Macchars don’t wear sweaters

My Lifelong Affair With Maggie/How to Cook a Perfect Maggie

Posted on: February 19, 2007

Having lived on a diet of two packs of Maggi Noodles per day, and having survived, I qualify as much as anybody to write on this subject. This calls for a little background.

My association with Maggi dates back to when my age was a single digit. But in those days Maggi was hardly a daily feature in my life, as it was cooked only occasionally as a delicacy. It was also not consumed in its pure form as the preparation was adultered with of one cup of rice, a handful of vegetables and a packet of Vikings sausages. The whole occaison of making Maggi in those days was a bit of a ritual, a celebration, with me and my brother gathered in the kitchen observing the entire process of washing the rice, soaking it in water, adding chopped vegetables, adding salt and spices and putting it on the fire. The Maggi was added only much later, as the rice was just on the verge of being cooked, which was the right thing to do, since Maggi has a property of getting tasteless and bloated if cooked for more than 2 minutes. The addition-of-maggie was especially awaited since it also meant emptying of the masala-tastemaker pouch (an accompaniment in the Maggi pack to add flavor) into the dish. The pouch after being emptied still retained some masala which clung to its insides and made for some delicious licking. This pouch was then torn into two equal halfs each of which me and my brother proceeded to rid of every last grain of masala with our licks. (We used to divide everything into half during those days, till I gew a little older and realised that the halves were increasingly tilting in his favour. This is what called for the historical “you divide i choose” pact). The dish itself was delicious although a little lumpy, and the semi burnt rice+maggi which clung to the bottom of the dish was especially scrumptious.

Thus Maggi entered my life and left deep impressions on my young mind during my most sensitive years.

I must admit though, my relationship with Maggi was hardly personal in those days. Rather than being an act of free will and exercising choice, my association with Maggi was more because of my parents and I can hardly remember the word “Maggi” evoking a sense of belonging. It is only in later years that my relationship with Maggi became more intimate and it took a special place in my life.

Now looking back at all those years of highs and lows, different flavors, packings, pricings, schemes, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction that I and Maggi are still together, having matured and mellowed over the years, our love having withstood the test of time. I cannot claim to have been faithful to Maggi all over this period, as I left her once for the newly introduced Top Ramen, the rage in the market in those days. And the entire fault for this betrayal was not mine, because the makers of Maggi changed her essential flavor under the guise of “introducing new, improved Maggi” such that I could no longer relate to her. Thus my estrangement with Maggi lasted for a period of two years. But some wise soul has rightly said “if you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours, if they don’t they never were”. After 2 years of straying and wandering from noodles to noodles I returned to Maggi once the makers saw sense and reverted back to the old taste with the caption “Good old Maggi is back!!”. Good old Maggi indeed!!

To be continued….

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