I was born into a vegetarian family (not quite the right way to put it). Well my family belongs to a class (one of the many classes of one of the many religions) that is vegetarian (don't know if its by choice or compulsion). Ideally our menu should contain rice, its variations like idli, dosa, the kanji (which I relish) and the sambar, rasam, pulissery, erissery and many more names that may not sound exciting but is definitely delicious. Garlic is a strict no-no and many elders in my family don't take onions either. Onions & garlic are believed to be for the carnivorous. Today, 95 per cent of my dishes begin with a onion-tomato saute with a dash of ginger-garlic.
Coming back to my 'green' lineage, I had a taste of the animal kingdom when I was barely four years old or so I am told. My mother's help, who was my favourite, would feed me yummy fish curry and tiny pieces of chicken. They believed kids grew strong and smart only by eating strong creatures and not flimsy plants and leaves. By the time my taste buds were independent enough to choose for itself, their preference was clearly the meaty meals.
I owe it to my mom, who, despite being a complete vegetarian actually attended cookery classes and cooked me exotic dishes like Garlic Chicken, Chilly Chicken, Chicken Manchurian, Sweet n Sour Chicken....and many many delicious puddings too. Lovely auntys would always send me a share of home-cooked non-veg yummies they made and my love for them only grew. Dine outs were eagerly awaited for that meant newer dishes of chicken/fish.
Somehow my temptation for non-veg stopped at chicken and fish. Mutton, beef, pork (which I was often told were the more yummier meatier options) never excited me. I was never even tempted to try. Maybe my tastebuds weren't too adventurous. But then you could serve me mutton and say its chicken, I wouldn't quite know. :)
Years of eating this banned-food hasn't in any way decreased my greed for it. While I relished on butter chicken, chilly chicken, etc earlier, now I have developed a craving for the grills/kebabs and tandoors. Continental is my new favourite: grilled chicken with pepper sauce/mushroom sauce, chicken satay, steaks and the Indian options like tandoori chicken, kebabs have me drooling. Not much of a cook myself, I have been trying to inspire myself to try a grill or bake at home. Many of my more skilled friends say grills and bakes are the easiest and safest. Somehow the idea scares me. Once marinated and ready, you need to push into the oven and then all you can do is watch helplessly and pray it turns out fine. But I have promised myself I will try my hand at it very soon.