Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tomato Raita Hors D'oeuvres

I was always intrigued by the old ads for Monaco biscuits with their nicely decorated toppings. I, on the other hand, dipped my Monacos in my tea till my cup became a soggy, salty, inedible mess. I wasn't aware that Monaco was a salty cracker and didn't always have to be consumed with one's tea. (Of course, when you drink your tea on a two-wheeler parked under a tree, you dunk whatever is available in your tea.) In the ads the Monacos were usually decorated with strange, colourful toppings, although I had never really seen one pass by on a tray of hors d'oeuvres at a party. Not so long ago, I happened to be on the Parle Monaco website where they featured Monaco wallpapers for your computer. Why? I had to take a peek and I must share this ad / wallpaper with everyone. And as a professional in advertising I couldn't help but laugh at it. Considering the fact that no one outside of India would've even heard of Monaco, this ad must be for Indian audiences. It features a couple that have an Asian girl and a Caucasian boy in a house that has wood flooring, dry wall and a cast-iron heater in the background. All so very Indian. Of course, if you're from India you'll immediately know what the 'international' flavour of this ad means. I think it is a step back from the days of "Quick Gun Murugan" and "We're like this only".

Anyway, I recently had someone over for dinner and I realized that I hadn't made enough appetizers. Thankfully, I remembered the Monaco ads from the old days that would appear on the back of Filmfare. So I decided to repurpose the tomato raita at hand with some wheat crackers my girlfriend keeps around. The results were pretty good. I think pretty much any raita would've worked.

20 Wheat Crackers
2 ripe Tomatoes chopped
1 tsp finely chopped Coriander
1 cup Yogurt
4 tsp ground Peanuts
1/2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste

Beat yogurt in a bowl till it is a thick liquid
Mix coriander, peanuts, sugar and salt into the yogurt
Gently add the chopped tomatoes into the bowl
Lay out the crackers and place a little dollop of the raita on the cracker