banno, dhanno and teja in bumm-bumm-bhole-land

rascals, 2011 – brains fry or brains masala

I grew up in a household, where goat’s brains were a delicacy, prepared for lunch at least 3 or 4 times a month. Mummy would soak the brains in a little water for a few minutes, and then pull out the membrane over the gyri sulci delicately. She would saute the brains in a little oil with the usual haldi, mirchi, dhaniya powder, salt combination, or if there were not enough to go around, add chopped onions and tomatoes to increase the quantity. A dry dish, delicious with chapatis, easily prepared in 10 minutes.

After I left my parents’ home though, I usually never cook brains at home, or get the opportunity to order brain masala in a restaurant. Teja is a vegetarian and while he does not raise an eyebrow at Dhanno and me eating indiscriminate pieces of meat or fish, he does feel queasy at the sight of a brain on a plate.

I have realized that even a lot of non-vegetarian people squirm at a brain dish. That makes me increasingly embarrassed about ordering brains when I am out with other people.

While seeing ‘Rascals‘ yesterday, I realized what it would feel like to have one’s brains soaked in water and then it’s membrane pulled out. The difference is that I was alive and conscious while the operation was being conducted on me, and not dead like the goat. The goat, if alive and in the movie hall, would have bleated for kind death.

Our own intrepidity in booking tickets for ‘Rascals’ was yet another effort to have fun while watching a film on a Sunday evening. We thought we would be together, 4 women, and laugh our way through.

But 40 minutes of Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan leering at every woman in sight, Kangana Ranaut and Liza Haydon vying with each other for tinier and tinier bikinis and dresses, Bharati Achrekar and Arjun Rampal playing a demented mother and son, a lot of screeching and screaming out of dull, constipated lines which were as funny as a decapitated goat defeated our stoicism. We walked out.

The only good that this film will do, is that I will give up eating brains altogether. Let me tell you however, that goat brains look more appetizing than any single visual of ‘Rascals’ despite all the skin on show.

By the way, the ‘gyri sulci’ comes from Dhanno. Please don’t credit me with any scientific erudition.

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22 comments on “rascals, 2011 – brains fry or brains masala

  1. sur notes
    October 24, 2011

    I was very impressed until you credited Dhanno with the ‘gyri sulci’. Bangalore has some great places for very very good bheja fry. Next time we meet lets have a bheja fry and roti lunch. George and I are BIG fans of the dish.

    • Banno
      October 24, 2011

      Sur, ha, ha. For my scientific knowledge, that. I thought I’d better admit ignorance before I get caught out. :) And a brains fry and roti lunch sounds superb to me.

      • sur notes
        October 25, 2011

        And the good food, bad film metaphor….. how could you Banno? Now i will think of the Rascals while digging into good food. I know you want to think of your bheja being fried while you are alive…. but good food is sacred. No sanju baba -ajay devgan imagery please.

        • Banno
          October 26, 2011

          Ohhh, sorry! :)

  2. Violet
    October 24, 2011

    Oh that is kinda sad, you being exposed to such torture. And Bangalore multiplexes charge you so much for the tickets. What a waste..

    • Banno
      October 25, 2011

      Violet, I think we signed ourselves up for it voluntarily, knowing the film would be bad. Just did not expect it to be so bad. :)

  3. karrvakarela
    October 25, 2011

    It’s a delicacy in Pakistan too. In Karachi people eat it mixed with nihari, the ultimate cholesterol fix.

    • Banno
      October 25, 2011

      Karrvakarela, brains with nihari, that’s a combo I’ve never had.

      • dustedoff
        October 25, 2011

        Your post just reminded me – the Delhi winter is just around the corner, and it’s time we went to Karim’s for nihari with roghani roti. My mouth’s watering just thinking about it.

        (P.S. I know what you mean when you talk about even non-vegetarians feeling squeamish about brains. My sister and I had gone with our husbands and her daughter to Karim’s. My sister and I happily ordered bheja and were digging into it, but the other preferred to have their staid kababs. I wonder what they’d have said to kheeri… not that Karim’s has that, I think).

        • Banno
          October 26, 2011

          Oh Dustedoff, Please don’t remind me of Karim’s. It’s years since I have been there. And still miss it so much. I don’t know if Karim’s serves kheeri, but I’m sure you can find it somewhere in Nizamuddin.

          • dustedoff
            October 26, 2011

            I will go searching for kheeri in Nizamuddin, then! I remember having the most delicious kheeri kathi kababs in Kolkata’s Nizam’s – just the mere thought of them makes me go all dewy-eyed.

            • karrvakarela
              October 26, 2011

              What’s kheeri?

              • Banno
                October 27, 2011

                Karrvakarela, that’s udders.

            • Banno
              October 27, 2011

              Dusted Off, I’ve never had those, that is, kheeri kathi kabab rolls. My dream is to spend time in Kolkata and eat all that delicious food there. I’ve only been there for 3 days, ever.

  4. Ankur
    October 25, 2011

    Mera bheja abhi seat key neeche parha hai. Can we please go and get it?

    • Banno
      October 26, 2011

      We will have to shell out another 260 rupees per person. Let your brains be there until we go for Ra-One. :)

  5. yves
    October 25, 2011

    Hi,
    I dunno why you should stop eating perfectly good goat brains, just because of a shitty movie. Yes: perhaps you could have thrown some of it on the screen?! No but really, what you write makes me shudder at the thought that the westernization of Bollywood is going so fast that there just isn’t time for the good movies alongside with the disgustingly poor stuff! Trouble is, if people go and watch them (I’m afraid that includes you…) then the producers are right to serve such rotting food to the public, who go back asking for more (… at least you will have been sickened enough to stay back next time).
    Cheers, and hurray for ma’s fried delicatessen!

    • Banno
      October 26, 2011

      Yves, what you say is so true. I hate it too, that our Bollywood film makers seem to have lost their touch with their own roots, i.e. the big commercial films have. And I do feel guilty every time I do go to watch such crap, but then, also, I am always hoping for some good to come out of it.

  6. kateshrewsday
    October 26, 2011

    Oh, Banno, to try or not to try? If it was your favourite childhood dish it must be worth a bit of investigation. I wonder if I can find anywhere here which serves it, so I can do a little light research?

    The film….lovely idea to meet on a Sunday and see something different, maybe next Sunday there will be something a bit more worth seeing :-)

    • Banno
      October 26, 2011

      Kate, I’d love to know if you find the dish somewhere in your part of the world.

      The next Sunday is Ra-One. And yes, we are all going. With Dhanno, in tow, too. :)

  7. drtaher
    October 27, 2011

    Dear Banno,

    This was a very good post indeed. I personally think that one has to leave one’s brains at home when one goes to see such rubbishy films. At least that way, one won’t feel as guilty for having spent such a huge sum of money to see trash.

    • Banno
      October 27, 2011

      Dr. Taher, Thanks for dropping by. I am quite happy to suspend my disbelief when I watch films, but some films are not even enjoyable trash.

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This entry was posted on October 24, 2011 by in of family and friends, the movies and tagged , , , , , , , .
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