punjabi masala papads, flavour you like
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 green chili, chopped into thin slices
4 tablespoons coriander leaves
8 pinches Chili powder
8 pinches Chaat masala
1 tablespoon lemon/lime juice
Salt, to taste
Oil, to deep fry

Mix together chopped onions, tomatoes, chilies, coriander leaves, salt and lemon juice.

Heat oil in a large pan. Poke a few tiny holes into the pappad with a pin so they do not curl up while frying. Deep fry masala papad in hot oil. Remove from oil using a fork or slotted spoon.

Divide the topping equally between the papads. Sprinkle a couple of pinches each of chili powder and chaat masala over each papad.

Serve immediately.

The papads can be roasted instead of frying. But they must be served super quick because the juices from the tomatoes and onions will make them soggy. Not that a fried papad does not get soggy, but the oil forms a protective coating. This is a basic masala papad recipe, the kind you normally get in restaurants. It can be modified to suit your taste, with whatever toppings you like, keeping in mind that a mushy topping would make the papad mushy too, so try to keep it just minimally moist.

Editted on Aug 17th:
I am submitting this post to Ayeesha's Anyone Can Cook Event.



  1. good post .. n my fav masala papad..

  2. This is my fav snack!!! and thats a nice write up!!! I believe that person meant to be ur life partner is already determined beforehand..All u have to do is u n ur family search for him or her...!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

  3. Thanks, @Kalpana
    Yes @Prathima, some things are just destiny.

  4. Masala Papad looks great with its colourful topping......But is it as delicious as its look?

    In this debate, according to you who should give in at last parents or kids?

  5. @Acha, in the end, it does not matter who gives in. All that matters is that the marriage (whichever takes place) should be happy and succesful.

  6. One of my favourites.....looks yum....good read on marriages.....

  7. Same here...While eating out with veggie friends, we usually order this...Looks nice n colourful

  8. A nice write up on one of our social issues--marriages. I've often got into a debate about love/arranged marriages with my North American friends at work. They could never understand how we share a bed with a total stranger on our first night..! ;) Anyways, lovely pictures. Makes the pappad pop out of the screen.

  9. LOL at the conversation on love marriage and I nodded my head a lot {can you guess I went through a bit of this?} Love the idea of the papads. Nice & different!

  10. @Plateful, Sometimes I wonder how a person can share a bed with a total stranger. But guess it has some success mantra!

    @Deeba, glad you were able to identify with the arguments to some extent. Hope it wasn't too tough ;)

  11. Thank you for linking with Any One Can Cook, your recipe got featured in this week Any One Can Cook, Congratulations!

  12. nice to see you squirting some venom on love/arranged marriages kottayamkariiii lol.

    yea but i don blame the conservative parents coz everything revolves around prestige for them and grant it they're too old to change their ways :) tht's precisely why i want to break away from the kerala community and settle elsewhere coz we have two girls and i would like to give them a stress free life till i can. i love the place though :)

    masala papad looks good in your pics...not on my taste buds...

  13. @kitchenmorph, long time, no see.....are u back in action now?

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Reading this now... Ashwathy to Aysha?? LOL !!

    1. Any resemblance characters living or dead is purely coincidental....


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