Kabir is the first born of my lone sister and therefore my nephew. I have always claimed to not like kids but am pleased to admit I get along only with them. Its so cliched I know, to talk of a child’s innocence and their blind love to anyone that shows them some. Children are clear like water aren’t they? Grownups are not. It’s no surprise then how famously I have always gotten along with Kabir. (He may strongly object to this, but then again he is a teenager, he is supposed to counter everything you say, right?!)
I can remember as clear as day when he was born. He came into this world not without problems. He was just in so much of a hurry to be here. And when I saw him he looked no more than a human tadpole. So fragile, very premature and so alien to me. Yet he crept into my heart and never left. He is much like me, soft on the inside with a nice tough I-don’t-care, hard exterior.
Growing up he followed me around chanting my name much to the chagrin of his father! I liked that!
Like me Kabir is very different. He is intelligent and so different. Maybe that is why he endears himself to me. Not different for the sake of it but because he just is. There is a vital difference between him and me though. He is ridiculously focused, something I could never achieve. He works very hard, is super intelligent and never takes himself seriously. He is as eccentric as they come and is wonderfully comfortable with it. I used to not be. Its a powerful thing, being comfortable with yourself.
And the best thing about him? He laughs at himself freely. You will never catch him frowning if you make fun of him. He will laugh along with you. He is my nephew, and yes I am biased, but seriously Kabir if I had met you somewhere else, I’d try hard to be your friend. And congratulations on getting into Berkeley dude. We will all miss your incredible silliness but oh we are all so beaming with pride too!
Now I am told, as Kabir set foot in America for the first time, he fell in love with Mexican food. So this one is for you dear Kabir. I know you would’ve enjoyed these. Spicy quesedillas filled with one of your favorite fruit, the Indian mango, to remind you a little bit of home…
makes 1 quesadilla
1/2 mango (I used an Indian one but you could use any sort as long as they are ripe. Cut into cubes)
2 jalapeno peppers (or as your taste buds allow, I like it spicy!)
1 tsp spicy paprika powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 green bell pepper (sliced thin)
1-2 shallots (sliced)
2-3 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup black beans (drained)
juice of 1/2 a lime
50 grams grated cheese of choice
oil for frying
salt and pepper to taste
dollop of sour cream
some cilantro to garnish
Heat some oil in a pan and fry the shallots, pepper, jalapenos, dry spices. Fry till the shallots are somewhat translucent. Add the black beans and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Toss the mango cubes with some lime juice and salt.
Prepare the tortillas by laying one down in a flat skillet. Cover the tortillas with half the grated cheese. Top with the prepared black bean mix. Top with mango and finally sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Cover with the second tortilla and press down. Dry roast on high heat for about 2-3 minutes. Flip and repeat. The tortilla should be nice and brown.
Cut with a pizza slicer into quarters. Place a dollop of sour cream on each quarter, place some cilantro and place in mouth! Eat the avocado along with…
I apologise for the pictures in advance. I made these in a hurry as I gathered all my things to come be in India with mom that continues to struggle.