It's a small world...

Last weekend, I made Ghee (aka Clarified Butter). Now, before you marvel at my cooking abilities, please note that making Ghee is a fairly simple exercise. It consists primarily of two steps:

A. Buy unsalted butter.
B. Cook the butter at low heat till all the moisture is cooked off, leaving just the fat behind.

But wait, there is actually another step. You see, butter consists primarily of three things - fat, water and a small amount of protein. If you try step B in turbo mode, the protein burns and gives the Ghee a smell and taste you would not relish (Trust me, I have done it). Many people just throw the protein residue away and enjoy the rest. But, back when I was a kid, my mom introduced me to this delicacy (called Mehran in Hindi) and I have enjoyed it ever since.

So, there I am, in my kitchen, keeping an eye on the pot with the butter and making sure nothing sticks to the bottom when I am reminded of a conversation from way back...

Back when I was living in Germany, I went to see the Meissen porcelain factory one weekend and as always, Monday was the day I updated my colleagues on my weekend travels. When I mentioned that I had "Meissen Wedding Soup", Wolfgang Uhlig piped up "Do you know the critical ingredient for it?" Well, I didn't so Wolfgang continued "You see, when you cook butter, you get this fried mass that is made only near Meissen..." Of course, I knew exactly what he was talking about and when I mentioned that I have eaten it all my life, he could not believe it! He thought that it was something so unique to the area around Meissen that he had never met anyone who could even figure out how it was made or had a name for it. And there I was, a guy raised in India, who had not only eaten it and had seen it being made, I even knew a word for it!

So, back to the present. Here I am, making Ghee and Mehran in Silicon Valley and instead of being reminded of India or of my mom's cooking, I am reminded of a conversation I had with a German guy... The world is indeed a small place. Don't you think so?

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