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Saturday, February 9, 2008

A Pot of Spicy Green Anti-Freeze!

Old Man Winter's stopped to do a war-dance, it would seem — one step forward, two steps back, turn around, take three paces away, pirouette and swing to centre... Or so it seems to us as we sniffle, sneeze, cough-cough-cough with the flu. He didn't quite take us down to zero like the BBC threatened, but 4° in February is quite perverse enough by me, thanks!

Unseasonal weather is what we're having this winter — even the capital, long inured to chilly Januaries, has found its many Jaipur quilts, surplus sweaters, Kashmiri shawls, export-market windcheaters and parkas, designer overcoats and 'local brand' room heaters inadequate to this frosty challenge.

Fingers are pale blue and refuse to address the keyboard. Hence the long pause between posts.) Our winter afternoon's delight in the patch of sun on the terrace or in the park has shrunk into the compass of four solid walls and tight-shuttered windows topped by a roof and heated by a radiator or blower. Our habit of clutching cups of hot tea has proved useless as the beverage almost ices over before we can sip. (Oh alright, that last is an exaggeration!)

The only thing that drives feeling back into our toes and revives our fever-numbed tastebuds is a tummyful of peppery, spicy soup. Preferably with potatoes in, to create that all-essential extra padding a la Santa's jelly belly! Which makes this one, starring red mustard 'greens', a souper-dooper discovery.