My husband warned me recently that he would need to be in control of the TV remote for a few days! He wanted to watch the Cricket World cup, it seems. This did not come as too much of a shock to me, because in a country where cricket is more of a religion than a sport, it is but natural to find fanatics everywhere. And with the ongoing World Cup, there is an increase in cricketing activity everywhere. There are so many kids (even more than usual) on the roads and streets playing the game, with paper or tennis balls, sometimes small boards and writing files instead of proper bats, and wickets made of anything that can stand upright. You are more likely to find your colleague in front of the canteen TV than at his workstation and everyone wants to talk about the players and particularly exciting matches (not necessarily played in recent history). No ball, run or fielding action is spared a detailed post mortem. And isn't it commendable how every product on the market can be linked to cricket/cricketers, right from detergent powders to automobiles?
|I wonder what exactly their expression is supposed to mean? Some of them do look slightly constipated. And why wasn’t Sreeshant chosen here? He seems to wear this expression all the time.|
1) Surrender the TV remote, especially if you belong to the fairer sex. Things could get ugly.
2) Remember that fans are highly superstitious. If a batsman becomes out immediately after you sneeze or ask for the score, you need to stop doing that. Who is to say, maybe you do possess the power to dismiss a batsman from the comforts of your living room.
3) Another superstition, if a commentator praises a batsman too much, his innings will come to an end soon. In such situations, do not try to speak reason. You are simply wasting your breath.
4) Do not show too much interest in the game, unless you want to be bored with the statistics of every game ever played.
5) If you are in a large company, be assured that there will be people for and against Tendulkar. And if, unfortunately, Tendulkar is dismissed too soon, there are going to be heated arguements about his credibility as a batsman. (Sigh). I remember my uncle telling everyone that the country had many better bowlers than Kumble (at the time Kumble played in ODIs), every time he was hit for a six. Such arguements cannot be helped. But on the bright side, you can be assured that everyone, especially Keralites, will be united in bashing Sreeshant.
6) Be positive. Consider this as a time you could pursue other interests, such as reading, cooking, music etc.
7) A totally different approach would be to go along with the tide, and try and enjoy the whole show. But I find it tough keeping up a pretense for too long.
I have my cousin and his family living nearby. While they claim that they like to watch every match at their home (something to do with their TV being bigger and clearer than our TV), I hope I could tempt them to my place with the promise of good food. I have in mind pan fried pizzas with a salami and sausage topping; difficult to resist and easy to make, perfect for the game night.
For the pizza base:
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
Oil, to deep fry
For the sauce:
400 grams ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 green capsicum, chopped finely
1 cube chicken taste maker
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt, to taste
Oil, as required
For the topping:
200 grams frankfurter
14 slices chicken salami
40 grams cheddar cheese, crumbled
Oil as required
Combine yeast, sugar and water in a bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is frothy.
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl, stir in yeast mixture, oil and crushed garlic and mix into a soft dough. Knead dough on a floured surface for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and stand in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth.
Divide the dough into 14 balls. Place each ball on the palm of your hand, and flatten out into a flat circular disc about 4 cm in diameter by pressing your palms together.
Deep fry in hot oil until browned on both sides.
Sauce and Topping:
Fry the frankfurter in hot oil. Remove from the oil and slice into small circles discs.
Add more oil to the pan in which you fried the frankfurter, if required. Saute crushed garlic till aromatic. Add onion, and continue sauteing till the onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, chicken taste maker, and Italian herbs (a mix of dried parsley, rosemary, basil, sage etc). Cook for 10 minutes, till the water from the tomatoes has almost evaporated.
Add capsicum, salt and sugar and saute till the capsicum has softened.
Top each pizza base with salami, sauce, frankfurter and cheese. Heat in a microwave oven till the cheese has melted.
If you have leftover sauce, it can be stored in the refrigerator, and used in sandwiches, or with chappathis, or even as a chutney for dosa.
The recipe for the pizza base is adapted from Australian Womens Weekly magazine. And this post will be submitted to YeastSpotting.
Best of luck, all you fans out there. Chak De India!!!