Birbal’s Kichaddi

Posted by Freddy on Oct-10-2009

Of all the art forms are man has ever invented, cooking is the best.

Or so I think right now, sitting in the living room, waiting for food to be served…

Unfortunately I was flipping through a tabletop book of recipes and the multicolor photographs of dishes were adding to my appetite. Nice good thing to do when you are hungry!

There was no sign of anything from the kitchen. I thought I should go inside and do an inspection myself. I was thinking of things like ‘If cooking is an art my Raziya is Pablo Picasso in it’ to say. But no, it’s not wise to provoke her right now.

Entering the kitchen what I asked was this “Are you making Birbal’s Kichaddi?”.  Slip of the tongue.  How else can I justify it?! But fortunately Raziya like that story. This time I’m tell the story.

One day Akbar asked Birbal “Will a man do anything for money?”

Birbal replied, “Yes”. The emperor ordered him to prove it.

The next day Birbal came to the court along with a poor Brahmin. He was so poor that his family was starving.  Birbal told the king that the Brahmin was ready to do anything for the sake of money.

The king ordered the Brahmin to be inside the frozen pond all through the night without any attire if he needed money.  The poor Brahmin stayed inside the pond the whole night. He returned to the durbar the next day to receive his reward.

Akbar asked “Tell me Oh poor Brahmin! How could you withstand the extreme temperature all through the night?”

The innocent Brahmin replied- “I could see a faintly glowing light a furlong away and I withstood with that ray of light.”

Akbar refused to pay the Brahmin his reward saying that he had got warmth from the light and withstood the cold and that was cheating. The poor Brahmin could not argue with him and so returned disappointed and bare-handed.

Birbal tried to explain to it but Akbar was in not mood to listen.

The very next day Birbal was missing in the durbar. Akbar sent a messenger to him to enquire. The messenger came back and said that Birbal would come to the court only after cooking his khichdi.

As Birbal did not turn up even after 5 days, the king himself went to Birbal’s house to see what he was doing. Birbal had lit the fire and kept the pot of uncooked khichdi ten yards away from it.

Akbar questioned him- “How will the khichdi get cooked with the fire ten yards away? What is wrong with you Birbal?”

Birbal replied, when it was possible for a person to receive warmth from a light that was a furlong away, then it is possible for this khichdi, which is just ten yards away from the source of heat, to get cooked.”

Akbar understood his mistake and rewarded the Brahmin.

Moral of the story- I was hungry that I forgot to think. You find out and mail me.

My Raziya was cooking ‘Raziya’s Murg Noorjehani’.  I will tell her to post the recipe here.

The proof of Murg Noorjehani is in the eating.

Bon appétit to me!

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