Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Missy M and the potter

Missy Morkozhambu, by the way, is the best baker in the world. And I don't say this lightly. There's sponge cake, and there's Missy M's sponge cake. There's chocolate torte and then there's hers. Worlds apart. And whoa, those cheesecakes! Slurp city downtown!

When Benson Town was under seige and all the shops had closed down, she stepped into her garden, plucked a papaya off her tree, mixed it with godhi hittu (aata) and baked a glorious papaya gateau. Another day she made a kothambri soppu (corriander), avocado and strawberry bread which was, well, interesting.

While she says the secret to her phenomenal baking is gobs of amul butter, I haven't given up searching her pantry for that little vial of magic potion that's actually responsible for it. The most wonderful part, however, is that I am her self-appointed food taster. With her success rate of 100%, I am only too happy to stuff myself to bursting capacity with all her goodies, while giving her my extremely satiated two-paisa opinions on them.

Missy M made a green almond sponge cake the other day, which she had layered with chocolate and pistachios. She'd also made an unpronounceable Italian dessert with bansi rava (semolina), and called wondering if I wanted to drop by and try them out. Didn't I just! In about 43 seconds, I was squeezing through her front door, trying to prevent Coco and Buster from squeezing in with me. Dogs out of the way, I addressed myself conscientiously to my assigned task of stuffing myself silly. No eggs, she announced, since it was Deepavali after all.

The almond sponge with pistachio and chocolate icing was wonderful, as expected. Or as Appa would say "Mundiriparuppu, pista, vennai, sakkarai ellaam potta kasakkumaa?" (Cashew, pista, butter, sugar, all put means bitter it will be aa?). As always though, there was Missy M's unmistakeable touch, that made it a superlative almond sponge with pistachio and chocolate icing.

A quick kodbaLe break later, I was onto my next arduous task: sampling the unpronounceable Italian dessert. It was a cake-like kesari bhath, with the consistency of a very very fluffy Mysore pak. I blinked appreciatively at the legendary baker, unable to move any more muscles in acknowledgement of her fantastic culinary creations.

"Alright", she announced, "I figure you could use a walk. Care for a stroll down Williams Town? I need to buy some clay lamps." "Glurgh", I replied, indicating that I needed to be rolled off the Benson Hill first. So off we went: one goggle-eyed cake-taster and one diligent baker-deepavalist.

Williams Town, though adjacent to Benson Town, is in stark contrast to it. It struck me as nice and quaint, though not particularly affluent or spectacularly beautiful. Neat rowhouses abutted a sweet looking park, in the old world Bangalore style. The vaulted mangalore-tiled roofs of the rowhouses stuck out at the back, while their modernized frontages lined the clean streets. A few 1950s-style biscuit boxes with rounded verandahs stood in pristine splendour in their little gardens. A bunch of boys, a gaggle of girls and an assembly of aunties stood around in groups discussing the happennings of the day. We saw kids bursting crackers and lighting lamps, old men readying themselves for the evening namaaz, and several young people at the shrine of the virgin, lighting candles and singing softly. I was amazed at the diversity, and charmed by the old-wordliness. Missy M snorted a pretty snort and strode on smugly, reminding me that we were in the Cantonment after all.

A few well-swept streets later, we found ourselves at the central square of Pottery Town. "Wow. There's a potter's square in Bangalore?", I said, looking around in amazement. "Um, yes", said Missy M, "but it's been here forever, and we've never thought of it as one." I gaped open-mouthed at the quaint potters' shops around the square. Huge terracota planters, lamps, urns and basins lay around everywhere. Shopkeepers looked up at us lazily and went back to doing nothing. I meandered off into one of the shops, fascinated by some large urlis that seemed perfect for my irritatingly non-blooming water lilies.

"Focus", said Missy M gently, as she dragged me into a shop where she spied the diyas that she wanted. The sweet toothless adukulajji (betelnut grandmother) at the shop took an instant liking to us and made us come into her house and see all her wares. Pots, that is. We bought about 75 lamps for 100 bucks or so, and walked back through Williams Town, stopping to admire a collection of unsold clay ganeshas that escaped this year's mass-drowning. I chattered incessantly about the quaintness of it all, until Missy M suggested cooingly that I shut the hell up, as she was getting a migraine. I muttered my remaining remarks to my sandals and followed her back home, where she fed me home-made pizza and sent me away.

So if you're into quaint small-town 1950s enclaves and aren't afraid of jumping across a nullah or two to buy some pottery real cheap, go check out Williams Town and Pottery Town. And if there's enough of you coming that way, I'll ask Missy M to set up a bake-shop shop next to adukulajji.


Naveen said... usual masthaagidhe (idhe heli heli bejaaraagthidhe), if i dont comment, understand maadkolli please..ondu chikke chikka requestu..naanu next time bengaloorige bandhaaga ninge fone hodeetheeni...ninna masth reva-nalli karkondu hogi Missy M maneli chennagi thinsi haage ondu round haakistheeya too all the interesting places?

Rithish said...

somehow... I have gotten addicted to your writings... you better not stop it for anything... :o)

Spunky Monkey said...

Ooh. Post flourish.

Spunky Monkey said...

Stick figures are sorely missed.

I love Lucy said...

Alla baaass...born and brought up in bengluru,but I still have no fricking idea about where Williams Town and Benson town are.Next time when I come off,plisss to meet up with and pliss to give me the grand guided tour.
Will buy you one plate masale and one plate paani puri from Rajanna's gaadi.

Harishhh said...

bai novvu bantu maharaya ninna hogali hogali! Mouth full paining praising you only! Sooper as usual!!

Miss T said...

u hv jus got me and all my homesick dig friends hookd onto ur posts!!! pls pls dnt stop writing!!! nange bari south blore bagge gothu..subbammana angadi, vidhyarthi bhavan dosai, kadalekayi parashe, etc etc...hutti beLdidu bengaloore aadru, cantt side bagge ashtakashte..comm str galligaLalli idli maatra thindhidhini! hv already made my to-do list for my next visit to bengalooru :)
-Miss T (although sheer coincidence, that happens to b my nickname!)

CW said...

Does Missy M have a blog? If no could you ghost-write for her?
-Frustrated eggless pastries- recipes searcher

Shobha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
'G' said...

We love Miss M's (Miss M it seems! hehehe) food! I must mention her pork chops, stuffed chicken, and other such savories...

Bikerdude said...

naveen: wo yes baas, banni banni.

ritish: gulp, ok baas :) and thanks bro!

spunky: Tanksappa. Innu 10 comment bidu, ond-ond word per comment lekka hakkondu :P

ILL: Useless I say. Yaav caalejal odhiddu? As for Rajanna, defly kottey, kottey..!

harish: whoa, thanks kanri! you are too kind I say :)

Miss T: Hogli KC Das nalli Miss T (Misti) Doi thindhideera athva adhu Miss Tik aa? :) Thanks btw!

cw: She is refreshingly tech-unsavvy, but will ask her for one. But namma VB bakery butter-sponge irovaga yaak recipe beku antha lekka.

G: Don't we just!!

Psyche said...

Marry her!!

Dying for some morkozhamb now...sigh.

Prats said...

hey got here from Sujatha's blog, though i've seen you around in spunky's....
Loved your bangalore beats....hear a lot of them but never knew when its put like this it sounds so much more likeable...
mathe, A Miss M ge swalpa recommend maadi.....vb bakery is there...but all green blue yella sigalla...wonly sponge cakedat too haldi color...

I love Lucy said...

BMS Engineering caaleju,ree :-D
Now you see why,no?

Bikerdude said...

psyche: good idea. will ask when she doesnt have a cream pie to hurl at me.

Pryatsu: Bahala thyanksu. VB bakery cake not to be sneezed at I say. Especially that honey cake. Yum yum.

ILL: Actually I don't. I also studied in the Gowda college close by. Bunku ginku ella hodedhu Cantrament kade barlillva, college time nalli?

desigirl said...

hey how much shld one bribe for the recipe for that delectable looking thing?

Mathanki said...

This particular 'William's Town' sounds interesting. I mean I've been to Benson and Pottery and all the other towns, but never heard of this one!:)

RustyNeurons said...

Missy M - could we also get to meet her and get to taste all those yummy things that you mentioned in the post?
Pls pls..

Thoppai mama said...

Nimmooraag-ella bhaaL naagareek-adheer bid-ri! Neev ee artikal bardaaginda thelee naa kedsiddha kedsiddh, nummooraag inthaadh thinbekandra ell hog-bekanth?

(Your town and all very civilised leave-it! You this artikal written since, my head breaking-a breaking, in my town like this eating-want means where to go?)

Vichaar maadidhni. Line bazaar-naag Mishra pedha sigthaav. Ghantikeri poli-teshun kade mirchi-bajji haakthaar. Odak dabr-yaag-in girmit thinbekandr University chaa-d-angdi! PHad bekandra sanjee-g KCC bank-na gathi. Aadhra intha phoren ootakk-ell hogooN-ree?

(Thinking I did. Line bazaar-Mishra pedha getting. Ghantikeri police station near, chilli bajji putting. Battered pot girmit (puffed rice, chopped onion, coriander, besan flour, oma-ppodi) eating want means University chai shop! Phad (a.k.a guNdpangLa) wanting means evening KCC bank only is your fate. But, like your phoren food, where can we go?)

Hudug-yaar karkond hog bekandra ondha jaga itth. Hubli fire station kade Iceland-anth. Alle gadbad special anth ondh majaa ice cream thin thidvi.

Nimm Missy Hubli-Dharwad kade angdi thegeethaar-andra saal haaki nindhro mandhi bhaaL!

(Girls taking and going want means one place only available. Hubli fire station near Iceland. There gadbad special one fun ice cream eating we used to.

Your missy Hubli-Dwd near shop opening means queue putting and standing people many!)

Lekhni said...

"Mundiriparuppu, pista, vennai, sakkarai ellaam potta kasakkumaa?"

Come on, now that is not even a hard challenge for me. All you need to do is burn the cashew. Or the sugar. Or both.
Or you can add too much sugar till you can barely manage a mouthful..
you are talking to the expert here.

krupa said...

too good..your post made me crave for something sweet.I want to eat a big piece of chocolate fantasy or that Italian dessert you have described!

Bikerdude said...

TM: Nanna weekly Hbl-Dwd fix ge bhal thyanks nodri :) Odak dabryagin girmit was too much!! LOL. Also, strangely, my mother made this phad business this morning, quite independently. Full aascharya aithu. Aith bidri, Missy M ge heLi alli ond alla yeld angdi thegiyak helthin kanri.

Lekhni: ha ha too much :)

krupa: good good, its the missy m effect i tell you :)

Krish Ashok said...

Are you going to send your blog posts to Penguin India or should I do it for you?

Great stuff.

Karan said...

Please to be informing this Missy M person that I'm always available for tasting and approval sessions for her desserts.


Meenakshi said...

bikerdude, lovely!!!sounds like an Enid Blytonish Diwali :-)

Bikerdude said...

KA: Thanks man :) Penguin will sell instantly to sundal fellow for potlam making. Hello and when are you publishing?! One avid reader guaranteed!

karan: lol sure thing!

meenakshi: It totally was. I'm now looking forward to a Enid Blytony (Well benson towny for sure) Christmas just around the corner soon!

Bikerdude said...

Sorry I think I missed one bunch out:

desigirl: Err, 5000 bucks? Missy M's creations arent all dressed up like the pic though. Just yum as hell :)

mathanki: Its very small. Probably like three blocks and you're done.

rustyneurons: Shure thingu :) said...

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