But the other kids of the lane, don’t include him in their games much, no matter how much I try to tell them to go play with him. Luckily Baby D, my lil munchkin plays with the “different” kid. It bugs me no end thinking about the discrepancy being meted out to this innocent little child for no fault of his own, other than being “different”. It pains my heart. I wish parents would inculcate the sense of acceptance in their kids right from the young age.
Acceptance is the fiber of any democracy. Not independence, but acceptance of each other, just as we are, without any judgement is what makes us free in the true sense”.
That kid, A(lets call him that) , is much like me, soft on the inside with a nice tough I-don’t-care, hard exterior.
I took to him at the first meet. Obviously my admiration for him has grown manifolds since then. I know him quite well by now with his mum being a good friend of mine. Life is quite tough for an autistic child but when I see him play on his own or with his now baby sister, it amazes me to see the resilience which human beings are bestowed with. One day D asked me, “Mom why does A speak and act like that”. No one plays with him coz they say he is weird. Is he bad?”
This innocent question from a 4 yr old tugged at my heart and I knew I had to help my child see the beauty of everyone and everything around us, no matter how different they seem. After a quiet discussion about autism and how it affects kids, D seemed troubled and quiet. I let her be to ponder things over while I carried on with my work. Suddenly, she rushed to me, gave me a hug and said “I am going to tell all my friends about A and I will make sure no one teases him from now. And if someone does, I will tell you and you teach them about why he is different. I am sure they won’t trouble him then.” Needless to say, I felt so happy, proud and grateful all at once.
I know my rant wasn’t about food, but I felt I needed to vent and where better than to you bunch of awesome people.
Coming to these dahi kebab, well I love them too! Mostly coz they are so different to your usual kebabs. This kebab I made reminded me of him and of all those other kids and people labelled “Different”.
I was totally floored the first time I tasted these delightful flavorful dahi kebab in a restaurant. Since then, I have made these at home whenever the mood strikes for something “different”. Surprisingly it always elicits a similar response in people who eat it “Wow, kya hai ye,its soo soft”!
Here’s to being a “different me” in a world that craves to fit in, to being yourself no matter how hard that may me. Here’s to teaching our kids the importance of being “different” and a special cheers to the millions of “different” special kids living with Autism. “Different is Good”.
- Hung Curd 500 gms - prepare beforehand by tying curd in a muslin cloth and letting the whey drip out. Takes 3 hrs +
- Paneer softened 100 gms - Soak paneer in warm water for 30 mins till very soft.
- Any melting cheese - 50 grams.
- ½ cup besan ( gramflour) - dry roasted over low heat till slightly darker, might need more.
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 3-4 finely chopped green chillie
- 4 Tbsp finely chopped onions
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- Salt as needed.
- Kashmiri red chillie powder 1-2 tsp ( acc to taste)
- Blended spice of black peppercorn + coriander seeds - about 2 tsp
- 2-3 tsp Oil for pan frying
- Red chillie flakes - 2 tsp
- Rock salt for sprinkling on top
- Coriander +mint chutney to serve with.
- Pickled Onions
- Mint leaf and lime wedges for garnish
- Start by hanging the curd in a muslin cloth atleast 3-4 hrs before you need to make the kebabs. I use thick curd that takes 2 hours to drain completely. It might take longer depending on the whey content of your curd.
- Once you get the hung curd, remove from muslin cloth and add to a mixing bowl.
- Dry roast the gram flour on low heat till fragrant and lightly browned.
- In another bowl, mix half the cheese with the onion, chillies and ginger. Add 1 tsp of the blended spice mix, red chillie powder and salt. Mix thoroughly.
- Now take the remaining cheese and add that to the hung curd, alongwith the paneer, some salt and chilie flakes.
- Mix. Add the roasted gram flour and cornflour and knead till smooth and it holds together.
- Now remove a pingpong size dough, shape them into flat tikkis.
- Add a tsp of the cheese - onion filling , pinch the sides well and flatten them into kebab/ fritter shapes.
- Keep on a plate dusted with more cornflour, and proceed to make kebabs from the remaining dough.
- Heat a non stick skillet and add 2 tbsp oil
- Pan fry over medium heat till brown on both sides. About 2-3 mins per side.
- The kebabs are quite soft, so you have to handle them carefully.
- Serve hot off the pan with ketchup,chutney and some fresh cut tomatoes and onions in chaat masala and lime juice.