The Open Dosa

Consuming the Ordinary Differently

A Tale of Beetroot, Sushi, and Pidi

“Do you want?” the lady asked me.

I stared at the box in her hand.

“What is it?” I asked.

She gave me a weird look. “Pomegranate.”

Pomah… pomah what? Such a strange word.

“Do you want?” she shook the box.

“To eat?” I was confused. This didn’t look like food. It was too beautiful, too delicate looking. It was like jewellery; shiny and pink, capturing light like a diamond. It would make such a lovely necklace.

“Aama,” Yes, she laughed.

And so I picked up one or two arils and placed them on my tongue.

It didn’t taste of anything.

I held one aril between my teeth and bit down on it.

Gently a tiny amount of juice squeezed out and stained my tongue.

I wrinkled my nose. I liked the juice but I did not like the seed.


And I nodded. I did not like it but it was pink and it was beautiful and that was all that mattered.

Photo courtesy Antara Bhargava on Behance


I looked at the vegetable suspiciously.

“It’s pink so I’ll eat it,” I told my father.

I mixed it with the rice and as I watched the rice become pink I fell in love.

Beetroot was magic.

Bright pink rice existed. The world was a wonderful place.

Photo courtesy Awai

I was eleven years old when I had sushi for the first time.

I had dreamt about it for years. Sushi. Perfect beautiful sushi that anime made me crave.

I did not love it but I did not hate it either.

It was alright.

And yet I keep craving it. I want seaweed. I want sticky rice. I want fish. I want wasabi. And I want them all together.

I have only had sushi thrice after that but I want it all the time.

That same month I had oyster for the first time.

I cautiously held the shell to my mouth, tipped my head back and black slime slid down my throat.

Never again, I decided.

Illustration by Aanchal Thapa

I don’t know how old I was when I piled my plate with a vegetable that looked like fried potato and said, “This is brilliant! What is it?”


“Haha, very funny,” I rolled my eyes at my father. “Ammachi, what is it?”

“It’s banana stem.”

“Wait! Papa’s telling the truth?!”

“I always tell the truth,” Papa says,

I love banana stem but if anyone apart from my grandmother makes it, it’s weird.

A few years later my other grandmother made a Malayali dish called Pidi that my mother used to love as a child but my father cannot bear.

Pidi basically consists of small rice balls which are a lot like rice dumplings. Some people have it plain but we have it with a coconut based chicken curry and my grandmother’s curry is amazing. Somehow, the chicken is always softer and more tender than the chicken in any restaurant. The gravy is milky; both spicy and mild at the same time, neither too thick nor too watery.

Since that day, we have made Pidi at home many times.

I am dying for Pidi right now and it isn’t there so I am trying to make do with biscuits and potato chips. It’s not helping very much.

One day I want to eat blue rice. I want to eat wild boar that looks exactly like the pictures in Asterix and Obelix. I want to eat crème brulee. I want to eat Japanese street food. I want to eat Asam Laksa. I want to eat white chocolate mousse. I want to eat a marshmallow cake.

I’m going to stop now or I might just eat my laptop.

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Shefali Mathew

Shefali likes dogs, Harry Potter and anything blue. 

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1 Comment

  1. Faye 25th October 2021

    Hi are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the
    blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do
    you require any coding expertise to make your
    own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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