Or spend a quiet evening, chatting over a cuppa.
Earlier, this place used to be very quiet and serene. People, mostly the ones from abroad, sit around with something to eat or drink and with a paper or a book. Away from the noisy main road, the mornings are especially beautiful here ... with the morning sun streaming in through the few casurinas that dot the courtyard.
Of late, as more and more people came to know about this, it is not as serene anymore. People come in droves, shout and laugh and talk loudly, yell at the servers and demand numerous changes to their menus, etc. etc.
It is because of this noisy crowd that we have almost stopped going there in the mornings. But when in need of a quick homely dinner, we do go down and take a table inside. The fluffy hot rotis, the beautiful dal and very light on spices sabzi satisfies us hugely. And lulls us to a quiet peace .... makes us ready to face another mad week the next day.
This weekend, as we sat waiting for our lunch to arrive, I noticed a group of young men in a table outside. There must have been around 8 or 9 of them .... all well dressed in casuals except two who were in formals. Chatting and laughing a lot.
A couple more joined them later and there was a lot of handshakes, hugs and back slapping and laughing. They arranged chairs and adjusted their seating.
I was watching their bonhomie and thought of my college days and my friends .... almost all of whom are now settled in different cities.
And as I sat there watching them, something struck me odd.
And then I knew what it was!
There was no noise or sound coming from them.
All that laughing and talking would have surely created a cacophony by now .... yet, it was very quiet everywhere.
I did notice that they were moving their hands a lot when talking but all that gesticulating did not strike odd to me until I realised that they could not speak or hear!!
They were talking through their hands!
I watched them, totally mersmerised now. Luckily they were outside in the sun, and hence could not see me gawking rudely at them.
The server came and took their orders. They communicated with a lot of smiles.
Then they went back to chatting again.
And I watched them .... with just a little hint of jealousy.
Nobody could know what they were talking or joking about.
They were so happy in their own world.
And somewhere deep inside me, I secretly wished I could be a part of their quiet, peaceful world.
But since this was for lunch, I quickly clicked a few photos.
There is not much to making this fried rice. I follow Kylie Kwong when it comes to Chinese cuisine.
I love her simple, quick dishes with light and fresh ingredients.
I make this fried the same way she had made once on her show.
She had used just spring onions and eggs but I do throw in lots of vegetables to make this a complete, one pot meal. Some left over cooked rice from the fridge, a couple of eggs and some of your favourite vegetables ... and you are good to go.
Leftover cooked rice - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Chopped garlic - 1 tsp
Chopped vegetables - I used baby corn, red capsicum, onions, green chillies, green peas, etc.
Chilli vinegar - 2 tsp
Fresh ground pepper - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Cooking oil - 2 tsp
How to :
Beat the eggs with salt + a little chilli vinegar.
Add eggs and scramble.
Remove while still soft.
Add chopped garlic + ginger + baby corn+ red capsicum + onions to the oil.
Toss well on high heat.
Add left over rice + salt + a pinch of sugar.
Add the eggs.
Toss well on high heat.
Do not lower heat and keep tossing well.
I add a dash of chilli vinegar and soy too. You may or may not.
Add freshly crushed black pepper.
Sprinkle green chillies and serve hot.
Quick and easy.